Will Aphids Do This to Leaves?

robyn_tx(8 Dallas)April 2, 2006

Hi - my neighbor asked me to look at her tropical hibiscus today, which has two problems: buds won't open and dead spots on leaves. She's overwintered it on the patio, since we've had a very mild winter here in South Texas. The buds are aphid-infested, which is the solution to her first problem ... but I'm unsure of whether the aphids could be causing her leaf problem. The leaves are of normal size for this time of year, the plant is putting on plenty of new growth at its base ... but the mature leaves are mottled with random, small speckled-like dead spots all over. She's also got lots of yellow leaves, more so than I would expect with a tropical this time of year. The mature leaves definitely look unhealthy, but the new growth looks fine. I've advised her to cut it back and spray with water and/or a soap mixture for the aphids in the buds, but don't know what to advise on the leaf problem. (Sorry, no photo-no digital camera. Sad face..)

Would aphids do this to the leaves? I grow hardy hibuscus and cut mine way back in the fall/winter for overwintering, so I've never seen this problem. Ideas?

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Because earlier this year, you all had some very low humidity and dewpoints, it could be you are seeing damage from spider mites, which thrive in warm dry conditions. If the new growth is coming in fine (and I understand the humidity levels have increased down there), then it should be okay.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:58AM
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robyn_tx(8 Dallas)

Jenny - thanks so much ... you're absolutely right: we had unseasonably warm temps in January/February, with very low humidity and dewpoints. I posted that fact on the Texas Garden forum, but not here. I'll definitely share with her.

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 10:00PM
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