Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - August 10, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stuff on them that is killing them slowly. I have researched on the internet what this might be but nothing looks the similar to what mine has. They almost look like white pill bugs. When I touch the plant they usually fall off. I have also found some on my house around the plants. Please help. How can I get rid of this stuff and save my plants?

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants hears about white powdery stuff on plants he thinks of powdery mildew, but since you mentioned the white bugs, he thinks its probably mealy bugs.

I’m going to provide you with several links that describe the pests, and tell how to control them.

Mealy Bugs
  Tropical Plants Library on Line - describes  several insect pests and means to control them.

  ehow.com Home - tells how to get rid of mealy bugs

  University of Florida IFAS Extension - more information about scale insects and mealy bugs

Powdery Mildew
  University of Ohio -good description with photos

  University of California -good description of the problem with solutions

 

More Pests Questions

Something eating Monarda didyma in Washington DC
June 30, 2011 - Please Help, I have a couple of Bee Balm, Jacob Cline, plants, whose leave are being eaten, by what I do not know. None of the nurseries around here seem to have ever heard of this happening to this p...
view the full question and answer

Which plants are resistant to dog urine in Ashmore, IL??
May 21, 2012 - Which native plants are resistant to dogs urinating on them?
view the full question and answer

Mealy bugs on plants in Washington, DC
July 07, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, There is this white stuff, looking like snow flakes, that is attacking my office plants. I use gasduster to blow it off of them, but that does not stop it from reappearing. Wh...
view the full question and answer

Leaves wrinkling on Tecoma stans from San Antonio TX
August 16, 2013 - My two year old esperanza (planted in the ground) froze back last winter, came back from the roots & has been doing well all summer. Recently one branch has leaves that are nice & green but very wrin...
view the full question and answer

Demise of Flameleaf Sumac in Austin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - My Flameleaf Sumac suddenly died. Beetles came out around the trunk when I cut it down. How can I prevent this on the other sumac?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.