Bud midge has a wide host range spanning at least six plant families and hibiscus flower plant is one of those. Blossom or bud midge maggots feed inside unopened flower buds, causing deformed, discolored buds and blossoms.
You may be aware that bud midge is an exotic pest that has found its way to Florida. It has been reported by many local hobby growers.
Bud drop on hibiscus
Bud drop on hibiscus is a very common problem that is often caused by tiny insects referred as blossom midges. Although there are no official recommendations for control of this pest, you can find a spray application of products containing imidacloprid which often control the midges adequately to allow blooming to resume.
You have to know that imidacloprid can lead to bud drop in hibiscus. Hence you should remember to remove and dispose of any dropped hibiscus flower buds since these midges pupate in the soil.
You will also observe that in some winters blooming resumes on hibiscus even without spraying, apparently because cooler temperatures slow down the development of the midges.
How can pest management help you?
Management can help you to determine the cause of distorted flowers or premature bud drop, the damaged buds need to be dissected and examined for the presence of the maggots.
There are many other causes for hibiscus flower buds to drop, such as genetic weakness, flower hibiscus root problems, over fertilization, over watering, compacted soil, flower thrips or aphid infestation or very hot or dry weather.
You must maintain a good sanitation because it is very important management practice for hibiscus flower bud midge. You have to remove and dispose infested buds and fallen flowers.
You should keep in mind that sanitation is very important in controlling the pest. You have to follow few control methods that include vigorous sanitation by removal of fallen or distorted buds, double bagging and tightly tying them for household trash disposal.
Integrated pest management strategies consist of site preparation, monitoring the crop and pest population, problem analysis, and selection of appropriate control methods. You can take help of the management and practice insect control methods with little knowledge.
Few preventive guidelines
A home garden is a unique ecosystem and disease control can be achieved in most home gardens by using some preventive measures and you can grow hibiscus flower plants as you wish.
The first thing you have to do for the prevention of pests is improving your soil fertility. Improve the physical properties of the soil including texture and drainage to reduce water logging.
The preventive and control methods should be socially acceptable, environmental safe, and economically practical.
If you have an insect problem, you need to know what insect pest you are dealing with and what stage of the insect’s life cycle is most likely to cause damage, as well as the stage most susceptible to control measures.
You can also prevent midges by buying healthy plant materials from accredited nurseries and garden centers. You have to fertilize and irrigate plants as needed to grow strong plants.
You should remove diseased and dead plants and part of plants from the garden regularly to reduce disease pressure to minimum. Following such preventive measures can help you to grow hibiscus flower plants without any problems.