The Q&A Archives: perennial hibiscus in Wisconsin

Question: My hibiscus is thriving, has many buds, but some of the leaves look like lace. Either I have some type of pest or a plant disease. Please help?

Answer: A number of different types of caterpillars feed on hibiscus leaves so unless you can identify them, it's best not to treat your plant to control them. Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and of moths. While the moths may not be welcome in your garden, butterflies should certainly be!. Try to find one of the caterpillars (look on the undersides of the leaves.) If they are butterfly larvae, you probably won't want to control them. If you find no caterpillars at all, they've already left the area and all you're left with is damaged leaves. Your hibiscus will soon drop these damaged leaves and grow new ones.

Best wishes with your garden!

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