Since they live indoors, many think that houseplants are protected from common garden pests and diseases like fungus gnats, mites, powdery mildew, and black spot. But these diseases can spread among indoor plants just as easily, especially if you’re regularly adding new potted plants into your space. Luckily, there are plenty of supplies to keep these pests under control!
Houseplant pest and disease is typically introduced when you unknowingly bring home a plant that may be housing tiny pests or pathogens. Even the most experienced plant parent can miss the signs, since it’s possible for these issues to be invisible to the naked eye. Over time, pests can proliferate and disease can make itself known and spread to other plants nearby. We always recommend isolating a new potted plant for a few weeks to make sure it’s pest- and disease-free before placing it near other plants.
What’s more, proper care, like fertilizing your plants during periods of active growth, can help create strong, healthy plants that are more resilient to common diseases and pests.
Of course, you can take all precautionary measures possible and still end up with an infected plant. Since these pesky plant enemies can also enter our homes through windows or hitch a ride on pets and people, dealing with a flare-up every now and then is just a reality of plant ownership. So we stocked our plant care shop with top-rated fertilizers, fungicides, insecticidal sprays, and more to keep your plants healthy and thriving.
Indoor Gardening Essentials
If you’re concerned about missing a regular fertilizing session, consider adding time-release pellets to the potting soil. Jack’s ClassiCote fertilizer provides all the essential nutrients with each watering session. This means your plants get a low does of continuous sustenance over the course of 4-6 months.
You can either mix this blend into the potting soil at repotting or sprinkle a thin layer on top of the soil. It’s safe to use alongside regular water-soluble fertilizer for an instant infusion of nutrients, too.
This all-purpose natural insecticide, miticide, and fungicide spray is a must-have organic gardening jack-of-all-trades treatment. It utilizes oil from the seeds of the neem tree to kill insect pests along with common fungal issues like powdery mildew, black spot, downy mildew, leaf spot, and more.
To treat existing disease, thoroughly spray all plant surfaces (including the underside of leaves) until wet, and re-apply every seven days. Continue for at least three treatments. To prevent disease before it takes over the plant, regularly re-apply every 7-14 days. Always follow the label directions.
If your houseplants are infested with flying insect pests like whiteflies, fungus gnats, blackflies, thrips, fruit flies, or midges, try Safer Brand’s houseplant sticky stakes. Each green stake allows you to attach three to four sticky yellow strips. The bright color attracts the flying adult insects like magnets without the use of harmful pesticides.
Simply stick one into the soil and gently shake the plant to release any pests and encourage them to swarm the strips. When the strips are full, toss the stake and replace with a fresh one. Keep in mind there are probably insect eggs and larvae that will continue their lifecycle to become adults, so keep extra sticky stakes handy.
To provide your flowering and foliage houseplants with the essential nutrients they need, pick up a tub of Jack’s Special Fertilizer. This water-soluble fertilizer is suitable for all houseplants, but particularly for those that produce flowers, thanks to the higher proportion of phosphorus. Regular fertilizing is key for healthy houseplants.
Fungal issues like black spot, powdery mildew, and downy mildew can be difficult to spot and even more challenging to treat. This liquid copper fungicide is the perfect antidote—it’s affordable, easy to use, and most importantly, effective. Simply spray a thin layer on affected leaves and stems until wet, and reapply every seven to 10 days. Always follow label directions.
Meet your one-and-done solution to some of the most common houseplant pests, including pesky spider mites and thrips. Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew is formulated with spinosad, a natural substance suitable for organic gardening made by a soil bacterium that kills insects on your plant’s leaves and roots with ease. Simply apply according to the label and enjoy your pest-free plants.
Formulated by Garden Safe®, this insecticidal soap is a convenient spray that kills aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale insects, thrips, and whiteflies on contact without traditional chemicals. The trusted brand has been creating natural and botanically-derived formulas sans traditional gardening chemicals since 2002.
To use, shake the container thoroughly and spray pests directly for best results. Spray all parts of the plant until wet, including the underside of leaves and stems. Always follow label directions.