The Rose of Sharon bush (Hibiscus syriacus) is a plant in the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae).
The Hibiscus syriacus has many benefits, which is why it is so important to protect it from pests like aphids!
It is native to Asia and can grow up to 15′ feet high with low-branching pyramidal growth.
Additionally, its flowers display various colors, from white, pink, lavender, and purple, with a crimson color base.
The Rose of Sharon is more than just a beautiful plant. It also has many beneficial and traditional uses.
The Rose of Sharon can be used in culinary dishes or medicine, as the leaves are a natural diuretic, expectorant, and stomachic. Easily transform the Rose of Sharon’s bark as cordage, paper, or dye!
In this article, we will share some tips and tricks on how to get rid of aphids and the Niesthrea louisianica (scentless plant bug) on your Rose of Sharon.
Related Question: How To Kill Aphids on Roses
Aphids Feed On Rose Of Sharon Plants
Aphids are tiny, soft-body insects that feed by sucking nutrients out of plant tissues.
An aphid population can multiply quickly. A large infestation can cause widespread devastation to any garden.
These insects can be green, white, black, brown, gray, yellow, or pink.
Most have long antennae and two cornicles projecting from their hind. Most are wingless. But, in large aphid populations, some will grow wings and move to nearby plants.
There are different types of aphid species. Some common aphids to look out for that feed on Rose of Sharon include the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae), green peach aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae), and the melon cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii).
What Damage Do Aphids Cause Rose of Sharon?
While aphids do not physically chew or bite plants, but, they are still a pest. They insert a piercing mouth into the plant leaf or stem and feed off the nutrients inside.
Aphids leave behind a sticky honeydew that attracts ants and other insects. The honeydew can also trap fungus spores, leading to fungal infections, rot, and mold for the plant.
These pests are not harmful to humans but can be devastating to plants and gardens. Aphids can spread diseases and viruses between plants, attract harmful insects, and flowers and fruit can become distorted and deformed.
Check your Rose of Sharon for:
- Misshapen, stunted, yellowing leaves
- Sticky surfaces
- Distorted and deformed flowers
- Clusters of tiny bugs on leaves or stems
If your Hibiscus syriacus is suffering, look for an aphid problem.
How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Rose of Sharon Plants
If aphids are invading your Rose of Sharon plants, don’t worry, they are easy to eliminate. Remove and control aphids in your garden with natural and chemical methods.
The scentless plant bug (Niesthrea louisianica) feeds on the seeds of Rose of Sharon.
Get Rid of Aphids Naturally
There are several ways to treat Rose of Sharon plants naturally for aphids.
The first option is to spray your Rose of Sharon with water. Spray with enough force to dislodge the aphids but not harm the plant. Use a garden hose or a spray bottle.
Once the aphids have dislodged, they will have a hard time finding their way back. If you use a spray bottle, mix some dish soap with the water.
Spray plants every two to three days for two weeks until the pests are gone.
Another natural option is to dust your plants with flour. Flour can constipate aphids. Be sure to dust under the leaves too.
Diatomaceous earth is also a non-toxic dusting option. Do not use this when your Rose of Sharon is in bloom. Diatomaceous earth can harm pollinators.
Insecticidal Soap and Neem oil are also excellent natural control options.
Birds are also a great way to control aphids. Introduce areas where birds can hang out and enjoy the free pest control.
Get Rid of Aphids Chemically
Treat your Rose of Sharon with a safe pesticide to get rid of aphids. If you do not have animals or children around that have access to your Rose of Sharon, pesticides are a great option.
They can kill aphids quickly and are more potent than most natural methods.
Look for formulations that include malathion, permethrin, acephate, or imidacloprid.
Use pesticides sparingly, as they can harm pollinators and cause environmental problems when overused. Always do your research when considering using a pesticide.