House Plants/whiteflies on hibiscus
"Tree Hibiscus" bought for granddaughter's wedding last summer from Lowes. Not re-potted by me. Brought inside to overwinter. I live in NE Ohio. Plant is in a cool room, in the east window beside the heat vent. Clay pot is 12" across the top. About a week ago I noticed tiny white-winged insects flying around when I disturbed the leaves. Now the flies are flying all around the room, trying to get out the windows. This is the only plant in this room but I have other plants in another room. I don't want the white-flies to spread to my other plants indoors and I don't want to infest the outside (if it isn't already). How do I get rid of the flies that are flying around the room and what do I do with the hibiscus?
Whiteflies are best treated at night when they are less inclined to fly about when disturbed. If you have a hand vacuum, use that first to vacuum the winged adults that are on the leaves. Then use a solution of soapy water (use liquid dish soap) in a spray bottle and thoroughly spray all leaf and stem surfaces until they are dripping wet. If temps are above freezing, I suggest you do this outside because the spray drip is messy. Doing this outside will also keep the whiteflies from flying about in your house. Those that leave your Hibiscus will not survive long in the cold outdoors. Those that stay on the plant will be killed by direct contact with the soap spray.
If you are really thorough with your spray treatment, it should not be necessary to re-spray. However, do be vigilant for signs of live whiteflies. Dead carcasses may fall from the leaves onto surfaces below, but as long as they are not flying, you are okay.
I have written an article on indoor plant pests that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com