Indoor plant pest control is not something we often consider when bringing our leafy friends inside. So how do you spot an invader, and what do you do about it?
House, office or indoor plants have experienced a recent boom in popularity – especially as we spend more time at home than ever before. Although they are of course a great way to brighten up any room, keeping plants indoors can do more for you than just look good.
Proven benefits of keeping indoor plants include:
- Removal of air pollution, toxins and allergens
- Stress reduction
- Boost productivity and creativity
- Balance humidity
However, there are many reasons as to why your house plant could be looking a little sad. Apart from water deprivation, lack of sunlight and poor drainage, one of the more common issues is indoor plant pest control. Ridding your abode of a bug infestation is much more difficult to do if you haven’t taken any precautionary measures, so it’s important to ward pests off before they get too comfortable.
Common Indoor Plant Pests
If you’re residing in Australia, we do indeed have a few common indoor plant pests that can pop up from time to time. The most easily recognisable ones include:
- Spider Mites
- White Fly
- Scale Insects
- Slugs and Snails
- Fungus Gnats
- Sciarid Flies
Depending on the climate and environment that you live in, you may be prone to different species of indoor plant pests. Most of these will be relatively easy to spot, as you will notice them on your plants or hovering above them.
If left untreated, a bug infestation can damage your plants significantly. Some suck the sap and nutrients from the plants, others cause leaves to yellow and drop off. The good news is that there are preventative measures that can be actioned in order to discourage any potential infestations – you want your home to be a refuge for your plants, but not so much for the insect invaders that can accompany them.
Prevention Is Key
When considering your options for indoor plant pest control, it’s important to remember that you will also be sharing the space with whatever treatment you opt for – chemical based pesticides inside the home should be a last resort. Keeping your plants healthy from day one also gives them the strength to ward off any potential infestations.
“Over the years, my plants have taught me patience. The old cliche that good things come to those who wait reigns true with all kinds of gardening. I do love a good fern – even though they can be tricky to look after, once you get the soil right and the watering schedule downpat, they practically look after themselves.”
Nick Sell is an Agronomist at Bioweed, and an avid indoor plant lover – in case you were wondering, ferns are his thing. He’s had his fair share of dealing with plant pests within the home, and has a few insights as to what works and what doesn’t.
- Wellness – Healthy plants have healthy immune systems, and develop their own defenses in warding off unwanted bugs.
- Give Them A Bath – Wipe down your indoor plant leaves regularly to encourage photosynthesis and growth.
- Regular Watering – Some like more than others, but don’t test their limits to avoid causing any unwanted plant stress.
- Healthy Soil – Repot or top up your plant’s soil every six months. It can become depleted and won’t hold as much water or nutrients, so treat it with a soil probiotic like RE-250 to encourage root and soil health.
- Feed Your Plants – Use an organic plant food like Biotic Booster. Our plants get hungry, so ensure they have access to the nutrients that they need.
- Avoid Movement – Once you’ve found a spot that your plant is comfortable in, avoid moving them. Too much or too little natural light can upset them.
- Maintain Healthy Bacteria – An organic plant probiotic like FP-60 adds good bacteria, encouraging growth and healthier leaves. This is important when keeping plants inside.
If you can “tweak” your indoor plant care to include the above, then you are ultimately giving the leafy residents of your abode their best shot at a long and healthy life cycle.