Return to the Florida Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Friend or Foe?

Posted by RetiredFlorida 9b (floridabeachportraits@gmail.com) on
Sat, Sep 29, 12 at 11:23

Been dealing with little white bugs invading my hibiscus lately, so I'm paying closer attention to all my plants. I came across this little guy camouflaged in my new candlestick plant. I hope he is a friend, but if he isn't, I'll let him stay, he really isn't eating much.

Darren


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

It's the caterpillar for one of the yellow sulfur butterflies. If it eats the leaves it turns green . If it eats the flowers it turns yellow.


 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

Thanks Coffeemom. Not sure what I did earlier, but probably responded on another thread?? That is pretty neat to learn what color it will be based on its food. It is one of the coolest colored cat that I've ever seen. So elated by butterfly/hummer garden is taking hold!

Darren


 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

If you've got "little white bugs" on your hibiscus they are probably mealy bugs or white flies. Either way, I think a systemic insecticide is the way to go. Dang hibiscus is the most pest ridden thing without it. It will also protect against gall midge which ruins the blossoms before they open. I had that real bad last year.


 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

Thanks for the suggestion slopfrog. I just sprayed all my hibiscus with a safe concoction that a family member recommended.

1/2 gal water in misting sprayer
cap full of mouthwash
cap full of dawn dish soap
cap full of vegetable oil

My understanding is the dish soap will help coat the plant and suffocate the bugs. All my hibiscus bugs are little white specs, hard to see and almost completely cover the buds but are on the leaves too. Some of the buds are falling off prematurely and I've had just a few blooms the past several days.

I am new to using this home brewed formula so I do need to give it a chance to work. What I was wondering about systemic pest control is will it hurt the butterflies/hummers/bees that come to collect pollen or will it just hurt those that are trying to eat it?

Darren


 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

Hibiscus attract aphids, that is what you are seeing on your buds. Try a forceful spray from your hose. It knocks them off. If you continue to do it every few days, it will send them somewhere else. You will notice ants on your hibiscus as they actually farm the aphids.

Jane


 o
RE: Friend or Foe?

Thank you Jane. Fascinating info. I do see the ants frequently on my bushes. The "soap" mixture I used cleaned out my bushes overnight. I am very pleased with the mixture however it did burn a few leaves in the process. I sprayed it liberally on all of my bushes. My problem is bigger tho as I found some on my desert rose by my front door, not in my garden.

I find it amazing how people can tell what these things are when I can barely seem them, haha.

Darren


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Florida Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here