Hibiscus Help

yellow_hibiscus(6)February 23, 2013

I have a beautiful yellow Hibiscus-- not sure exactly the variety but the attached image is of one of its blooms. Right now my biggest problem is the fact that its completely infested with little black bugs (possibly aphids?). Last summer it bloomed a few times but the flowers fell off as soon as they were completely opened, it seemed. Now it blooms halfway and the bugs take over the blossom and kill it. I can also show an image of one of the infested unopened buds, but I can't seem to figure out a way to attach more than one image to this post.

Anyway, now one or two of the leaves are starting to yellow, and I'm curious if there's a way to eliminate this problem, and/or something I can do to ensure that this summer, the plant flourishes. I'm in the middle/end of a chilly winter season so I don't expect even indoors that the hibiscus will be at its prime until the spring, but I'd like to know ahead of time what I can do to prep it for a fruitful and beautiful summer blooming season.

Any help is appreciated!

~K

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Gutzmek(6)

Yellow_Hibiscus,
I had a similar infestation on one of my CVs this winter. I have delt with aphids many times in the past and I do not believe this is aphids. You seem to be dealing with a more advanced attack than I had. As with yours, I saw the majority of the damage around new growth and buds. Ultimately, I think you may need to entertain the idea pruning the infested areas. With my first outbreak I tried drowning, this was now effective. Next I used a pesticide, but the outbreaks started elsewhere on the plant. Finally, I cut away the infected areas, and have yet to have an outbreak since. Currently the plant does have an ugly apearance, but when I do a serious prune in a month, it will be ok.
Hope this helps,
Ed

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:21PM
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SweetSerenity

Hi,
That looks like what I have on one of mine. Or had I should say. I sprayed it with Organocide. It stinks bad but it seems to work. I have an infestation on another plant but the ants are working on them so I didn't spray it.
I think that one might drop it's leaves too as the one I posted about earlier. When that happens I won't have to worry about it anymore.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:47PM
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yellow_hibiscus(6)

Thanks to both of you for your advice-- I've soaked the plant in a homemade organic insecticidal soap, and now I will be taking Gutzmek's advice and pruning the plant down to just the major central stem-- most of the buds/leaves have been infested and I just can't get to all the eggs/bugs off as they tend to hide in small crevices. Eek!
I was also thinking of leaving it outside today or tomorrow when the temp will fall into the 20-30 degree range, to freeze out the little buggers. Good idea? Bad idea?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Gutzmek(6)

This might do permanent damage to the plant. I would use caution with this method. Many times the bugs will survive longer than the plant.
Ed

This post was edited by Gutzmek on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 18:58

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Leafhead

I wouldn't withhold spraying because of the ants, which are actually farming the aphids for their honeydew, not eating them.
The ants will actually protect the aphids from predators, too.
Icing the hibiscus, bad idea.
You'll harm the plant, not the aphids.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:13PM
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wally_1936(8b)

I have soaked the plants and the area around the plants with water and dish washing liquid it kills all the ants and aphids that it touches. So it is only a contact protection. I would never do this during summer day times as it would burn the plants.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:55PM
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