Something is eating all the lower leaves off my recently planted Hibiscus bushes. What can I use to stop this? We cannot buy any pesticides or fertilizer until the rainy season is over in October, so what should I spray on the plants? I have tried soapy water and it didn't work. When is a good time to trim these plants back, as they are looking kind of scrawny and need to fill out a bit, and how much should I cut them? They are young plants, about 3 or 4 feet tall. I don't know what is eating them cause I don't see anything and a neighbor thought it was caterpillars.
Pests on Hibiscus Bush
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would recommend using neem oil spray. It will take care of most insect pests and is perfectly safe. Additionally, if you suspect caterpillars, you can use Bt, which is natural as well and great for controlling these types of pests. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/problems/pests/neem-oil-uses.htm
As for pruning the hibiscus, this is normally done in spring. This article will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/hibiscus/tips-for-pruning-hibiscus-plants-when-to-prune-hibiscus.htm