Container Hibiscus Plants

Braided Hibiscus Tree

Anonymous added on December 4, 2014 | Answered

For the past 4 years, we've brought our braided hibiscus tree in the house (We live in Michigan) for the winter and it has done well with no problems. This year, however, the plant is doing just as well, but we're noticing little tiny 'no see em' type bugs in the house drawn to the lights. There are no other plants in the house, so we know it's the braided hibiscus.

We have occasionally found a flower bud with black dots (bugs) and cut them off, but since being indoors this year, that has happened only once. For that problem we spray a misted mild dish soap solution on the tree and it's fine. What can we do for these pesky tiny flying bugs?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 4, 2014

It sounds as if you may have fungus gnats. They aren't harmful but they are incredibly annoying. There are several things you can do to get rid of them.

First, let the soil dry out more between waterings - fungus gnats thrive in moist soil. Use a moisture meter to check soil moisture prior to watering. You can remove the top 3" of soil, which is where they typically congregate and replace with sand. This article has some more suggestions:

In addition to these approaches, you can get some mosquito dunks, and dissolve one in a gallon of water. Put this into a spray bottle, and spray the surface of the soil only - only the top 2 or 3 inches. With a little determination, you'll be able to get rid of the pests.

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