hibiscus stopped blooming after spraying with detergent
I have a tree shaped hibiscus, which bloomed a lot last summer. This summer it bloomed in the spring and when the aphids attacked it, I sprayed with a kitchen detergent. No blooms since. The stems are strong and color dark green - but no blooms. What should I do?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
How much detergent did you use? Too much can actually be detrimental to the plant. Most recipes recommend using two teaspoons of dish detergent per quart of water (or 2 tbsp to 1 gal). Depending on how long it's been since you applied the detergent and if it was recent, you could try hosing the plant down to offset the detergent effects. Adding some bone meal to the soil around your plant may help encourage blooming but otherwise, you may simply have to wait and see what the plant does.
In the future, try using neem oil. I have found that nothing works better than this for controlling aphids. Here is more information on it: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm