Hibiscus = Whiteflies?

yellowthumb(5a Ontario)June 1, 2010


I always wanted a tropical hibiscus, but I am so afraid of the dreaded whiteflies. They are almost impossible to get rid of. I have many other tropical plants at home, every winter, I have to fight the spider mites and scales, but they are easier compared to the whiteflies.

My question is: Will hibiscus bring whiteflies? Even if there is no whiteflies on the plants in the first place? I am going to put the hibiscus outdoors and then bring them indoor in the fall.

Thanks for all your input.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yellowthumb, I can only tell you from my experience.


I would never buy this plant again if it kills me...Not only do they bring in that dreaded white fly that my friends dealt with for weeks indoors after they came in, but the dreaded spidermites, which are prime canidates like flys that fly to sticky paper..

Not worth it my friend....I suppose if it was a smaller specimen, easily managable, easily able to be sprayed, maybe you could give it a shot...Maybe you could even cut your plant down to the trunk like one of my friends does for the winter, because the pests can be easily controlled with very few leaves, while the plant will flush out with lots of leaves by the time you put it outdoors come next spring..

There are just certain plants that attrack pests like a magnet, that I keep completely out of the home..


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your input. I do appreciate it.
Yes, I guess it's not worth the effort. My concern is the spread of the whiteflies. Once brought in by the hibiscus, they will certainly spread like a wild fire. Well, they can fly.

I will stay away from them, those beautiful trees.



    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

YT, I've grown many hibiscus and have had to deal with whiteflies. Here's my advice: check any new plants brought in very carefully; look especially for the transparent-lookng whitefly eggs as well as obvious whiteflies. If you notice anyÂyou may never get an infestationÂspray with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water (2:1 or even 3:1) plus a few drops of dishwashing liquid soap as a surfactant. The problems arise only when you've allowed an infestation to go unchecked. I haven't had whiteflies in my (attached) greenhouse for years. The solution will also treat spider mites (spray under the leaves), mealy bugs and other pests. In the case of spider mites, spray to the point of run-off.

There's no reason you can't have great hibiscus without pests. Gary

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your great advice, now I am having an angry wife to deal with before the hibiscus.
Relationship problem

I guess that's more serious than a whitefly infection. Call it a wifefly. Cause she may be moving out leaving me and my plants behind.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Systemic Insect Killer (active ingredient Imadachloprid or something along those lines) applied 2 to 3 times a year as a soil drench will completely eliminate whiteflies, aphids, mealy, etc. The only thing it won't control is spidermites. It's completely odorless so ok for indoor use. I generally use about 1/4 cup on a 10" pot to 1/2 cup on a 18" pot. Works like a charm.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Denninmi,

That's promising.

Is the Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Systemic Insect Killer you are using the same as this one?




    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Being odorless does NOT make it safe for indoor use. Only use this product inside if the label clearly states that it is suitable for houseplants. I strongly advise against using imidacloprid inside a home or greenhouse. And don't you have a young child, yellowthumb? There is strong evidence that systemics like imidacloprid contaminates the nectar and pollen of flowering plants, creating a real problem for pollinators.

Your hibiscus will be a target for certain pests, no doubt about it. Even if your plant was completely free of hidden eggs or nymphs, the adults will find the plants when you put them outside.

Gary has some good advice to follow if you are inclined to jump into the battle. I'm with Mike on whether or not it's worth it, though, lol. Good luck to you and let us know what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 4:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Rhizo,

Good concern. It's a powerful poison no matter what.

But in their label, they say you actually can treat indoor plants, you just have to treat them outdoors and wait for them to be dry.

But it's hard to resist the beauty of a Hibiscus in full bloom, especially the double ones. I am kind of debating to myself right now. I have a spare bedroom facing west that nobody lives in. Maybe I could overwinter this only Hibiscus in that room, no other plants so no infections. And if I treat the Hibiscus now, there are still close to 5 months that I bring it indoors. The poison should be minimal. I guess I will wait and see.



    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

I have used the Bayer product on hanging plants that are outdoors during the summer, but after weighing the pros and cons.....I'm inclined to agree w/rhizo on it's use on indoor plants.

It's NOT formulated for indoor use, and therefore no one is certain as to whether it's safe to use indoors or not.

Seems that all such things these days, (I'll use prescription drugs as an example) are often INITIALLY deemed safe, only to discover, years later, that people have suffered health problems due to their use.

Even many pesticide products that were deemed safe years ago, have, in recent years, been discovered to cause health problems in those that have used them.

With that said, I'm imagining the possible health effects of a product that's not even recommended for use in containers indoors. The worst of this is, you may not be aware of the ill effects until YEARS later.

I've decided that I'd prefer the 'test subjects' not be myself or my family.

Though I haven't grown a Hibiscus indoors in several years, when I did, honestly, mine never had a single whitefly.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:53AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Peperomia "Rosso"
I bought this plant recently....does anyone else have...
Fiddle Leaf Fig & Baby Jade help...
I've had this fiddle leaf fig for about a year. Why...
Can i repot a pothos by sticking it in a larger pot and adding soil?
I have some pothos that are in 4 inch pots. I need...
Pachira browning
Hi, all! My Pachira needs help. The trunk is not soft...
Dying Calathea Plant
Hello all! I have recently started getting interested...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™