Spider Mites? Mini Venous Orange Plant and Hiniscus

Asked February 23, 2018, 5:39 PM EST

Hello, I have 2 plants overwintering in my living room. One is a hibiscus and the other is a mini venous orange plant. I have webs on my orange tree. I treated for aphids but I think It may be spider mites. A few leaves have wholes and look like they are eaten. The leaves are mottled-looking. I have my first orange on this tree after about 4 years. The plants are very close to each other to maximize sunshine. Since the orange is infested, should I move them apart? The hibiscus has bloomed profusely until about the time that I discovered the problem with the orange tree. However, it has a lot of blooms now and is blooming again. Some of the hibiscus leaves are yellow. What causes that? One branch has lost leaves but is leafing out at the tip of the branch. What causes this? Finally, one of the hibiscus flowers (not all) has little black spots on it. What is this; mites too? I have not seen any webs on my hibiscus, yet. They are both very heavy to move. I hope you can help me to save them! Thank you,

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Isolate your plants from one another since you are dealing with sucking insects such as aphids and/or spider mites.
Looks like you are dealing with aphids on your hibiscus. They are a sucking insect which excretes a honeydew as they feed and this fosters the growth of a sooty mold. Other reasons for leaf yellowing may be too much moisture, too little moisture, changes in air temperatures, possible fertilization, etc.
See our website on aphids http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/aphids-houseplants
Aphids can be washed off the plants with water. If not effective, take outside on a warm day and spray with insecticidal soap for houseplants or a houseplant insecticide. Check the label to make sure it is safe to use on the plant and pest.
Here is a link on care of hibiscus. May need fertilizer once it starts actively growing this spring. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/houseplants/hibiscus/

Orange plant - looks like spider mites. They are a sucking insect that sucks the chlorophyll from leaves which results in fine white spots or stipples on the leaves. Heavy feeding causes yellowing, browning and eventual death of leaves. Some spider mite species produce webbing. Control is the same as for hibiscus and be sure to get coverage of the lower leaf surfaces. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/spider-mites-houseplants
Here is a link to citrus and care http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/080110.html