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Protecting Your Hibiscus Tree from Insects and Other Problems

Many home gardeners have lost a hibiscus tree to some of the many pests that love to feast on this tree. Others have failed to properly ready the plant for winter and also suffered a loss. Read below to learn how to protect your tree from some of the most common problems.

First of all, you should work to make sure that your hibiscus tree is as healthy as possible. The better shape that your tree is in, the more it will be able to withstand a variety of pests and other less than ideal conditions.

You should properly fertilize the plant. This will not only help with growth, but it will also make the plant stronger. Of course, you can do as much damage with chemicals as you can good.

If you are not sure how to go about properly fertilizing your hibiscus tree, get some advice from the experts at your local nursery. The reason it is best to get local advice is because they will be familiar with the particular problems in your area.

As mentioned above, hibiscus trees are very vulnerable to many types of pests. Below are treatment options for just a few of the many possible pests.


To treat for aphids, mix one tablespoon of liquid soap per gallon of water.

You can also use a high pressure hose to push the pests from the bottom of the leaves, where they tend to rest.

White Fly

Often nicknamed “dandruff”, these pests can kill your hibiscus tree if not properly treated.

While there are other treatment options available, one of the most popular is to use Orthene along with oil soap. Because these insects are quite hardy, you may need to make several applications with the mixture in order to rid the plant of white flies.

Spider Mites

Spider mites often go untreated, because they cannot be seen with the naked eye. You can, however, watch for the damage that they do.

Look for yellow spots on the top of leaves.

On the bottom of the leaves, look for bumps. 

If you think your tree is infested with spider mites, you will need to treat with a miticide. Because that will only kill mature mites, you will need to apply several applications in order to rid the tree of these pests.

Here are some other common problems that could affect the hibiscus tree:

Yellow Leaves

If you notice that the leaves of your hibiscus tree are yellow, the solution is likely related to the amount of water or fertilizer you are giving the plant.

You may need to tweak your maintenance of the plant. Yellow leaves can also be a sign of insect damage, such as with the spider mites mentioned above.

Cold Weather

These plants do NOT do well in cold weather. If an unexpected cold snap heads your way, try to protect your plant with the use of blankets, straw or mulch.


If you live in an area with cold winters, you will need to move the plants into your home or a greenhouse in order to allow them to survive the winter.

If you live in a warmer climate, protecting them in a way described above may be sufficient.

The hibiscus tree is a beautiful addition to your landscaping, but it does require a fair amount of care and attention. Pay attention to your plant and it will give you years of pleasure.



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