Pesticide alternatives for houseplants
by John Wirth, Olbrich Conservatory
As we all strive to provide the best growing
conditions for our houseplants, we often create a comfortable home
in which plant-damaging insects can also thrive. We give those bugs
not only a cozy environment in which to reproduce, but a tasty food
source as well. At some point in your plant growing pursuits, you
may find yourself with a need to control these pests.
these unwanted houseguests you don't necessarily need to expose yourself
or other unintended targets to toxic chemicals. In the Bolz Conservatory
we're always looking for the least toxic method to reduce the insect
population on our tropical plant collection. One control used quite
often is a simple but thorough washing of the plant foliage.
home situation, placing your plants in the bathtub and giving the
foliage a gentle rinsing can help in controlling spider mites, aphids,
and mealy bugs. Using slightly warm water is best, especially if
your water is softened. This softened water is good for giving the
leaves a clean and healthy sparkle but should not be used for routine
watering of the soil as it contains too many harmful salts.
sure your water spray covers both the tops and bottoms of the leaves
and wash the plants several times every few days. This method of
insect control won't work for all insects, but it will reduce populations
of some bugs down to a tolerable level while remaining an environmentally
friendly alternative to pesticides.
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