Protecting My Hibiscus Plant From Little Green Worms

June 14, 2010

Close up of red hibiscus.I want to know what is eating my hibiscus tree. It is a green worm like insect. It is eating the leaves. I have put soapy warm water on them and it does slow them down. I want to naturally get rid of them. Does anyone have any idea what they are and how can I get rid of them?


By Sue


August 2, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a problem for years with the green worms on my hiabiscus and I tried everything. Then last year I planted tomato plants next to the hibiscus and I planted marigolds under the bush and I have no more of these worms. So I feel the marigolds worked. So for everyone out there with the same problem you may want to plant marigolds under your bush. I hope this helps It did for me. lilac 10

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question

2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 4, 2018

How to get rid of the little green worms on my hibiscus?


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
August 4, 20180 found this helpful

Make a spray of 5 cups of water with 1 Tbsp mild dish soap and spray on

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 5, 20180 found this helpful

Insecticidal soap works well on all kinds of insects

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 5, 20181 found this helpful

Does it look like this horrible critter:

If so, it is a sawfly. This site has solutions, but the easiest is to wear gloves and pick them off, if you want to kill them, you can drown them in warm water with soap. I hate that part of the process but if they are too much of an infestation, sometimes you have to.


The most natural solution (mother nature's choice) is if you have bird feeders, move them to near the affected plants as most birds love these things, then spray the bugs off the plants and on to the ground where the birds will eat them up! Snack time!!

Hope this helps! They are nasty critters!

Reply Was this helpful? 1

Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
August 5, 20180 found this helpful

Name: sawfly
These nasty little critters dearly love hibiscus and mallow leaves! If you only have one or two bushes you may be able remove them with hand picking but has to be consistent - like every day or two or they will destroy the bush very quickly.


  • If you hand pick them be sure to wear thick gloves and have a container of water with some soap mixed in close by to drop them in.
  • You can take a hose with a medium strong spray and wash the plants to remove some of them - I rake up the fallen worms and discard them but most people seem to think it is okay to leave them on the ground?
  • You can sometimes control them with Neem or Insecticidal Soap. Both can be found in garden centers.
  • Here is a recipe to make your own insecticidal soap:
  • You can read about other suggestions but consistency is the thing that counts the most.
Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 5, 20180 found this helpful

Normally these are called sawfly and love to go on hibiscus plants. If you try to drown them in soapy water it won't work. All you can basically do is examine the leaves and pick the worms off.


You'll need to crush them in order to kill them. You'll need to check your plants daily and keep removing them until they are gone.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
August 6, 20180 found this helpful

I have used tobacco sprays in my plants to eliminate plants here's a recipe

probably the best aside from that and soap spray is to pick them off by hand, as alluded to by others here

here's a good link to other pest control solutions
from the above link, the rhubarb leaf spray sounds promising. Or barring rhubarb leaves i believe you could use kale too as it is also high in oxalic acid (though rhubarb leaf is way higher hence its toxicity to humans)


" It is suitable for use on aphids, woolly aphids, horned and stink bugs, caterpillars, sawfly larvae, whitefly and leaf miner adults.[1] However, bear in mind that rhubarb leaves are toxic to humans too and must not be ingested. All care must be taken when storing this poisonous spray, including keeping it out of the reach of children and pets.
Rhubarb leaves spray #1[3]
Select 1 kilogram/2 pounds of rhubarb leaves in 2 litres/4 pints of water. Do not use an aluminum saucepan.
Boil for about half an hour (30 minutes).
Remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely.
Strain the cooled liquid to remove the leaves. Pour into a suitable container, such as a large spray bottle.
Add sufficient pure soap to create a frothy mixture. This helps the spray to stick.
Label clearly. Place out of reach of children and pets in a dark, cool place.

Use as needed. Spray on plants infested with non-beneficial insects, targeting those only.
Rhubarb leaves spray #2[1]
Pick 10 rhubarb leaves.
Chop the leaves roughly. Add to a bucket or bowl.
Boil sufficient water to cover the leaves. Pour the boiled water into the bucket with the chopped leaves, to cover. Cover with a lid, plate or other covering. Leave to cool.
Strain out the leaves. Discard the leaves.
Dilute the rhubarb leaf mixture. Add 1 litre of water to dilute the spray.
Use as needed. This should be used within a few days of making it."

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 14, 2010

I need some help. We have several hibiscus plants and every year they are attacked by something that eats the leaves, they look like tiny green worms and they leave the leaves looking like lace.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Home and Garden Gardening Pest ControlDecember 12, 2017
Back to School Ideas!
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2023-08-08 10:35:59 in 4 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2023 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.