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Archive for February 9th, 2012

By now your houseplants have spent many weeks indoors. Hopefully you are inspecting them regularly for signs of stress, disease, or infestations.

You may think that because they are isolated inside your home, your houseplants are safe from insect pests; but there are a number of ways for pests to get in. Adults or eggs may have hitched a ride when you brought plants in from outside. Poinsettias or other plants purchased during the holiday season may have harbored bugs. Or they could come in with groceries and other packages.

Such insect pests may come in un-noticed, but once inside the warm dry air of your home, they thrive and multiply.  The warm dry conditions that are so good for bugs are actually stressful for your plants, and a stressed plant is less able to fight off infestations. So it’s important to act quickly before small problems become big.

Sometimes you can solve the problem by simply washing the plant off under the kitchen faucet, or with a wet cloth; but if further treatment is required, use an insecticidal soap, or other treatment labeled for indoor use. Be sure to separate affected plants from healthy ones, so the problem doesn’t spread.  Read this helpful article by the  National Gardening Association on houseplant care.

Common Houseplant Pests:

 

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