Archive for March, 2007

Ailing Houseplants

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Identifying And Treating Pests of Flowering Plants

Have you noticed lately that your houseplant has been starting to brown or is slow at producing new growth. This might be a sign that your flower bouquet is being attacked by pests. It is very common for what seems to be a healthy flower to fall victim to pests. But before you go and buy flowers online try to treat your floral arrangement. The first step in doing so should be identifing the menace.

Mealybugs:
Mealybugs are easy to identify because of the white wax that their body produces as a protective shield. You can find mealybugs hiding in the crevices and undersides of your flower’s stems and leaves. They almost look like little balls of cotton with tiny legs.

Treatment:
If it is a small infestation of mealybugs, it is best to treat your plant with a natural remedy. Dip a q-tip into rubbing alcohol and dab it directly onto the mealybugs. They will immediately turn brown and die. You can then gently wipe them off of the plant. If there are more than a few mealybugs, it is best to treat your flower with an insecticidal soap. Since mealybugs like to hide in the crevices of the flower, be sure to apply the soap to the entire flower. You can then rinse off the mealybugs with water. If you don’t treat your flowers you could always sign up for flower of the month club.

Aphids:
Characteristically, aphids are green and black with two tubes coming out of the ends of their bodies. The are small in size and typically leave behind a trail of sticky residue.

Treatment:
Aphids are best treated with an insecticidal soap. The process might have to be repeated several times before the flower is treated.

Spider Mites:
Spider mites are extremely small in size, about the size of a ballpoint at the end of a pen, therefore, sometimes making them hard to see on the flowers. In order to tell if your flower is being affected by spider mites, gently shake the leaves of the flower over a piece of white paper. If there are spider mites on your flower, you will see small black dots fall onto the white paper.

Treatment:
In order to control spider mites, spraying the flower with a stream of water every couple of days over a period of two weeks should minimize the infestation. If it seems like the mites are coming back, you will have to treat the flower with a horticultural oil.

Whiteflies:
Whiteflies look exactly as their name suggests. Although in their younger stage, whiteflies will attach themselves to the undersides of your flower’s leaves, sometimes making them easy to overlook.

Treatment:
To get rid of adult whiteflies, place a sticky fly tape near the flower. If you notice whiteflies are on the undersides of the flower’s leaves, you will have to treat the flower with an insecticidal soap.

If you do happen to loose a flower its easy to order flowers online and have the flowers delivered directly to your doorstep.

Remember, the sooner you get rid of pests, the easier it will be to maintain your flower arrangement.