Green caterpillars eat Hibiscus leaves

hollaschSeptember 10, 2006

I have a huge hibiscus - gets about 5' high and 6' wide, deep red blooms the size of dinner plates. It flowers well but the leaves get eaten completely away by small green caterpillars. Any suggestion for control of them? Thanks.

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butterfly4u

Dear Hollasch,
Try 1 tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing soap in 1 gallon of water and pour some in spray bottle and spray on every leaf both front and back.
Repeat once a week til the plant is clear of bugs.
I love red, and plan on buying a red one next spring.
That way it will have the entire summer to grow in before I bring it in for the winter.
GOod Luck!
Carla

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:22AM
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seventowers(6)

The little green worms are sawfly larva .. In mid to late spring a black fly with an orange head (sawfly , but really a wasp) land on the leaves and insert the eggs in leaf tissue .. The larva are constantly eating and can skeletonize the whole plant.
I use neem oil as soon as the sawfly start coming around.
2 to 3 weeks of spraying as per directions with neem.
It is a growth retardant which doesn't allow the larva to develop and of course they die.
But for me I won the sawfly battle only to have japenese beetles destroy all my blooms ..

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 5:28PM
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intrinsic001

I have 4 hibiscus plants in my yard, 2 are huge, over 4 ft tall, I bought them this year under a foot. 2 of them look like a skeleton and looks like something is eating it almost down to the ground, first the leaves then the stems. I tried 7 dusting the plants and surrounding area, then adding more fertilizer but they still look aweful. This is all happening within the last 2-3 weeks. I know it cant be the fall weather because the others are still huge and vibrant, blooming everyday. Please help, I don't really want to dig them up and start over.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 4:11PM
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