Pests! This is the big one. But honestly, if you have a few houseplants you are going to get pests at some point. And if you have lots of houseplants pests may be a war you never win – there will continually be flare-ups and you just have to learn to manage it. 

The best way to treat pests is not to get them in the first place. Practice hygiene management with your plants. Wash your hands and any tools used (including grow pots) before touching a different plant. When you first buy a new plant place it in plant quarantine. Find a spot for it away from other plants for the first 4-6 weeks (the life cycle of most dudus) and keep on eye on it before adding it to your main collection. 

Use Neem oil and/or Vermiliquid to strengthen your plant against pest attacks. A foliar spray of water and a few drops of Neem or Vermiliquid can be sprayed onto the leaves of a plant. Spray until the solution drips off the plant and onto the soil. Both Neem and Vermiliquid are unattractive to pests and strengthen the root growth of plants. It’s a win/win. 

If you have insects attacking your plant the first thing to do is remove them physically. For some insects like mealy bugs, this can easily be done with a damp cloth, for scale insects you may need a cotton bud or old toothbrush dipped in a Neem solution to scrape them away. 

Once all trace of the insects are removed, spray the plant thoroughly with a Neem solution or other treatment. We use Neem if the problem is mild and Flower Natural Pyrethrum if the issue if more serious. Spray the plant thoroughly, making sure you target under the leaves, around the stem and the soil line. Repeat the process every week or so for at least 6 weeks (the life cycle of many of these bugs). 

To make a Neem solution we use 80ml of water, 5 drops of Neem oil and 2 pumps of Grounded liquid soap in our engraved mister bottle. Mixed Neem solution can be used for up to two weeks, so we don’t make too much all at once.