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Will a Hibiscus recover having dropped all its leaves?

In the hot UK weather this year a hibiscus I recently planted out has lost all of its leaves. At first it got a bit dehydrated but then I kept it really well watered, but I couldn't save it. What gives it its best chance? Should I continue to water?

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    scrape of a bit of the surface or skin on the trunk with a fingernail, near the base - if its dry and brown inside, its dead,, if its moist, there's a chance it might revive. – Bamboo Jun 24 '17 at 10:04
  • @Bamboo the stems are nice and green. Just all the leaves are brown... and on the ground :( – samerivertwice Jun 24 '17 at 14:32
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    We used 4" pvc pipe, drilled holes down the sides; 1/2 diameter, the length to reach the bottom of the root ball and inserted the pipe next to the root ball. 2' further out equidistant from the trunk we'd put 4 more pieces of pipe that were only a foot deep, with the upper end 6" higher than the surface. Water would keep the root ball moist and the little pipes would keep some moisture to encourage roots to grow away from the root ball. Watered like this for a good year. This was when we had to plant during brutal hot weather or for planting on slopes along with the formed well. – stormy Jun 24 '17 at 16:59
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At this stage, it sounds like there's some life left in it - to be honest, if its been planted less than a couple of months, I'd lift it out of the soil and plant it in a pot with some good potting soil, water it thoroughly and keep it watered as necessary. It's obviously suffered serious drought, and shouldn't really have been planted at all during the very hot weather - keep it in a pot till autumn, then replant, keep watered until late October (unless you're up north, then you can probably stop beginning of October, but it depends on the weather).

When you lift it out of the ground, if the rootball is bone dry, soak it in a bucket before potting up. The point of telling you to put it in a pot is this - it's much, much harder to keep a newly planted shrub sufficiently well watered in the ground than in a pot - water needs to penetrate six inches deep to make sure the whole of the rootball has had sufficient water, and that's a tall order in a hot summer.

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