The Q&A Archives: Aphids and White Flies

Question: I have a Brilliant Hibiscus that originally was planted outside in my yard last Spring. I was not aware at the time that this flower does not do well in cold weather. The winters here are typically in the 30's for several months. The average summer temp. is in the high 80

Answer: It sounds as though you're doing everything right. Your plant blooms in cycles and it is resting now, but as soon as it builds up its strength it will bloom again. As for the whiteflies - they are very difficult to control. I've had great success trapping them and then using Safer's Insecticidal Soap spray to kill the few remaining whiteflies. Yellow Sticky Traps placed in and above your hibiscus are an efficient way to trap the pests. They are available at garden centers, or you can make your own by spreading Tanglefoot (also available at garden centers) over bright yellow cardboard. The whiteflies are attracted to the yellow color and when they land, they get stuck. It takes a while to eliminate the entire population because the adults lay eggs which hatch into new whiteflies. It may take several weeks to several months to rid your hibiscus of these pests.

Next spring you can take your plant back outside and it should bloom its little head off. Enjoy!

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