By : Nicholas Yau
29 June 2017
Houseplants are a great way to introduce beautiful green pockets into any home. They lend a fresh, inviting air for all to enjoy. But plants, being part of nature, also bring in insects. Some of them are welcomed, but pests – we could do without them. So what can you do to keep your plants well and rid of pests?
Inspect them carefully
Before you welcome a new plant into your green family, it would be wise to take on the role of the strict, suspicious in-laws (or immigration officer) and inspect the plants carefully. Check that the plants are not wrought with biological baggage. For starters, the pots should not be overridden with bugs (yikes!), dead leaves or leaves already worn away by insects or diseased.
If you have a problematic plant, clean and keep them away first (like in the yard area) and see if their problems can be remedied.
Keep it clean and tidy
Regularly tend to your plants. Check and remove dead leaves every time you water or mist your plants. If you feel that the plants are ‘unclean’, consider changing the soil and re-potting them – you never know where the plant has been to.
Use non-chemical remedies
Grab some yellow sticky cards from your friendly garden shop. These cards will attract and trap houseplant bugs such as aphids and flies.
Occasionally give your plants a detox by washing the leaves with a strong water spray (in the bathroom perhaps) to get rid of bugs that might be hiding in the leaves.
Consider soil-free plants
Plants form part of the ecosystem that naturally attract insects – pests or not. So if you are not prepared to see any insects at all, consider succulents, or air plants, which are less likely to invite insects.
Another alternative for those who desire the look of small garden spaces, without the fuss: artificial plants. Not only do they look great throughout the year, they can practically last forever. They do not bring you the therapeutic benefits of having plants, but they can still look quite nice, with more realistic products being made all the time. If you are having problems keeping plants alive, this would also be the more ethical option.
Reduce collateral damage
Lastly, think of where your plants could go. Avoid placing plants near your wardrobe or items where insects could cause damage.
Placing them near ‘entry points’, such as near windows, instead of deep inside a room, could also prevent insects from causing an all-out invasion throughout your home.
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