Bugs in the soil of a house plant present a danger to the health of that plant. Learn plant-saving techniques from a professional landscape designer in this free video.
Hi, I'm Marci Degman, the aspiring gardener, and today we're going to talk about how to organically get rid of bugs in your house plant's potting soil. It's not an easy thing, once they've gotten into the soil. Many of the times, when we see insects flying around, they're just at the surface, and they're not really infesting the plant. So, there are some times you can spray them with soap, and other things, and get rid of them there. But, when they're down in the soil, it's difficult. There's a few things you can try if you have fungus gnats. That's one of the things that people see more this time of year as they're bringing plants inside from outdoors, or maybe the temperature's changing a little bit, and they're trying to find a place inside. And, what they do, is they actually lay their eggs down inside the soil, and then their larvae hatches out. And, at that point, it starts to eat at the roots of the plant. So, what do you do once that gets down in here? It's not easy. The only real, I think organic cures that, you know, have a chance, are things like Bt, and beneficial nematodes, and some of the live microscopic insects and microorganisms that you can buy at the garden center and put into the soil, because they'll actually go down and kill those gnats, they'll eat the larva. That kind of, I mean, it seems like a lot to do for a pot plant, but that is pretty much the only way you're going to get rid of them completely. Some of the things you can do to kind of prevent those gnats from going down in the soil is, let the top dry out as much as possible. They don't like dry soil. If your plant can't take that, then that's not going to be the best method, but if it's a plant, this plant is a corn plant, and it actually is pretty dry right now, and it can get pretty dry. So, I could probably do that, and if you do that often enough, you might be able to alleviate them quite a bit. The other thing you can do is get little tack strips that you can set in here to catch some of the flies, but they're all just going to have to work together. None of those things are going to do it all by their self. If you can do it in that manner, fine. If not, probably the very best thing to do, which I would do for a plant in the house, is I would take the plant completely out of the soil, take it to the sink, wash the roots completely, get all of the soil off. Sterilize your pot with soapy water, and put brand new potting soil. Then, go ahead and put your sand on the top, and do some of those things to prevent re-infestation. Go through your house, if there are any other plants that have insects, do the same thing, because once it's an infestation, it's really hard to get rid of, and you'll save yourself a lot of time if you just re-pot. Today, we have learned how to use organic practices to alleviate our house plants of insects.