Houseplants that are 'impossible to kill'
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Houseplants need a lot of care, including feeding and watering them regularly. With all the time and effort put into caring for indoor plants, it is important to control pests as soon as possible because they can spread to other plants in the home fast. When it comes to removing them, experts at Essential Living recommend sticking with natural methods.
They said: “Sticking with natural methods is best when it comes to pesticides, and there are many all natural home remedies that work perfectly well for controlling houseplant pests.”
To stop the spread, houseplant owners should isolate the infected plant as soon as they see any pests.
Other plants in the home should be monitored for three to four weeks just in case they show signs of bugs.
The experts added: “Thoroughly clean the area where the plant was sitting using soapy water.
“For extra precaution, you can sterilise the area by rubbing it with alcohol. Just be careful not to touch your eyes whilst doing so.
“Now wash the infested plant with insecticidal soap, or you can use a mild liquid soap, as soap can kill houseplant bugs on contact.
“Some contain degreasers and detergents that can harm sensitive plants, therefore be careful with the type you choose.
“Try dabbing the soap lightly on your plant before washing fully to double check it won’t cause any harm.”
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Houseplant owners can use alcohol to kill any remaining live bugs using a cotton swab.
The pot and plant tray should also be washed with soapy water as houseplant pests can easily hide under the rim of the pot or tray.
Essential Living experts continued: “Your plants should be fully disinfected now, however, to make sure they can restore a healthy condition and avoid an infestation going forward, you can treat the plant with neem oil which works as a long-term plant pest control and prevention.
“Alternatively, you could use horticultural oil or a hot pepper wax concentrate which can protect up to two weeks per spray.
“For flying pests, try using yellow sticky fly traps to capture and kill tiny bugs.
“This can prevent them from flying to nearby plants too.
“For a large number of indoor flying bugs, use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up, getting them under control as quickly as possible before they spread even more.
“Just be careful not to vacuum your plants in the process.”
Houseplant pests can be hard to identify which means they can often go unnoticed.
However, Kate Turner, Miracle-Gro’s gardening guru, shared top tips on what to look for when it came to the most common pests.
She explained: “Fungus gnats are tiny black sciarid flies. They are usually more of a nuisance than a pest, although their larvae can damage seedlings.
“To avoid them, make sure your compost isn’t too wet as they love warm moist warm conditions.”
Aphids are tiny green sapsuckers and they can colonise indoor plants.
The expert said: “They will hide on the underside of leaves so it’s important to look everywhere when you do tackle them.”
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