The Q&A Archives: hibiscus buds

Question: I have 4 hibiscus bushes. 2 are in pots and 2 planted in the ground. I keep finding the unopened buds on the ground or in the pots. Is this caused from a bug or maybe squirrels?
Thank you

Answer: I think the damage is being caused by a bud worm. Inspect the fallen buds and I'll bet you will find a little hole in each. Adult moths lay their eggs on the unopened bud, the little worm hatches and burrows into the bud, then feasts on the unopened flower. When they've eaten their fill they exit the bud and go down to the soil to pupate. Then they emerge as adults and lay their eggs on unopened buds. Begin by removing the fallen buds from the garden and then raking the soil beneath the shrubs to expose the pupating pests. There's not much else you can do to discourage them.

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