As our days lengthen and warm up, we turn our thoughts to gardening outdoors. However, remember that your houseplants can still be under attack from insects and diseases.
I came across a mealybug clan on my aloe plant. Mealybugs are sucking insects and really did a number on this little aloe (now compost).
The good news is there are things you can do to prevent such a fate for your houseplants.
Scout for insects
Scout or check plants for signs of insects a few times a week. Look on and under leaves, on stems and around buds or flowers.
Insect signs include:
- black specs (insect feces), and
- honeydew, a sticky shiny substance that sometimes becomes black with sooty mold.
More recommendations and details can be found on Managing insects on indoor plants.
Clean plant leaves and soil
- Clean your plants by washing them with a spray nozzle in a sink (or shower for the bigger plants).
- Dust on leaves not only reduces light to the leaf surface but also attracts insects like spider mites.
- Remove debris on the soil surface. Dead leaves and flowers can create some dandy insect habitat and hiding places.
- Remove debris from soil, from inside plant saucers and around the plant on the tabletop or floor.