Hibiscus Plant Care
There's a White, Sooty Stuff all over my Hibiscus!
These little pests have long been the bane of gardeners and greenhouse growers alike. Once they settle into a garden they can be very hard to get rid of. Then along came the Giant Whitefly, up from Mexico into California, and now spread throughout the south all the way to Florida. Though its name sounds menacing, it is only "giant" relative to other whitefly species. What makes the impact of the Giant Whitefly so large is the amazing mess it can make, covering a plant with ugly "beards" made up of white waxy filaments. As difficult to get rid of as these pests were in the past, they are now easily controlled, as we will describe below.
How do I Know if I Have Whiteflies?
Whitefly Egg Mass Showing
On Underside of Leaf
A Bad Whitefly Infestation on a Hibiscus,
Leaves Covered with White Wax and Honeydew
How do I Get Rid of Whiteflies?
Whiteflies exhibit a strong tendency to feed in groups. After adults emerge, the majority will remain on the same plant to feed and lay eggs. They do spread from plant to plant, and the range of hosts includes not only hibiscus but also other popular garden species such as bougainvillea, bamboo, mandevilla, begonia, giant bird of paradise, orchid tree, banana, mulberry, xylosma, aralia, and various vegetables as well as some varieties of citrus and avocado trees.
Using a BugBlaster to Spray off Whitefly Mess
If water sprays and removing leaves that whiteflies are growing on does not solve the problem, there is excellent pesticide control available. Even better news is that this pesticide is not sprayed on the plant but instead is poured into on the soil in the pot or over the root zone of plants in the ground, making application easy and safe. The relatively non-toxic pest control product, Bayer Rose & Flower, eliminates whiteflies from garden or home. This pesticide is systemic, which means that it is absorbed into the plant where it remains in the sap for months. Whenever a whitefly or other sap-sucking insect feeds on the plant, it is killed by the pesticide in the sap, which is not very toxic to people or pets but is deadly to many insects. It is best applied before the problem becomes severe and to use as a preventative every 3 months. For a severe infestation, you may need to apply the product twice at 2-month intervals to get complete control over the infestation, then switch to a maintenance application schedule of 2-4 times per year.
A Healthy 'Heaven Scent' Hibiscus Bush