Giant white Hibiscus plants

Whitefly Egg Mass on Hibiscus Leaf.

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

To see if you have whiteflies, all you have to do is shake your hibiscus plant. Whiteflies feed on the underside of leaves, and a good shake of the main stem will send them flying out in a cloud of visible white flying insects. They will fly off for a short time only to settle back down on the same plant or a nearby one. They are bright white in color but otherwise look and fly more or less like small houseflies. As they feed and reproduce on the host plant they excrete a sweet honeydew that is quite sticky to the touch. Black sooty mold spores land on this honeydew and grow there, covering the leaves with black mold. This mold does not attack the plant but is very unsightly and blocks the sunlight from the leaf it is growing on. It does wash off with forceful water sprays although it may require some scrubbing to remove it completely. A soap and oil mixture, such as our Clean Leaf Spray can help remove the mess off you leaves, followed by a thorough spraying on all sides of the leaves with water with a hose or a BugBlaster.


A Bad Whitefly Infestation on a Hibiscus,
Leaves Covered with White Wax and Honeydew

The Giant Whitefly can be detected in the same way as the other whitefly species, but if it is not caught early the signs of it will become impossible to ignore. Spirals of white wax will be deposited on your hibiscus by adult whiteflies as they walk on leaves. When populations of the giant whitefly reach high levels, the insects and their waxy deposits can be seen on both upper and lower leaf surfaces. Eggs are often laid among the wax deposits. After hatching, the nymphs produce long, hairlike filaments of wax up to 2 inches long that give a bearded appearance to affected leaves. The overall result of all this wax production is a messy, dirty appearance and a weakened plant.

Whitefly Mess on HibiscusHow 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.

Since whiteflies have such a wide range of hosts it is important to inspect all the plants in your garden and to treat all that have whitefly infestations. In some cases it is most effective to treat all plants in an area, whether they show whitefly signs or not. Before pesticides are used, it is possible to drive whiteflies away by forceful water sprays. We have done this successfully when the whiteflies have recently infested a plant and are not well established. You can also slow down an invasion by removing and disposing of the individual leaves that the whiteflies are feeding on. However, once the infestation is established, more effective measures are called for. One is spraying the leaves top and bottom with soap and oil mixtures, such as Clean Leaf. Not only does this help clean the leaves, but it smothers and dehydrates any insects that are sprayed directly by the mixture.

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 new, and relatively non-toxic pest control product, Bayer Tree & Shrub, 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.


1075-A *NEW* GIANT TEXAS STAR HIBISCUS "RED & WHITE MIX"* 10 seeds*RARE*SHOWY*#1075-A
Lawn & Patio (1075-A)
  • *Hey, this is not your regular, everyday run of the mill Hibiscus*
  • They are a hardy and easy to grow plant and they can be used to accent any garden area.
  • GIANT TEXAS STAR HIBISCUS RED & WHITE MIX is spectacular as a quick summer hedge or a border standout, with 8 to 10 Blooms
  • * We offer combine shipping ALL OVER THE WORLD
  • * EASY TO GERMINATE *Plants are Simply Stunning!

Mmmmm, I'd love some right now.

2005-06-12 12:26:35 by AliasJones

I've got to try white tea and rooibus this week if possible. Antioxidents are always welcome by me.
In the hibiscus tea blend from Peet's they have hibiscus leaves, rosehips,lemon grass, chamomile flowers and cinnamon stick. I'm thinking about trying to duplicate it because I can get big bags of dried hibiscus leaves at Smart and Final and the rest should be fairly easy to come by. I'm making it for a friend who shouldn't have sugared drinks so I'll use stevia or another artificial sweetener in the lemonade part.


You might also like:

Flower Girl Dress White | Flower …
Flower Girl Dress White | Flower …

Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 1.8.14  — Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The Chief: Jerry, Flower not getting picked for the Canadian Team, may be a blessing in disguise as he continues to be sent out every night. .. And they care deeply about it.

Australia v England, first one-day international: January 12, 2014  — Telegraph.co.uk
Email giles.mole@telegraph.co.uk with all your thoughts on today's match and the answer to these questions: do you care for ODI cricket? Have England got ...

Seeds and Things Seeds and Things Hibiscus Kenaf False Cannabinus giant 10 Seeds
Lawn & Patio (Seeds and Things)
  • In 150 days it may reach 18
  • Great Natural Screen
  • Faster than Bamboo
1140 **15 TEXAS STAR RED-WHITE HIBISCUS SEEDS*SHOWY* #1140
Lawn & Patio (1140)
  • RARE
  • FAST GROWING
  • Perennial,
  • EASY TO GROW
  • FRAGRANT

Related posts: