Many types of insects just love plants, in fact as we all know, plants are a source of food for many insects. So, it’s inevitable that sooner or later if you have plants you’re going to get infestations of some type of plant pest.
There are some simple steps that you can take to greatly decrease the chances of your plants becoming infested.
When re-using pots always be sure to clean them thoroughly with hot water and soap. And, always keep you planting tools clean as well.
Using sterile or pasteurized potting soil can also help prevent insects and diseases. Both have been treated to kill any organisms present in the soil. Remove any dead plants, leaves or flowers as soon as possible, rotting plant matter can quickly attract pests.
Provide proper drainage so that the bottom of the soil and the plants roots aren’t sitting in water. Some parasites, molds and fungus are highly attracted to wet areas and standing water could be an invitation. But, it will also rot the roots and isn’t good for the plant.
Watering should always be done early in the day. The earlier the better, but as long as the plant has time to thoroughly dry before evening it’s alright to water them. Both fungi and molds thrive during the night in dark, damp places. And, other insects will take advantage of the dark, wet area for breeding.
Giving your plants a bath now and then can also help to keep them pest free. You can either wipe the plants leaves and stems with a rag and some mild soap in lukewarm or water, or sprits them with soap and water in a spray bottle.
Always inspect any new plants carefully and if you’re plants have been outside for the summer and you’re bringing them indoors inspect them as well for pests. Even a plant that has been hanging or sitting on a porch can quickly attract pests and bringing them indoors can infest any other plant that you have.
With the proper care and fresh air most plants won’t have an insect or disease problem, but there are some plants that are more prone to problems. Inspecting your plants regularly is the best way to ensure that they’re pest free and can live a long healthy life!
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved