Many of us take our houseplants outside during the summer to ‘vacation’ in the fresh air and abundant summer light. If you have not already brought them in, remember to give them a bath to avoid inviting unwanted guests into your home. Although we can not readily see them, the soil is teeming with insects, eggs and larvae, deposited there by assorted critters to continue their life cycle and overwinter.
Start by bringing plants closer to the house. Clean any leaves and other debris from the top of the soil. Also clean the plant by removing dead or yellowed leaves. I use this opportunity to cut excess growth and shape the plant. Check carefully for critters, I like to give those that I can see, the opportunity to go elsewhere. I then use a hose to give the entire plant a good bath and run the water thru the soil. The use of a garden safe Insecticidal Soap is recommended to control aphids or mites too small to see with the naked eye. Remember to spray under the leaves where most insects like to hide. It is important to use an organic product that is safe for children and pets.
It is best to begin a hardening up or adjustment period – for a week or so – by bringing plants in during the night and taking them out during the day. This reduces some of the shock to the plant and avoid leaf loss from stress.
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous…” Aristotle
- Breathe Cleaner Air With These 7 Houseplants (ecosalon.com)
- Five Houseplants That Not Even You Can Kill (blisstree.com)