While houseplants are certainly having their moment in the spotlight, taking precautions to protect them against the more notorious indoor plant bugs is a must.
The universal appeal of house plants is their unparalleled ability to provide a way of connecting with nature, particularly when it’s often absent from an increasingly screen-based world. While this could explain why their sales ballooned in recent years, keeping plants indoors does have a wide range of benefits that goes beyond simply looking good.
Although indoor plants are good for our brains, they’re also good for our bodies. Science says that indoor gardening relieves stress, boosts creativity, productivity and focus. However, all of these perks hinge on the fact that they’re happy and healthy, so it’s your responsibility to keep a watchful eye out for pests like indoor plant bugs.
Identifying The Most Notorious Indoor Plant Bugs
While some are considered to be much more hardy than others, there are many reasons as to why your house plant could be looking a little sad. Apart from water deprivation, lack of sunlight or poor drainage, an infestation of indoor plant bugs can have dire consequences if left unchecked – so what are some of the more common ones to watch out for?
Scales – Scales on your indoor plants can appear out of nowhere, but these little insects can come from several sources such as contaminated potting soil, leaving your plants outside in the warm weather months, or reusing a dirty plant pot. To get rid of them, treat fortnightly with cotton buds dipped in rubbing alcohol over the scale.
Mealybugs – As mealybugs come from warmer climates and can enter your home when introducing new plants from a nursery, these pests are white, tiny little creatures that form cottony nests where they are feeding. Apply rubbing alcohol or dishwashing soap to the entire plant once a week until they’re eradicated for good.
Spider Mites – In indoor areas, spider mites are more likely to become a problem for under watered plants, or plants that have been overfed with too much nitrogen. To spot the signs, these pests suck the sap out of the leaves making them look discoloured, curled under, dried or shrivelled up. If you suspect an infestation, apply rubbing alcohol to the plant’s leaves.
Whiteflies – Whiteflies are soft-bodied, winged insects closely related to aphids and mealybugs. Despite their name, whiteflies are not a type of fly, though they do have wings and are capable of flying. Thankfully, a simple solution made in a spray bottle from liquid dish soap and water will kill adult whiteflies without harming plants.
Aphids – As one of the more difficult indoor plant bugs to eradicate, aphids feed on soft stems, branches, buds and fruit, preferring tender new growth over tougher established foliage. Neem oil and other horticultural oils are effective against aphids, but these substances need to come into direct contact with the aphids in order for the solution to work.
Fungus Gnats – These pests are small flies that can easily infect potting mix and almost any soil, and can quickly multiply. Larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in soil, but are also known to chew the roots of indoor plants that don’t have enough drainage points. Apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are known to effectively treat an infestation.
Aside from protecting your leafy friends from indoor plant bugs, try to embrace forward thinking and proactive measures instead of reactive ones for keeping them in tip top shape, especially when it comes to things like watering, weeding and fertilising. As such, one of the most effective means to do so is to ensure that the soil in your pots is at its best.
Caring For Your Indoor Plants Chemical Free
While there is a wide range of solutions available on the market for outdoor plants and gardens, our indoor varieties can suffer due to poor soil health that stems from living in a confined space. As a unique liquid soil conditioner, Indoor Plant Booster is a plant food that’s perfect to keep your indoor and potted plants in tip top shape, including those that reside in pots, hanging baskets, and even those nestled on the verandah.
At Bioweed, we specialise in organic solutions to ensure that your garden reaches its full potential the natural way. Our range of products, such as Indoor Plant Booster, are all natural, and are providing Australians with safer products to use both in their gardens and in their homes. Based on the Sunshine Coast, our range has been embraced by people from all walks of life, and are backed with twenty years of research and industry knowledge.