Every plant parent knows you can’t just water your plant and hope for the best if you want your plant to grow and flourish. You need to take care of your plants by making sure they get the needed sunlight and the right amount of water. Another important part of taking care of your plants is watching out for pests. Plants can become victims to a wide variety of pests that can damage and even kill your plant. It’s important to watch for signs of pests and to remove them if you spot them.
Dish soap is a common household cleaning item, and it can be used to ward off aphids, whiteflies, and mites. It’s important to get the right ratio when mixing the soap and water (1 tablespoon of soap to 1 gallon of water), too much soap can harm the plant. Use a soap that is made of natural products with no anti-bacterial properties. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the leaves (top and bottom) where the insects appear. You should apply your spray in the morning or evening, not during the day when plants are in direct sunlight. Repeat every few days, and after heavy rain, until the pests are gone.
Before using a spray of any kind always test your mixture on a few leaves to make sure it will not harm your plant.
A garlic spray can also be effective against aphids, whiteflies, mites, and certain beetles. The compounds in garlic are irritating or even deadly to many insects, which will keep them off your plants. Blend two garlic bulbs in a blender, then combine them with 2 cups of water to make a fine mixture. Let the mixture sit for a day. Then strain it and mix the strained mixture with 1 gallon of water. You can add a few drops of dish soap to the mix to help the mixture stick to plants. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and coat the top and bottom of the leaves to get rid of the pests.
Remember to test your mixture on a few leaves to make sure it will not harm your plant.
Planting native, pollinator-friendly plants to your garden can help attract beneficial insects that will keep unwanted pests away from your plants. Beneficial bugs like ladybugs, mealybugs, and praying mantis can help kill off pests in your garden. Planting plants with small flowers will attract beneficial bugs that will help to maintain the natural ecosystem you want for your garden.
Some plants naturally ward off bugs. If you want to keep your garden pest free, adding some herbs that deter bugs will be a great benefit. Types of herbs that are natural deterrents include: mint, lemongrass, fennel, basil, garlic, marigolds, onions, or petunias.
When treating your plants, always make sure to test any spray on a few leaves before applying them to the whole plant. Apply spray in the morning or evening, so there’s less of a chance for the sun to burn the plant. Never apply insecticide, homemade or bought, to a stressed plant, as this will make it worse. Keep pets away from the treated area until the insecticide is dried. There are many ways to keep pests off of plants. Find what works for you and your plants!Want more? Click here for more Tusco Tips.