Spider mites are common pests of hibiscus.
Hibiscus plants are prone to being attacked by various types of pests. In addition, they are the main source of food for the larvae of some moths. Common pests that can infest a hibiscus plant in most areas include whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites in drier climates. Bed bugs can also pose a threat, especially as they can attract ants. There are a few solutions that can slow down or eliminate pests, including commercial pesticides, soap and water solutions, and physical means such as diatomaceous earth, but all may require frequent reapplications.
A solution made up of garlic, cloves and dishwashing soap can be used to control hibiscus pests.
Aphids are one of the most destructive insects when it comes to a hibiscus plant. They are very small insects that can appear in large numbers. They can be of various colors, including black, red, green and white. An aphid feeds on the sap inside the plant, draining the hibiscus of its strength and slowly killing it.
As one of the worst pests of hibiscus, aphids can be detected through a series of signs on the plant. Leaves may begin to die or turn yellow. The stem may become brittle or begin to sag. Piles of aphids can also be found under the leaves or on the stem of the plant.
Garlic cloves can be used to make a homemade insect repellent.
Whiteflies are sometimes confused with aphids, but they are different. They appear as small white insects with visible wings. They can be found under the leaves of the plant, where they feed and lay their eggs. Whitefly is one of the most problematic hibiscus pests because they are highly resistant to normal pesticides. The signs of a whitefly infestation are similar to those of aphids.
Spider mites look like small red spots on the underside of leaves. They feed on the moisture inside the plant. They reproduce quickly and are immune to most normal pesticides, making them one of the most resistant pests of hibiscus. Although they are very common, they are most prolific in hot, dry climates. Plants that have leaves with spots, other discolorations or holes may have spider mites.
Mealy insects bring a unique set of problems to any plant they start to feed on. They drink the plant’s sap, but they also attract ants that will try to feed on the honeydew that the insects secrete as they feed. Ants and mealybugs will work together to attack a plant and can spread diseases like soot mold. Harmful bed bugs are small white insects that appear to be covered in a white fur-like substance.
All of the most common hibiscus pests share some dangerous traits. Its saliva is poisonous to the plant and will harm it during feeding. They all have an interest in the sap inside the plant. In addition, each pest has some potential to spread disease to hibiscus.
It can be difficult to control all pests at once. Mild pesticides can help fight all but dust mites, which can be temporarily controlled with a regiment of miticides. Washing the leaves of the plant with soap and water can also help to control the pest problem for a while.
A natural method of pest control is to create a solution of garlic, cloves and dishwashing soap to be sprayed on the leaves. Another option is to throw chrysalis in the garden. Lacewings are aggressive predators and a beneficial insect. They will, in sufficient numbers, eat many of the insects that infect plants. A final natural method is to place plant varieties around the garden that will deter insects, such as alliums, mint and marigolds.