Friday, June 19, 2015

Houseplant Pests

Houseplant fungus gnats are a problem. I have dealt with them because before I knew what I was doing, I watered my plants like crazy. Fungus gnats love that stuff. Soon they were everywhere and I had no clue what to do. There are still a few left, but thank God, they're not a huge problem anymore. Even though there are so many resources online, I wanted to share with you what I did and the things I continue to do to get rid of those disgusting gnats.

Don't overwater.
In fact, I let my plants completely dry out. The plants I have can handle it but if yours can't, let them dry out for as long as they can.

Water with this.
I actually use glass watering bulbs to water my plants. Some people are against it, but they work for me. So when it was time to water my plants I watered with this:

4 drops of liquid dish soap
4 cups of water
I water with this every other time 

1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide
4 cups water
This works as well. If I do this, I water with it every other time.

Both of these mixtures will kill gnats living in the soil over time. 

Also spider mites can be a problem with some plants. I have a jade plant that had them and this is what I did.

Spider mites unlike fungus gnats don't like when the soil is dry. I make sure my plants soil isn't dry, but I make sure to never over water.
I also spray with water every other day because humidity is not a spider mites friend. Also spraying with water dislodges them from a plants stem.
If I see and webs I take either a cotton swab or cotton pad with alcohol and rub the plants leaves. I make sure to do this only once a week until there are no more mites.
I also spray my jade plant with a mixture of soap and water. I leave it on for two to three hours then rinse it off with a spray of plain water.

Remember, getting rid of any houseplant pest takes time. Be persistent and also be patient.

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