The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus And Whitefly

Question: We have white fly on our hibiscus plants and we can not find anyone to tell us what we can use on them to get rid of the white fly. I really hate to remove the hisbiscus but if I can not get rid of the white fly I will have to as I don't want it to spread to my other plants and roses.

Answer: Whiteflies can be a terrible nuisance, but ripping out the garden seems a bit extreme! Wherever there are populations of bad bugs (whiteflies), there's a population of good bugs (such as lace wings) waiting in the wings - providing you don't kill the good guys off with insecticides! When the natural balance of predators is exterminated, whitefly populations can soar. Insecticidal soap is still your best defense, but the application must be thorough (undersides of leaves, especially lower leaves, and all the stems), and repeat applications are necessary. Instead of sprays I'd be inclined to release some lace wing insects or minute pirate bugs, to recapture the balance and eliminate the whiteflies. Patience and persistence will give you the upperhand in dealing with whitefly pests. Best of luck in your garden!

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