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Help for a hibiscus

stryker at ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu stryker at ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu
Tue Apr 12 08:10:46 EST 1994

In article <1994Apr11.143219.12292 at news.cs.brandeis.edu>, tabron at binah.cc.brandeis.edu writes:
>This doesn't look like a high-traffic group, but I hope someone out there is
>listening because I need some help.
>I have a hibiscus, about eight weeks in my house. In its second week it began
>to show signs of tiny (less than 1 mm) light brown bugs clustering on its
>flower buds.  The only other sign of insect activity is small _white_
>threadlike things of about the same length that occasionally show up on the
>upperside of the leaves (dead versions of the insects?) The plant is dying;
>almost all of the lower leaves have developed holes, turned brown and fallen
>off, but I see no evidence of leaf-eating or even of live moving insects on the
>I tried treating the plant with a systemic poison (Dragon) but it has had no
>effect despite repeated doses. The poison is toxic to humans as well so I don't
>wish to continue using it; besides, it smells like hell and doesn't seem to
>have done a damn thing about the bugs, which now cluster so thickly over the
>buds that they form almost a contiguous layer.
>I would just toss this plant but today, like a heroic last stand, the poor
>thing actually bloomed again. The blossom is slightly paler than pre-bug
>blossoms; I don't know if that's an effect of the poison, the bugs, or some
>lack of water or food (I have been watering and feeding it but perhaps not
>enough lately.)
>Though it's lost a lot of leaves it is still forming flower buds.
>Can someone help me and my poor hibiscus? I can wash the bugs off the buds but
>in two days they're back just as thickly.  Is there something nontoxic I can
>spray on the buds to discourage the insects? Does anyone know what these
>insects _are_? (They look a little like scale but are paler and move around.)
>Looking forward hopefully to a response,
>Judith L. Tabron
>Brandeis University

Try spraying your plant with a dilute soap solution.  Bugs don't like the soap.  
Or try a dilute tobasco solution in water.  I haven't tried the tobasco but
people have told me it works.

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