Many plant parents out there are all too aware that their precious plants can quickly become havens for pests like gnats, spider mites, and aphids. But have no fear—saving greenery from bugs doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s a quick guide to keeping your plants pest-free.
Common causes of plant pests: According to Brittany Gowan, creator of Pause With Plants, houseplants can attract unwelcome visitors when they’re in an environment that isn’t conducive to their needs. “Following the guidelines for lighting, water, soil composition, and temperature for each plant will help to curb the onset of pests,” she says. “For example, potting soil that is not well draining and retains too much moisture can create a breeding ground for pests.”
How to get rid of them: To get rid of pests, Gowan suggests simply wiping each leaf down with a damp towel. If your plant needs a little more TLC, you can mix a tiny bit of dish soap in with the water before wiping down. Spray the plant with water afterward until all the soap residue is gone. “Neem oil is also a go-to for pest control,” she adds. It’s a natural insecticide, and to use it, you simply add 2 tablespoons to a gallon of water and spray your plant down.
To keep your plants healthy and pest-free long term, make sure you’re giving them proper lighting, water, soil, etc., and repeat the cleaning and spraying method every two to three weeks, or as needed. This should help keep pests at bay for good and keep your favorite plants healthy and clean.