Container Hibiscus Plants

Hibiscus Sticky Stuff

Anonymous added on October 7, 2011 | Answered

My indoor hibiscus exudes a sticky substance. It's on its leaves and rubs off on the sliding glass patio door next to it, and is covering the floor near it. Is this from the plant or caused by bugs (I don't see any)? Can I wash it? Otherwise it is very healthy, although has not flowered in a while. We live on the East End of Long Island in New York.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 8, 2011

Insect pests that affect hibiscus plants include spider mites, mealy bugs, aphids, and whiteflies, all of which secrete what is referred to as "honeydew," the sticky substance you mention. Pinpointing the exact pest will determine its treatment but this can usually be achieved through the use of insecticidal soaps. Here are some articles relating to these insects that you may find helpful in pinpointing and treating the likley culprit:

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