Aphids can damage the beautiful flowers of hibiscus as well as the plant. Getting rid of them should be your first priority when you notice them. Gardenerdy gives tips to get rid of aphids and bugs on hibiscus.
Hibiscus is the best known tropical flowering shrub in the world. It comes in various colors―single as well as double-petaled, native and hybrid strains, such that one is spoiled for choice. The genus includes annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. They are very popular among gardeners and herbalist tea makers. Their growth requires minimal care and maintenance. Some training to prune them and pest control among other things is all they need. Among all the pests that infect this plant, aphids should be dealt with immediately. Aphids or plant lice are nasty, small, soft-bodied, plant-eating insects. They are extremely destructive in nature and are found on cultivated plants in temperate climates. There are about 4,400 species of aphids, and they may be green, yellow, white, brown, red or black, depending on the species and the plants they feed on.
Plants affected by any kind of aphids needs to be removed. You will find them close to the top of the stems and on and around the hibiscus flower buds. They secrete a sticky fluid known as honeydew on parts of the plant they infect, promoting the growth of black sooty mold fungus. Aphids feed on hibiscus using their needle-like mouth parts, by rupturing vessels that carry water, carbohydrates, and proteins, which plants use. This black color should help one easily identify the presence of aphids. Unchecked, these pests can spread quickly, infecting more parts of the plant. The black soot does not let sunlight penetrate through the infected part. Without adequate sunlight, hibiscus plants cannot use its pigment―chlorophyll for the process of photosynthesis, thereby, depriving it of food and other vital nutrients required for growth. This eventually weakens the plant and kills it, or damages the quality of flowers produced.
There are different ways in which one can use for killing aphids. They seem to infect the plant more in winters, so ensure proper sunlight and air circulation for the plants. They curl and yellow the leaves, flower and stems colonize, so the first thing that needs to be done is to prune away all affected plant parts, leaves along with the offending insects. If the infestation is severe, try spraying. While purchasing hibiscus from nurseries, check thoroughly for any infected part.
● Insecticides meant specifically for aphids should be sprayed straight onto the infected part. Hose it down completely.
● A strong flush of water will dislodge some and kill some.
● You can also make a soapy water solution at home by putting 2 tablespoons of any hand wash or detergent in 1 gallon of water, and spray it on them. The chemicals present in most detergents will destroy them. As this solution is not harsh to the plants, continue spraying until all aphids have been eliminated. Rinse off with plain water after an hour or two.
● Hibiscus does not tolerate too many insecticides and fertilizers. So don’t spray insecticides in excess; it will damage the plant, whereas over-fertilizing the plant will make it more susceptible to aphids.
● A chemical known as imidacloprid is also used for getting rid of aphids. It is used as a soil treatment, from where it enters the hibiscus through the roots, and is then circulated within the phloem vessels of the plants. This chemical interferes with the insect’s nervous system by causing a blockage to the stimuli transmission. As a result, aphids die. Before using this chemical, one should study its effects as well, as they are toxic and have the potential for ground and surface water contamination.
Aphids can damage your plant and make your beautiful hibiscus look really sad. So, get rid of them before they travel to other plants in the vicinity.