How to Protect your Indoor Plants from Pesky Insects

The temps have definitely been feeling like fall. When the temperatures start to dip, it’s time to bring those houseplants inside that have been enjoying the warm summer outdoors. However, wait to march them inside just yet, before making sure those plants are clear of any little creatures making their way into your home!

Most indoor plants don’t like temps below 50-55 degrees. When temps start dipping to these lower temperatures, they need to be brought into warmer environments to ensure there isn’t any damage to the plants. However, insects often find their way into the home by hitchhiking on the leaves and soil of the plants. While a few insects may not seem like a big deal, they can quickly multiply, and by having limited plants inside to feed on, the damage can occur quite quickly. Applications of insecticides are an important step in maintaining houseplants when you bring them into the house and during the entire winter season.

Upon bringing your plants into the house, make a pitstop at the front door and clean off all the leaves as best you can. Hosing them down with a gentle water wand is always a good way to wash off all the dust from the leaves. After the plant is dry, apply an insecticide and possibly a fungicide application. Some formulations we like to use are Bonide Insecticidal soap, Eight or Mite X. Each of the liquid insecticides has its benefits but as a whole they each will do a good job killing a wide variety of insects. After the insecticide is dry, apply Bonide Systemic Insecticide Granules. This should be applied every 6-8 weeks with the appropriate amount of granules to the soil and watering it. You may want to reapply the liquid insecticide 7-10 days after the first application to make sure to get any insects that hatched after your first application. Your plants should be brought outside or to your garage to apply insecticide if possible. Regular dusting of the leaves and application of leaf shine throughout the winter will allow proper light penetration and general healthy growth of your plants.

If you already brought your plants in and didn’t add these steps, that’s okay! Simply choose a day when the temps are favorable for indoor plants to be outside and clean your plants as stated before. As the winter approaches and continues to spring, monitor your plants regularly to make sure insects have not reinfested your plants. Before you know it, spring will come again and your plants will be out again, until then, good luck!