Aphids can easily destroy the beautiful flowers in your garden, and they can be a big problem for plants like hibiscus. So how do you get rid of aphids on hibiscus?
How to Remove Aphids from Hibiscus
Removing aphids from your hibiscus plants can often seem like a big task, but there are easy ways to do this. Let’s have a look below at some simple ways to drive away or kill any aphids that are inhabiting your hibiscus.
Hose Them Off
A simple way to knock aphids off their host plant is to spray them with a hose. Aphids are not very strong, and with enough pressure, they can be knocked to the floor and consequently washed away from your plant by the stream of water that follows.
Remember to spray the underside of leaves, too, to make sure that you remove any aphid eggs.
Use Neem oil
Neem oil is a naturally produced insecticide that can be used to kill aphids. You can buy neem oil sprays quite easily, although some brands add extra chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so be careful which ones you buy.
This spray can kill aphids, and it is said to be most effective when it is sprayed on plants in the early morning when temperatures are still quite low.
Use Essential Oils
Aphids dislike essential oils, and many can be harmful or fatal to them. These essential oils include rosemary oil and lavender oil. You should not apply essential oil directly to your plants as it can damage them.
Instead, you need to make a spray solution with diluted essential oils that is safe to apply to your plants.
This may seem odd, but garlic actually works as an aphid deterrent. These smelly herbs repel aphids, and planting them has been known to drive aphids away. If you plant garlic close to your hibiscus plants, then they should remain free of aphids.
Although, if they are desperate, some aphids may return to the hibiscus despite the off-putting garlic.
Use Biological Control
Biological control involves controlling the number of aphids using biological means, aka employing aphid predators. Some primary aphid predators are ladybugs and lacewing larvae. Releasing these two species into your garden will greatly reduce the number of aphids as they eat masses every day.
You can try to make your garden more attractive to these insects, or you can alternatively purchase them. Many biological control suppliers distribute ladybugs and lacewing larvae as a way of controlling aphids.
Which Aphids Live on Hibiscus?
Whilst there are quite a few plants that are only inhabited by one species of aphids, hibiscus plants are commonly seen hosting two different species of aphids.
There has been speculation that there are more than these two species which will dwell on hibiscus but due to misidentification, this has not been confirmed. So, we will just focus on looking at the two species which are confirmed inhabitants of this plant.
These aphids are sometimes known as cotton aphids and can be black or sometimes dark yellow in colour. As well as hibiscus plants, they will commonly inhabit fruit plants including melons, cucumbers and watermelons.
They take sap from the leaves of hibiscus so can quickly stunt the growth of any growing hibiscus flowers.
Green Citrus Aphids
Green citrus aphids are usually green or sometimes yellow in colour. Primary host plants of this aphid are citrus trees and apple trees but where these are not present, the green citrus aphid will instead inhabit hibiscus plants.
They are often misidentified as being a different species of aphid which makes mapping their range quite difficult and it has led to confusion as to whether these aphids can actually be found in the UK or not.
To sum up, here are some key points on how to get rid of aphids on hibiscus. Aphids can be easily removed from hibiscus by using water or they can be deterred by garlic.
You can use neem oil or essential oils to kill aphids or alternatively procure natural aphid predators such as ladybugs and lacewing larvae.
The aphids you are most likely to find inhabiting your hibiscus plants are the Melon aphid and the Green Citrus aphid.