We all know how frustrating it can be to bring a lovely potted houseplant into the home and then find yourself fighting houseplant pests. The last think you want to do is spend your time fighting those bugs all winter long.
Once the season changes and winter approaches, houseplants go dormant. This will make them more prone to pest attacks. The best way to approach this issue is to follow a few easy steps which can help your potted houseplants and control this pest issue.
Keep your containers and potting mix clean and sterile. If you are using a pot that has already been used then run it thru the dishwasher. And, never recycle potting soil from another plant. Always start with new potting mix. Check the plants when you purchase them and make sure they aren't already infested. If you find any then wash them with a mild soap and water. If you find that later after planted you potted houseplant, it gets bugs then move it away from your other plants so it doesn't affect them also.
Don't let the plants get dusty or cobwebs. These things will attract spider mites. Use a damp paper towel or soft cloth to wipe the leaves off on a regular basis.
So as you can see it's not as tragic as you may think. And please don't just toss the poor houseplant out without trying these steps. It's a situation that nobody wants but one that can easily be dealt with.
Consider a few tips when potting plants for around your home and garden areas.
1. Keep soil clean and correct. There are different types of soil that can be purchased from your local garden center. Make sure you match the correct soil with the types of plants, flowers, or veggies that you are going to be potting. Good garden soil actually can deter pests.
2. Buy pest and disease seeds. When buying seeds, search for letters like V.F.N or T after the name of a seed; they indicate the problems to which the seeds is most resistant. If using grown plants make sure there are no weeds being transferred into the new pot. They often harbor insects and disease organisms.
3. Decaying plant matter is prime breeding ground for fungus, insects and disease, so remove faded blooms, fallen leaves and weeds is key. Every time you visit your garden area or sit next to your potted plants, bring a small bucket and take a minute to tidy up.
4. If you find you must use insecticides, try to use natural products. They will break down quickly in your garden planters when exposed to air and light. Be sure to read and follow the directions because these products can be harmful if use improperly.