Hello, gardening friends! Welcome to
Backyard Basics. I’m John Dromgoole. Well, houseplants need a couple of things:
Some good light, a bright window, but never the direct sunshine. Proper
watering, don’t overwater them. Don’t underwater them, and they’ll be nice
and hardy that way, too. I’m talking about those things because once a plant gets
stressed it is susceptible to insect problems, and that is something that you
have to keep an eye on. And one of the ways to keep an eye on it is to wash the
plants off now and then. You just make sure there’s no dust on it. Dust is
another problem. And so you keep the dust off of it, and while you’re doing that,
you get a good chance to observe the plant properly. And one of the things to
look for could be a red spider there underneath the foliage. That’s a big
problem because they just spread and spread. You can wash them off outside or
you can take a sponge that you’ve been cleaning with and wipe them off that way.
That might take several times, but that’ll give you control of the red
spider. That’s a big problem, actually, so keep an eye on that. Sometimes if the
plant is near a curtain and it has red spider, the curtain might have the
spiders on it, and you put it back next to it and the next thing you know
they’re on there again. So go ahead and vacuum that off. Make sure
you’ve got that cleaned up. Also, another thing are the flying insects that come in.
The sticky traps are very good. They’re not attractive, but they’re very good at
catching some of the flying insects: fruit flies, fungus gnats… these are the
ones I’m talking about. So you can control those with some drenches. The
same product that you use for controlling mosquitoes is also used to
control fungus gnats. You can dissolve it and then put it in a little container. I
use a container like this. Mix it up, and you have easier access to the soil in
there. So a container like this, and it’s recycling also. This nice little spout on
it is a wonderful thing. So we’re beginning now to see that close
observation will show you about the plant’s condition. Now the fungus gnats
are also suppressed. I’d use a little bit of coffee grounds. We always ask that
question can I use them? Absolutely. You can put them on top so that they
break that ability to come in and out of the soil, or you can put a nice little mulch on them. That is also attractive and helps
the conserve water and control the fungus gnats that are going in there, too.
The organic gardener uses several products that have a fragrance to them
when they’re used for fertilizers. So now there’s some new ones like this indoor
house plant fertilizer. That’s a really good one. Another one, right
there, is the second one that Hasta Gro, a very good one, especially when you have blooming house plants.
These fertilizers together with the earthworm castings, which can be
topically applied or dissolved in water also. These are some very good ways of
keeping those plants nice and healthy. Don’t use too much of it because the
plant is supposed to be a little bit static in the house, not growing
vigorously. You want to keep them the way you bought them, pretty much. So keeping plants healthy, managing insects are all easy to do when you pay attention to the
plants and their special needs. For Backyard Basics, I’m John Dromgoole.
Happy indoor gardening!