Hibiscus forum: Aphids on hibiscus wintering indoors?

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Name: NancyB
Minnesota (Zone 4b)
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nben
Jan 28, 2017 3:15 PM CST
My friend has a potted hibiscus that he moved inside from an outdoor balcony in the fall (Minneapolis, Zone 4B). Until now, the plant has been doing very well; it dropped a few leaves, but also put on some new growth and has bloomed a few times. Suddenly, the buds are covered with aphids. What should he do? He does not want to spray chemicals inside his apartment. (I can keep things alive and prospering in my gardens outside but I murder houseplants, so I thought I should ask the experts for some advice.)
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
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Xeramtheum
Jan 29, 2017 12:45 PM CST
You can just rub them off with a small stiff paintbrush or your fingers. Make sure to check under the leaves as well.
"The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

G'Kar
Name: NancyB
Minnesota (Zone 4b)
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nben
Jan 30, 2017 3:53 PM CST
Thanks for your reply Anne -- I appreciate it.
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Cat Lover Greenhouse Tropicals Bulbs
Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus Hybridizer Garden Sages Butterflies
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Xeramtheum
Jan 30, 2017 4:46 PM CST
Any time! That's what we're all here for! Wanted to add that your friend could 'paint' on some insecticide with the brush after getting the aphids off instead of spraying.
"The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

G'Kar
[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Jan 30, 2017 8:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 31, 2017 12:49 PM CST
I usually rub them off, but mine is now about 6 ft tall, so I use the Safer Soap spray on them.
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Name: NancyB
Minnesota (Zone 4b)
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nben
Jan 31, 2017 7:55 PM CST
Thank you Karen! I'll pass that tip along.
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll

Pimpchef5000
Feb 15, 2017 2:35 PM CST
Howdy, I am a Horticulturalist and a Hibiscus lover. I currently have over 37 different cultivars of tropical Hibiscus that I have to bring into the house every fall.

I have encountered this problem a few times over the years. Other than hauling them into a bathroom and hosing them down every few days, pruning off the infected growth, or treating them with an insecticidal soap (which can be organic and non-harmful to plants, animals, or childeren) I choose to use biological controls. Such as Lady Bird Beetles or Predatorial Lacewings, which can be purchased at some local nurseries or on line. The Lady Bird Beetles have always treated me right, if you can get past them flying around your house for a couple of months.

Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Feb 19, 2017 7:17 PM CST
Interesting! I've never tried the ladybugs indoors, but they work well in my greenhouse. I usually just use the Safer's soap or do the bathtub wash down.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: NancyB
Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Dog Lover Cat Lover Daylilies Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hostas
Annuals Lilies Container Gardener Birds Hummingbirder Region: Minnesota
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nben
Feb 21, 2017 1:03 PM CST
Thank you, Pimpchef5000! (Can't type that name without giggling ...) I'm impressed that you bring in so many hibiscus to overwinter indoors! As I mentioned in my initial post, I can't keep indoor plants alive, despite having very successful outdoor gardens. My friend lives in an apartment that has a balcony, which is where the hibiscus lived last summer. Although he might be game for the Lady Bird Beetles outside, I wonder if they would just leave for greener pastures? Would one potted hibiscus tempt a few to stay? I'll pass along your info to him; just a few days ago I loaned him some pruning shears to prune off the infected growth, so I guessed that part right, just based on what I'd do with my own plants outside. You are very kind to reply to my question -- sorry it took me so long to see it!
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll

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