Taking Care of and Preventing House Plants Pest and Diseases

Vinu Jehoshapat
Last Updated: 15 Feb, 2020

Some people find growing a kitchen garden easier than maintaining indoor plants. That's because one day indoor plants are beautiful and full of glory and the other day they are infested with pests or are shedding their leaves.

Regardless of what one feels about maintaining houseplants, they are relatively easier to manage if only few things are kept in mind. The most important part is to make sure your plants are free from any kind of pest or diseases.  

Here are few things to keep in mind for healthy indoor plants

  1. Inspect carefully your plants before bringing them indoors. You should also inspect carefully when you buy new plants or the plants that have spent a good amount of time outside during summer. If you see any sign of pests or disease on them, remove them from all other plants and place them in isolation. The disease can spread from them to other plants around. The plant should be cured fully before you bring it inside. 
  2. It is natural for plants to shed few leaves when you bring them inside. It's a symptom of shock, but don’t worry, you will soon see new leaves coming up.  You may observe similar symptoms when you bring a new plant home from the nursery. The symptoms are more prominent if light levels in your home are significantly different.
  3. Don’t place plants in those corners of the room where temperature fluctuates. You should also not place them where either it's too warm or too cold. Place them away from heating and air conditioning ducts. Never put them on top of a radiator, between curtains or near a frosty window.
  4. Make sure the plants are getting the right amount of light. Plants that prefer bright light will perform best when placed in a south-facing window. Plants will get only moderate sun when they are placed in east-and west-facing windows. Avoid placing the plants near north windows since they have very little sun. 
  5. If you are using a heating system in your house, they can dry out the air in winter. Plants need some amount of moisture. You can provide them with a little extra humidity with the help of pebble tray and some misting.

Food, water and sunlight are the basic necessities for most plants to survive. However their requirements for food, water and sunlight differ significantly. For example, ficus trees grow well in bright, indirect light and moist soil, but cacti on the other hand require bright light and dry soil.

When you buy a new plant from the nursery, choose the one that will thrive on the amount of light that is available inside your house or the light that you will be able to provide them inside the house. Healthy plants are better posed at fighting and warding off pests and disease much better compared to weak plants. 

Wash the leaves of your plants several times a year as a good practise. You should never dust and grime on houseplants. It is bad for the health of the plants. Dusting can clog the pores of plant leaves making it difficult for them to respire. Moreover dust filters sunlight before it reaches the plant therefore hindering the crucial process of photosynthesis. Don’t let the dust and grime gather on plants as they attract spider mites and other insect pests.

Vinu Jehoshapat