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House Plants Gets Sick Too!

Jul 20, 2008
A disease known as "damping off" is a common affliction suffered by plant seedlings in their transition to a new home. A good method to cut down on this is through the use of a sterilized starting mixture, which limits the appearance of this disease. If you notice any of your seedlings have been affected by this, you must remove and discard them to ensure it doesn't spread to other seedlings.

Another common bane of the average house plant is leaf mold, most commonly found on rubber plants and screw pines. This fungus will also spread if not contained, so affected leaves should be immediately removed and burned. If the disease has already spread too far there may be nothing left to throw out the plant, as it could very well lead to the disease affecting other nearby plants as well.

This rule applies in many instances. Pest infestation especially will often require you to throw away the entire plant. The effort to try and rid the plant of the pests and restore it to good health, coupled with the ever present risk of other plants becoming infected really makes this choice an easy one.

Of course this may certainly be a difficult decision, especially when the plant in question is one you've had for a long time, and has become as much a part of your decor as any other piece of furniture or decoration. The good news is that if the pests or disease have not spread overly much, you can still endeavor to save it. The plant should be moved to a new location, away from other plants while you try to bring it back to health. At least in this way you can be certain that no other plants will be infected should the threat continue to grow worse.

Pests, in the form of insects, are one of the most common forms of plant suffering. One of these is the aphid, an insect which usually inhabits the underside of leaves. They come in a variety of colors, which may be difficult to pick up when colored similarly to the leaves themselves. A good spray with water may be enough to remove them, and should be the first step taken in trying to do so. When that fails you can resort to a commercial insecticide instead.

Multiple sprayings will likely be necessary, after which point the remaining few may need to be taken off by hand. This can be accomplished by winding a wisp of cotton around the end of a toothpick and lightly dipping it in alcohol. This creation should easily remove the remaining few who proved resistant to the water or insecticide.

Another form of insects are scale insects, which con in a number of different shapes, sizes and colors. Plants most susceptible to these pests are ferns, ficus tree plant, citrus fruits, ivy and palms.

These hardy pests have a level of immunity to insecticides that makes other methods of removing them more viable. The toothpick method mentioned above is one of the better ways to get rid of these guys, as you'll be all but forced to remove them by hand one way or the other.

These are just a few of the many pests you may encounter when dealing with house plants. The most important thing is to always keep a watchful eye over your plants to make sure they're in good health, and take action immediately when anything seems to be awry.
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