prematurely dropping flower buds on Rose of Sharon

My Rose of Sharon shrubs are dropping half of their flower buds. I have pruned them heavily the last two years, since they were healthy but neglected, and they have come back very thick and lush this year. The bloom has been outstanding the previous two years. The only thing I did different was to fertilize them with some good quality organic fertilizer, but not really heavily. Is it the extra foliage plus not enough water? These are unopened buds.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Bud drop in Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) can be caused by insects like thrips and aphids. If a strong stream of water from the hose doesn't dislodge them, use an organic oil soap to get rid of these pests. Don't prune Hibiscus past early spring or you will be getting rid of the new blooms. Also, check that these shrubs are still growing under full-sun conditions (6-8 hours of direct sun light daily). If the foliage is too lush, branches maybe shading each other, too. If this is so, cut back on the fertilizer.


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