Help with growing hibiscus effectively for tortoise-troubleshoot bugs


New Member
Mar 16, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
I have planted several hibiscus plants to grow as food for my Sulcata. I’ve found that the buds look like they’ve been cut off. I assume it’s a bug or something. Does anyone have some suggestions for me to prevent this?
Also, any tips to get these to grow well is appreciated.
Also, how do you actually give the hibiscus to the tortoise without giving away the whole plant? Do you cut it back every week? Just pick off the flowers in full bloom? I’m afraid my plant wouldn’t last long since it’s not huge. How big does it need to be before it’s worth cutting back for the tortoise?


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Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I see spraying plants with a mixture of dish soap and water a lot recommended whenever I look up different ways to keep bugs off. The bubbles I believe suffocates the bugs. Not sure if it also repels or not though.


Jun 25, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Hi, I bought some hibiscus a couple of years ago and have the same problem with bugs. I tried a natural bug spray and the soap but it didn't really work. I was going out every evening with a spray bottle just with water and some kitchen roll and would would wipe them off.

I have one that is a different variation and is always covered in cobwebs and although it buds they die off and never flower.

Not sure what would be eating the buds though.

I found a couple of ladybirds and put them on the buds, they had a proper feast of bugs and they will come back if they are nesting nearby. I think ants eat them aswell.

I give Tabby the flowers when they have fully bloomed. She isn't too keen on the leaves, but does nibble every now and again.