Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hibiscus Horrors

Someone knows my fondness for Hibiscus has faded. I was never overly thrilled with hedges of the common Chinese Red Hibiscus. They grow fast and need to be trimmed 3 and 4 times a year to be kept as rectangular walls. Trimming a hundred running feet or more of a hedge 8 feet high on ground that can be sloped and rocky is not a task for the timid.

Then the bugs arrived.

First it was the Hibiscus Mite that caused warty galls to form on leaves that became stunted and shrunken.

Then the Papaya Mealybug launched an assault of plague like proportions that encased the upper stems in a gooey cottony sticky froth. New leaves didn't grow and old leaves dropped after getting covered by black mildew growing in the excrement of mealybugs raining down from above.

Not to be left out of the feast a new species of Whitefly joined in.

Hibiscus was an exceedingly common shrub in Hawaii. It was used in landscapes to the point of boredom. A veritable monoculture of Hibiscus encased swank hotels, condominiums, suburban and commercial landscapes.

People don't like warty sticky black slimy plants.

People pretty much hate all bugs.

Like I was Moses and had called down this curse upon the land, I was implored to fix this. I was the gardener. I must have some magic potion or spray to relieve them of this burden of unsightly appearances. It was my job to end this plague.

I look to the heavens from which these creatures flew in, cargo or first class who knows, and I think to myself, your money can't make this go away.


chuck b. said...

Okay, you do make the hibiscus sound rather depressing.

Everything's boring in a monoculture tho'. Especially when coated in sticky froth and raining down bug excrement.

But if you have just one, and it's healthy, and it's not the key feature of the landscape...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Alright, just One then

chuck b. said...

Oh, that's nice!