Conquering Houseplant Pests in Cooler Months

Conquering Houseplant Pests in Cooler Months

The cooler months are upon us, and while we might enjoy the break from the heat, our houseplants can be more susceptible to pests during this time. But fear not! By being proactive and armed with a few handy tips, you can keep the nasties at bay and ensure happy and healthy houseplants all winter long. 

Why Do Plants Struggle in Winter?

  • Weaker Defenses: Reduced sunlight in winter means less energy for your plants. This translates to thinner leaves and slower growth, making them more susceptible to damage from pests.
  • The Great Indoors: As we close windows and seal up drafts, humidity levels plummet. Spider mites, in particular, thrive in dry conditions, multiplying rapidly.
  • Hitchhiking Invaders: Bringing plants indoors for the winter? They might be harboring unseen pests that flourish in the newfound warmth of your home.

Preparation is Key: A Proactive Approach

Don't wait for a full-blown infestation before taking action. Regularly inspect your plants, especially during the colder months. By spending some quality time with your leafy loves you can catch any potential problems before they take hold. Try  giving your plants a spa day with a good leaf shine! Spray the tops and bottom of your leaves with Protect, and give them a good wipe with our leaf cleaning gloves, then turn over leaves, check stems, and look for any signs of unwelcome guests. 

Quarantine New Arrivals: Better Safe Than Sorry

Those gorgeous new plants you just brought home might be harbouring unwanted hitchhikers. To stop these pests from spreading to your established plant family, quarantine any newbies for a good week or two. Keep a close eye on them for any signs of pests, and treat them accordingly before introducing them to the rest of the gang.

Battling The Bugs: Common Pests and Solutions

  1. Spider Mites: These tiny terrors love dry conditions. Look for fine webbing on the undersides of leaves and yellowing or speckled foliage. To evict these eight-legged squatters get your plant squeaky clean. Pop your plant in the shower to give it a good rinse. Then grab your Leaf Cleaning Gloves and scrape those nasties and their webs out of all of your plants nooks and crannies. Many customers use multi-purpose Neem Oil sprays in their organic gardening, although it cannot be marketed as a pesticidal treatment in Australia
  2. Mealybugs: These cottony white pests love to suck the sap out of your plants. You'll find them clustered on stems and undersides of leaves. To get rid of them, you can physically remove them by scraping them off your plants. These buggers love to hide, so have a careful eye. Use a gentle tool like your gloves to avoid damage to your leaves. Treat your leaves and remove any residual sap with Protect Spray after to fight back against future outbreaks.
  3. Scale: These hard-shelled insects attach themselves to leaves and stems, draining your plants' energy. You can scrape them off with your fingernail or use an organic leaf spray to suffocate them. Make sure you use your Leaf Cleaning Gloves to get the spray into every crack and crevice; coverage is key!
  4. Fungus Gnats: These tiny flying pests are more of a nuisance than a major threat, but they can be annoying. They thrive in moist soil, so to get rid of them, let your plant's soil dry out between waterings. Pop one of our Compostable Gnat Traps on the inside rim of your pot to trap those gnats. Pro-tip: Give your soil a good spritz of Protect! The Lemon Myrtle in the formula has amazing anti-fungal properties to chuck out a variety of nasties that can upset your plant. 

Remember: By being observant, taking preventative measures, and treating any problems promptly, you can keep your houseplants pest-free and thriving all winter long. Now go forth and conquer those creepy crawlies!

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