Identify my plant and its pest
July 24, 2008 2:05 PM   Subscribe

What is this plant? And what is eating it?

We moved here last September, and the plant was in similar shape then. I just assumed it was a goner, but this year it sprouted leaves, which were summarily eaten again. Its tenacity has inspired me to save it. Swarms of above-pictured bug are flying around it all day, so I'm assuming that's the culprit but I'm not sure. More pictures of the devastation here. Any tips to organically eradicate the pest would be appreciated, but I figure once I know what I'm up against, my google-fu will be sufficient. We're in Aberdeen, NJ, which is zone 7, if that helps. Thanks!
posted by condour75 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Pretty sure that's a hibiscus. Not sure about the bugs.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:17 PM on July 24, 2008

It's a hardy hibiscus. Looks like Japanese Beetle damage, but that's not a Japanese Beetle. You may try some insecticidal soap, or Sevin dust, to kill them.
posted by Ostara at 2:19 PM on July 24, 2008

Here's a page about the plant, which is also known as a Rose Mallow or Confederate Rose. I have three pink ones in my yard; I didn't know they grew that far north. I don't know about the bug, but I bet the people on that site, Dave's Garden, can help you.
posted by Robert Angelo at 2:26 PM on July 24, 2008

Possibly the Mallow or hibiscus sawfly.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:25 PM on July 24, 2008

The insect looks like a mallow sawfly. Unfortunately, I'm not finding any good info on organic methods of removal other than picking off any bugs and spraying with neem oil.
posted by weebil at 3:26 PM on July 24, 2008

Yeah, they used to have one of those outside my gym-it was similarly bugeaten.
posted by konolia at 3:35 PM on July 24, 2008

Thanks guys! I guess it makes sense that a mallow would be eaten by mallow flies.
posted by condour75 at 3:55 PM on July 24, 2008

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