Hibiscus Plants

What Are These Little Balls?

dfcloud added on August 7, 2014 | Answered

Last year we were surprised with 2 ft. of snow before I could bring my hibiscus in… Yes, it died. Last week we bought another to replace it. Day before yesterday I went out and pulled the weeds that had come up in the pot, then dug into the dead hibiscus roots to find hundreds of little white/pale yellowish balls (1/16th-1/8th inch). Out further are a few, but they are more like yellow/brownish shells, the paler ones, have fluid in them. Now I'm afraid to plant the new hibiscus and it's not doing well in the container it came in.

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Answered on August 8, 2014

I also posted this on my Facebook page… A close friend (who lives 2 miles away AND runs the garden dept of our local hardware store) says they look like slug eggs. Another friend in TX says nitrogen fixing nodules. From what I read the nodules are usually on bean bearing type plants and are "attached" to the roots, have hard shells that will pop if you squeeze them…. Slug eggs aren't attached to the roots (like mine) and have a flexible leathery shell (like mine). I've decided I'm going to take them to the hardware store tomorrow and have my friend decide. No rush, since the plant already looks like someone shot it with a death ray.

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Answered on August 8, 2014

These are strange looking things. In some plants little balls like this would be food storage organs, but I can't find any pictures of hibiscus having them. Sometimes the roots grow into particles of perlite or styrofoam in the soil. Sometimes they might be fungus or insect eggs. You could take them to the county extension service to see what they might say about them. This link will help you locate one:
I would advise that you throw all this soil out and get some fresh new soil to plant your hibiscus.
This article will give you some tips: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/hibiscus/how-to-care-for-hibiscus-plants.htm

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