Outdoors, pest populations are kept in check by rain and diseases and by birds, beneficial insects, and other predators; indoors, however, plant pests can proliferate very quickly with nothing to stop them. The most common pests that may infest your houseplants are spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, aphids, and fungus gnats. This can lead to unsightly damage and potentially the death of your plant. There is also the risk that an infestation can jump from one plant to another. For these reasons, pest control is important. First, though, you need to learn how to identify your pest.
Spider mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. Their common name comes from the silky webbing they produce when populations are high. These tiny creatures are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They thrive in dry indoor environments, and their populations can grow exponentially in a few weeks.
The mites typically feed on the underside of leaves, where the removal of cell contents also removes the green pigment of the leaf. This causes stippling, which results in a dusty appearance. Heavy infestations can cause leaves to yellow and fall off and can also lead to the death of a plant.
Check for mites by tapping leaves over a white piece of paper and looking for tiny dots crawling around. Insecticidal soap is one of the best products to use against this pest. It’s a contact insecticide with no residual activity after it dries. Make at least three applications at five-day intervals to control newly emerging mites. Be sure to spray the upper and lower leaf surfaces.
Fungus gnats are a species of fly about ¼ inch long and are usually black. The use of yellow sticky traps can help you confirm whether or not
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Project Giving Back has announced that it will be continuing its support of gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2025 and 2026. Speaking at the opening of the 2023 Gardens For Good Causes Exhibition at the Garden Museum in London, Project Giving Back’s CEO, Hattie Ghaui, said: “I am thrilled to confirm we will be supporting even more gardens for good causes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show until 2026. As we move into our third year of funding, it feels like PGB is still in its adolescent years and we wanted to give it time to mature into adulthood. We know from having to turn down some incredibly strong funding applications over the past couple of years that there are so many wonderful stories waiting to be told. We’re all excited to see how the creativity of charities, designers and wider garden teams continues to unfold and look forward to welcoming more partnerships into the PGB family.”
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