Crystals on Hibiscus stems and leaves


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Hello. I have been growing some tropical hibiscus in an indoor grow tent. All of them have these little crystal like excretions on the stems and underside of leaves. They can be popped and have a wet sticky residue. No sign of any parasites.
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Is this an indication I'm doing something wrong?
 
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I don't see any insects but that clear sticky stuff is called honeydew. It is the excretion of insects such as aphids, scale,whitefly etc. I would spray with a spinosad based insecticide.
 
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I've never seen any insects/pests and these plants have done this for their entire life. Can these be excretions from the plant??
 
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I have never ever seen hibiscus with that type of leaf, although it does looks almost identical to a cousin of hibiscus, okra. Anyway since you said there zero insects I did a little research and found out that at times hibiscus does secrete a clear liquid during transpiration, but only from the tip of the leaf. The following links are self explanatory



As you can see there is no similarity between your photos and of Tropical Hibiscus although there is a likeness between Flowering Okra and your pictures.

But back to the secretions. IMO it is an insect causing it, more than likely Thrips insects. Thrips insects are very very tiny and you really need a magnifying glass to actually see them. Not being there I can't say exactly who is sucking on your plant but just to make sure I killed every one I would spray first with Neem Oil to help kill the insects and to kill the eggs. Then I would spray with a spinosad based insecticide to kill the insects
 
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I too thought the plants looked odd. They are from seeds I ordered from the WISH app. LOL!! Many came from Asian countries and some from the Netherlands. All the seeds looked like hibiscus seeds but I'm sure many seeds look alike. Itll be interesting to see if they flower and what they grow out to look like:)

I do have neem oil and have used it from time to time in the past. I dont think my plants are growing as fast and vigorously as they should be and I've struggled with finding the problem in the past. Before I saw your post recommending the neem oil I had already sprayed the plants that have any honeydew with the product in the pic. Should I now spray with neem oil or just let them be for a while. In that grow tent I also have a few Rose's and many hardy hibiscus growing out from seeds as well. Should I treat all the plants in the tent?? The hardy hibiscus arent doing great either but they have no honeydew or visible parasites. I thought maybe the plants werent doing well because I was overwatering.
 

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I too thought the plants looked odd. They are from seeds I ordered from the WISH app. LOL!! Many came from Asian countries and some from the Netherlands. All the seeds looked like hibiscus seeds but I'm sure many seeds look alike. Itll be interesting to see if they flower and what they grow out to look like:)

I do have neem oil and have used it from time to time in the past. I dont think my plants are growing as fast and vigorously as they should be and I've struggled with finding the problem in the past. Before I saw your post recommending the neem oil I had already sprayed the plants that have any honeydew with the product in the pic. Should I now spray with neem oil or just let them be for a while. In that grow tent I also have a few Rose's and many hardy hibiscus growing out from seeds as well. Should I treat all the plants in the tent?? The hardy hibiscus arent doing great either but they have no honeydew or visible parasites. I thought maybe the plants werent doing well because I was overwatering.
If it is thrips or some variety of mite they also live in the soil and they will infest everything. Make a drench out of the neem and water all of your plants from the top down to kill the eggs. Also spray all of your plants with spinosad. If you bought seeds online from Asia what you have is called flowering okra (Sunset Hibiscus), Asains eat just about everything off of the plant. It is a vine type plant that will get about 6 ft. tall and 3 or 4 ft wide. It isn't like regular okra where you eat the pods. The pods stay very small. Get rid of that weed and feed garbage. It's NPK is miniscule at best and the herbicides may damage your plant. The insecticide in the stuff is a pyrethroid. It only kills by contact and has no residual effect nor does it kill eggs. I see no signs of over or underwatering. This is a zone 8-12 plant and will not tolerate cold weather at all. Please update your profile and let all of us know your location and hardiness zone
 
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Thank you so much!! Ill update my profile.

How do I make a drench with the neem oil?
 
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Thank you so much!! Ill update my profile.

How do I make a drench with the neem oil?
Just mix 2 oz. of neem in a gallon of water and pour it all around the base of the plant and to the edge of the pot.
 
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I bought some larger hibiscus from a retailer about 9 months ago and I've noticed that they seem to have burnt tips on the new growth. Is this parasites as well??

Do you have a recommendation of a brand of spinosad formula? Or where to get it.

Cant find where to update my profile. I'm in central Wisconsin. Zone 4.

Greatly appreciate your help!!
 

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I bought some larger hibiscus from a retailer about 9 months ago and I've noticed that they seem to have burnt tips on the new growth. Is this parasites as well??

Do you have a recommendation of a brand of spinosad formula? Or where to get it.

Cant find where to update my profile. I'm in central Wisconsin. Zone 4.

Greatly appreciate your help!!
It is either thrips or improper watering. Thrips usually go for blooms and that is the type of damage they do to them. Spinosad comes in a lot of brand names. Captain Jacks, Green Light, Monterrey etc. Just look at the ingredients and make sure spinosad is the active ingredient. Click on your name in the dark green line, go to account details and fill in the boxes.
 
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It is either thrips or improper watering. Thrips usually go for blooms and that is the type of damage they do to them. Spinosad comes in a lot of brand names. Captain Jacks, Green Light, Monterrey etc. Just look at the ingredients and make sure spinosad is the active ingredient. Click on your name in the dark green line, go to account details and fill in the boxes.

Thank you! I'll get some spinosad tomorrow. Many of the blossoms have fallen off before opening but I wasnt sure why. Just thought maybe it's the wrong time of year for blossoms and the plant just dropped them. How often should I use the spinosad and neem oil??
I'll do the neem oil drench in the AM when they need watering.
 
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Thank you! I'll get some spinosad tomorrow. Many of the blossoms have fallen off before opening but I wasnt sure why. Just thought maybe it's the wrong time of year for blossoms and the plant just dropped them. How often should I use the spinosad and neem oil??
I'll do the neem oil drench in the AM when they need watering.
Once a week until no trace of insects or damage is seen
 
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Just looking at the one hibiscus that seems to be doing the best and found these guys. Opened up the new growth leaf and there they were. Also a bit of a web. Spidermites?? This leaf they're on is about a half inch long.
Just looking at the one hibiscus that seems to be doing the best and found these guys. Opened up the new growth leaf and there they were. Also a bit of a web. Spidermites?? This leaf they're on is about a half inch long.
I don't think they are spider mites but whatever they are you treat them the same way. Drench and Spray. And they will be on every plant your have, even if you can't see them.
 
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Thank you again. Had you not mentioned it I wouldnt have looked at the plants so closely and wouldnt have found the parasites. I gave everything a good spray of neem oil and tomorrow I'll do a drench and get spinosad. Thank you so much!!
 
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I posted on another forum quite a while back and they said my use of the neem oil was causing the problems:( Could have had this all fixed a long time ago.
 
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I don't think they are spider mites but whatever they are you treat them the same way. Drench and Spray. And they will be on every plant your have, even if you can't see them.
Thanks again for all of your help Chuck. Ordering Spinosad on Friday - cant find it locally. One of my larger hibiscus now has several yellow and yellowing leaves. Is this a symptom of the parasites or something else you think?? All of my larger hibiscus have been slowly losing leaves since last fall and I thought maybe that was a wintering process. Since I did the 3in1 spray and neem oil last weekend this guy developed several more yellow leaves much quicker than it had been. The others look unchanged but they have all been dropping leaves all winter long. Is it normal for hibiscus to drop leaves all winter long then fluff up when the temp warms up? I thought I'd be negating any wintering effect by having them in my little grow hut all winter but I'm likely wrong. I thought I knew how to take care of plants until I got some hibiscus:(

Jeremy
 

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I posted on another forum quite a while back and they said my use of the neem oil was causing the problems:( Could have had this all fixed a long time ago.
The only problem with Neem AFAIK is that it will burn plants if used in the hot afternoons.
 
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Thanks again for all of your help Chuck. Ordering Spinosad on Friday - cant find it locally. One of my larger hibiscus now has several yellow and yellowing leaves. Is this a symptom of the parasites or something else you think?? All of my larger hibiscus have been slowly losing leaves since last fall and I thought maybe that was a wintering process. Since I did the 3in1 spray and neem oil last weekend this guy developed several more yellow leaves much quicker than it had been. The others look unchanged but they have all been dropping leaves all winter long. Is it normal for hibiscus to drop leaves all winter long then fluff up when the temp warms up? I thought I'd be negating any wintering effect by having them in my little grow hut all winter but I'm likely wrong. I thought I knew how to take care of plants until I got some hibiscus:(

Jeremy
Hard to say what's wrong but I can see some of the other leaves beginning to yellow and have green veins. You may have an iron deficiency.
 
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