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How to Get Rid of Plant Pests Naturally this Summer?
Plant Thrives or Thrips this Summer?
Summer comes with a lot of good things for plants, they flourish. Tropical foliage plants love the warmth of the sun. However, the heat brings along great conditions to thrive for pests too, especially here in Spain.
Recently I had to do a plant rescue mission for one of our community members, saving her plants from a whole lot of pests, including thrips, cochinillas and spider mites.
Thrips especially thrive in hot season, on plants like marantas and monsteras. Mealy bugs (Cochinillas), in her case, were mostly on outdoor plants like jasmine or lemon trees. The video below shows how thrips have been running around on a beautiful monstera deliciosa.
In general, these are the steps that we recommend to help your plants (and not thrips) thrive this summer:
- Give the plants a good wash: Make sure each plant is separately washed, so that any pests are not transferred. Read more on our earlier blog.
- Clean the roots and change the substrate if possible i.e. if the plant has not been transplanted recently. Think of a plant as a human body and how you would treat yourself when you have an infection. It is important that you give the plants the right food and fertilisers too. If they have been re-potted recently, it is not recommended to change the soil. Best mix for soil, for foliage/tropical plants – 1 part of fertilised soil (with earthworm humus), 1 part coco-fibre and 1 part perlite. Important to note that the soil should be well-draining.
- Misting: It is so important to mist the plants daily in the summer, especially marantas and monsteras (and other foliage plants). Otherwise thrips seem to take over. For marantas, you can also make a mini – terrarium dome to keep the environment humid.
- Treat the pests with organic products: You can clean each leaf with Potassium Soap or sprinkle both sides of the leaves with Diatomaceous Earth powder (or mixed with water and sprayed on leaves). You can also sprinkle some Diatomaceous earth on the soil to kill any larvae in the soil. Diatomaceous earth is also very much pet-friendly and you can even use on the fur of your pets (to keep your pets away from pests too). A home remedy for thrips is also spraying with Garlic Water. But so far, we have seen Diatomaceous Earth and Neem Oil / JBN working wonders with pest control.
- Further pest prevention can be done using Neem Oil or MK-UP for plants (once in 2 weeks or so). And of course, don’t forget to give them good food.
Let us know how it goes for you and if you need a rescue service from our plant community. 🙂