something is eating my hibiscus

by toni
(ne GA)

i have 3 hibiscus. brought in to over winter. in Dec, plant was still flowering inside, but then notice flower gone. took pics to zoom in and determined had a bug. researched it and found them to be thrips. bought insecticide to kill as it started eating the leaves once no flower.

Treated a few times and saw no more evidence of physical larvae or adult winged ones.

Leaves continued to disappear and became naked branches, with new sprouts disappearing quickly. bought advanced rose and flower insect killer and insect and disease killer to treat soil and external plant. still no evidence of physical bug but 1 plant especially continues to be "chewed on" even going as deep as internal stem exposure. I have bought some neem oil to try next as I would like the hibiscus to make it for spring. see pics. I live in NE GA. I think plant zone 7

Comments for something is eating my hibiscus

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Feb 12, 2022
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Unfortunately, all this type of tropical flowering plants seem to have this issue when brought indoors for the winter.

The best advice I can give you is to stop poisoning your home and just whack the branches all off at around three to five inches above the soil line. Spray with insecticidal soap, and keep a close eye on things. Spring isn't far off now, so if the plant can hang in there until May when it can get punted outdoors for the summer again, all good.

Alternatively, grow these plants as annuals and don't try to overwinter them, just discard them at the end of the season.

Good luck with it!

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