Any ideas what pest is plaguing my hibiscus?

I kept it outdoors in central New Mexico until about 3--4 months ago when the temperature went below freezing. It's been inside since. I've had it for nearly 2 years.

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  • How long has it been in the same pot? - was it in that when it was outdoors? and does the pot have a drainage hole?
    – Bamboo
    Feb 2, 2021 at 11:55
  • @Bamboo it has been in that pot since we bought it. The pot does have a drainage hole.
    – BaronFiner
    Feb 2, 2021 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


It rather looks like spider mite damage. The mites are very tiny and might not be clearly visible to unmagnified vision, so if you have a magnifying lens look very carefully on the underside of the lower leaves. The mites suck juices from the underside causing the cells to collapse and die in spots and leave sunken areas and eventually shot-holes in the leaves.

Consult a local garden centre for the appropriate type of spray for your area, and if you choose to treat this way (an alternate is to junk the plant and get a new uninfected one) make sure to treat the leaf undersides thoroughly.

  • Thank you. I had considered the possibility of spider mites. About 4 days before I took those pictures, I completely submerged the plant in a bathtub for an hour, as suggested here hiddenvalleyhibiscus.com/care/spidermites.htm. I'm not sure if the yellowing is an artifact of the damage done before submersion, or if it's the result of another pest.
    – BaronFiner
    Feb 2, 2021 at 22:47

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