How To Prevent Bug Infestations
Bug problems will affect certain houseplants more than others. You can avoid them in the first place by doing a few simple things.
Bugs also seek food, water, and shelter in the same manner that you do. If you can provide these to them in your home, they’ll move in. Some are more problematic in specific parts of the country than others, and each pest shows up at different times of the year individually.
Inspect New Plants
You should carefully examine the underside of leaves and along the stems of new plants at any nursery or garden center before buying and taking them home. Many pests enter your home by piggybacking on new plants.
Isolate From Other Houseplants
The new plant you bring home should be left in a separate room on its own for at least a week. Check the entire plant for signs of pests. If the plant’s free of pests after a week, it is ready to join your other plants.
Check Plants Before Bringing Indoors
Check your houseplants carefully for pests, especially ones that are outdoors in warm weather but will be inside at the end of the year. Some bugs that thrive outside can be just as comfortable at home among your other houseplants.
Regularly Check The Plants
You can treat a small number of pests easier than an entire infestation when treating a plant. Regularly inspect your plants and make sure they are healthy. Check one time a week – a quick scan might give you the info you need to deal with bugs right away.
Don’t Just Check Plants For Bugs
Check not just your plants—a sign of bugs is a sticky substance this sticky substance is called “honeydew” and is produced by insects. If you find honeydew in your home, you have pests.
Best Houseplants For Repelling Bugs
Plants that are naturally resistant to pests are one way to avoid bugs on your houseplants. Despite these advantages, many of these plants can be toxic to small children and pets. Therefore, if you do have small children or pets, these toxic plants should be kept up high out of reach.
Several people tell me that they’d love to put more plants in their homes or offices, but they don’t have green fingers or even yellow fingers. The more plants that are proven to be easier to care for than others, the easier it is for you, even if you’re just a beginner.
The other option is to plant plants with natural resistance to insects, as in pests! You will have a much more rewarding gardening experience if you don’t have to fight off mites, scale, ants, flies, snails, or the dreaded fungus gnats.
Bugs do not like these houseplants, so here are a dozen of my favorites. The plants all grow fairly easily and are tolerant to even the most ferocious brown thumb plant killers.
A plant commonly known as “mother-in-law’s tongue”, snake plants have leaves that are variegated in yellow, green, and cream colors. The tough leaves can withstand high temperatures.
As it has a green variegated leaf and white flowers similar to a calla lily, Chinese evergreens are disease-resistant and bugs tend to leave them alone. Green berries turn red-orange when the plants reach maturity. This plant can survive almost any lighting condition. The more silver or yellow in the leaves, the more light your plant needs. Put it under six to eight hours of an overhead floodlight and it won’t need natural light whatsoever. Dark green varieties can grow in shade. However, don’t ever place it in direct sunlight.
If you keep it in a warm, humid environment, then water it once a week and you can keep the soil a little moist. It’s a draft that hurts this plant the most. It’s likely that your Chinese evergreen was on the receiving end of a nasty draft, so try moving it to a new location if its leaves start turning yellow.
The leaves of Bromeliads are thick and fleshy and are arranged in a pedestal that resembles a vase. Since bromeliad leaves are difficult to chew, insects seldom bother them. Plant diseases are rarely a problem for this plant, which has a colorful foliage. It does well even in bright indirect light, and it stays green for a decade if the light is bright enough.
In low light and with barely damp potting mix, don’t keep the center of the plant full of water. By pouring the water into the center of the plant’s “cup,” water whenever the potting mixture looks dry. There’s not a lot you can do to make watering a plant any easier. It should be kept drier in the winter, and has been known to live in a completely dry environment.
With its brightly colored leaves, the coleus plant is one of nature’s most beautiful plants. It prefers bright rooms with lots of windows. The leaves are tough and leathery and are a great deterrent to insects – they have difficulty getting through and getting to the sap within. Coleus can make your pet ill, but it is safe for humans.
Basil And Other Herbs
Herbs tend to repel pests due to their strong aroma. Among the herbs that do well indoors include basil, mint, chamomile, and chives. Choose from a selection of herbs that will thrive on their own, or in a small-pot arrangement.
There are several different types and colors of jade plants, and we’ve all had at least one. They have thick leaves that keep bugs at bay. But the leaves are not the ones that keep bugs away. It’s the toxic sap in the leaves that are harmful to pets.
Jade plants grow too fast for any pot they are in, many times outgrowing it in record time. The good news is, if you grow jade plants more aggressively than usual, and root the cuttings, you are able to thin them out and get more plants. They grow well in sun but will also thrive in medium light.
Growing a jade plant is best done in a window. They can tolerate nearly any temperature. Regular re-potting will help them stay healthy. Jade plants are another toxicity to pets.
Common Ask Questions
I have a recurring problem with aphids and spider mites. Is the potting soil I’m using part of the problem?
Houseplants should always be potted or replanted in fresh potting soil. This reduces the risk of insect or larva presence.
Can I spray my houseplants with vinegar to get rid of bugs?
A vinegar solution can be used to treat and control spider mites. Take 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and mix in 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of mild dish soap to the water. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the solution and spray it evenly on the clothes once a week to treat mites.
I’ve had fungus gnats before and want to avoid them. What plants are most susceptible to this pest?
Several indoor plants, including African violets and orchids, require a lot of humidity and moisture, including fungus gnats.
Now that you know all the best methods of getting rid of houseplant bugs naturally, you won’t have to worry about them forever. There are a lot of great resources on this website to help you grow awesome house plants and keep them happy and healthy.
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