aucircle
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Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 9:39 pm
Location: Auburn, Alabama

Hibiscus - Bugs eating my Flowers!!

Hi! It's the newbie again... My hibiscus produces one or more flowers at least every other day so I have to think I can at least grow this flower. However, I went out of town over the weekend and left my husband to care for everything and I noticed last night that one of my flowers had holes in it like a bug had been eating. I was deadheading it today (three dead blooms right next to one another) and when I pulled one away I saw what looked almost like a stink bug folded up in one of the flowers. Now this afternoon I have noticed that it is on one of my new blooms from this morning. What is it and what can I do? I consider this my one little prize winner and I am so proud of it. I have heard the trick of putting beer in a cup to attract slugs and it does work - but this bug is bigger and different, would the beer work? I live in AL and the plant is sitting on my patio next to my shrubs, geraniums, and marigolds which don't appear to have any damage

Also, when I bought it this year it had one big red blossom but now it has morphed into the peach but still produces a red flower that does not at all resemble a hibiscus to me. It almost looks like a triple - it is one big bulky flower but the little stamen(hope I am using the correct term here) is barely visible under all of the petals? What type of hibiscus i this?

Thank you for your answers in advance!

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Grey
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Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

I wonder if your hibiscus was grafted to produce that color? Odd that it would change that much!

There IS a double-blooming, peachy-colored varieity of hibiscus, I had them in Florida.

Not sure what the bug is without seeing a photo - I think it could be too early for Japanese Beetles but see if this is your critter here:
https://www.pbase.com/wtracyparnell/image/31025740

aucircle
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Location: Auburn, Alabama

Absolutely that is my guy

Honestly, I was a little too scared to get that close, not being such a bug person myself, but got close enough for me to say for positive that is him. If I could post pictures I would love to because the flower is the oddest thing and not at all like any hibiscus I have seen but I will have my peach normal flower and my red whatever blooming at the same time. And now it appears this bug hibernating in each!
What do I do?

opabinia51
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Some things that you can do to detur insect herbivory are:

1) Plant other flowers that will attract insects that will eat your pests (check out the beneficial insects thread in the organic forum)

2) Plant your flowers with companion plants that will allow the flowers to grow much more healthily and will be able to detur herivory themselves

3) Beef up your soil with lots of good compost and other organic ammendments like well rotted manure, kelp meal, liquid organic fertilizers and so on to make your plants that more robust

4) A weekly dose of neem oil as a misting.

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Grey
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I planted Dill around my tomatoes and eggplant this year because I read somewhere that Japanese beetles do not care for Dill. Other than that, the best control is to pick them off and squash them.

DO NOT use any pesticides. These things seem to be resistant to many of them, and the pesticides kill off the good insects that might actually eat these things. I have a neighbor about 2 blocks down from me whose garden is RIDDLED with Japanese beetles. I could not get over how many were there, and yet I only have seen maybe 10 in my first year here in my garden. My neighbors do use pesticides.

aucircle
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Location: Auburn, Alabama

Thank you for the responses!

I just killed 5 on one flower. Disgusting, I guess I am infected with the things.

opabinia51
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Try neem oil, that will thwart the onslaught of insects for now. For prevention plant some high nectar flowers around to attract insects that will eat your pests.

aucircle
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Location: Auburn, Alabama

No Doubt will have 2 do

something. I think I am really infested. Maybe 5 again on the one little plant today. The one in question is potted small plant in the back. I saw them today in the front yard , the same bed/beds I posted here about before...where my dying marigolds still lie - may they rest. Anyway apparently they don't really "like" my Knockout Roses but will still go there. All of my research thus far said they prefer Rose of Sharon so maybe the Knockout is a step up in the absence...I guess I am infested and really I want to scream Why Me?? I am not anywhere, Not EVEN a bug person at all and since we moved to Auburn almost a year ago I have seen so many more than my fair share. :(

Could it be my little neighborhood is barely 2 years old and b-4 was wooded? Perhaps, the old habitat is still trying to make it work. Goodness, in the fall I saw the biggest slug/caterpillar/ who knows what in my yard only to find that they were living in my other potteed plant I brought from home! We disposed of maybe 11 living inside of the soil of my plant. I wish I would have known about this site then b/c I would have definitely posted. They were even more disgusting than these things only they didn't have all of the coping mechanisms these do and they couldn't fly.

Thank you for letting me ramble and the advice.

opabinia51
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No worries, good luck with your problem. Try to plant flowers and what not that will attract other insects and birds that will eat all of these pests that you have. Sunflowers are great for attracting birds.

I already have a lot of birds around my garden (especially robyns). Every time I turn the soil over and all the grubs come up, the robyns come in droves and gobble them all up.

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Franco
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Location: New Jersey

I had these two, they ate all my flowers.

tennis4ana
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Location: Deer Park, NY

I have the same problem, every morning and evening I check my beautiful hibiscus and killed one or two of those bugs. They seem to prefer my yellow one ( I have also 2 reds). I have the hibiscus potted in my patio, full of sun all day and they flower every day from April thru September. I love them and the flowers are huge. I'm going to try the neem oil and let you know...
Check my flowers here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30974792@N04/4729257830/

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