The era of all-out chemical treatments is finally behind us. Amateur gardeners have become aware that certain abuses have led to lasting imbalances in the garden’s fauna (ladybugs, hedgehogs and earthworms in particular have suffered). Moreover, these practices constituted a kind of flight forward because the more we treated, the more we had to treat.
Here is how to recognize and protect yourself from predators that attack your spider plant.
Prevent attacks on your spider plant
To reduce the attack of predators as much as possible, we learn how to take good care of our garden. We plant our species in the right places. A plant that likes the sun, but that we cultivate in the shade easily becomes a prey for undesirables. Too much or too little water, or too much or too little fertilizer makes plants weak and prone to predation. Avoid fertilizers that are too rich in nitrogen (the first number on the fertilizer package): they stimulate too much plant growth, which insects find irresistible.
Scented plants (herbs, garlic, tansy, etc.) help to repel certain insects, so we can plant them throughout our gardens as a preventive measure. We can also think of trap plants. Nasturtium, for example, attracts aphids. Japanese beetles, for their part, cannot resist pelargoniums… and they die after eating them.
Treatments of the spider plant
When insects are seen, it may be necessary to treat the spider plant with an insecticide. A product with little or no toxicity to humans, such as insecticidal soap, which is no more dangerous than hand soap, is preferred.
Spider plant disease
Common diseases of houseplants, red spider mite and mealy bugs are the most common.
If the leaves tend to lose their luster it is recommended to give it more light.
If the tips of the leaves dry out and turn yellow it is often due to a lack of fertilizer and/or moisture. Spray the foliage with clean water and apply fertilizer regularly.
How to recognize spider plant pests
Red spiders or spider mites
They attack by hot and dry weather, and make the plants yellow. In addition, spider threads can be seen between the leaves and stems. And the latter are covered with small “living dust” (the red spiders themselves). This problem can be solved by washing the leaves well with soapy water.
They come in all colors: green, black, purple, orange, etc… They prick our plants and sip the sap from them, weakening them. The mother aphid, a small plump insect on thin legs, produces a bunch of babies, which make babies in turn… and soon the plant is covered with them. Often a spray of water is enough to make them fall.
They come out at night and on a gray day, nibbling the leaves of our plants. As they like humidity, we discourage them by keeping the soil rather dry. When they are not too numerous, they can be harvested by hand; if not, try iron phosphate granules (Ant-Slug, Slug B Gone, etc.), which are harmless to other animals.
There are a myriad of varieties, small or large, smooth or hairy. All of them devour the leaves of the plants. Most have a favorite host: cabbages, roses, tomatoes, etc.. Some of them live alone: manual harvesting (with a glove) is then quite appropriate. For those that come in large numbers, treatment with Bt, a natural insecticide, would be very appropriate.
When we garden, we realize that there are many pests ready to attack our plants: aphids, caterpillars and slugs. Usually, only a few plants are affected and only occasionally, but it is still disturbing!
The presence of pests is quite “normal”, their role in nature being to eliminate weak and poorly adapted plants. However, the conflict arises when we judge that a plant is to be preserved, while they start working to make it disappear!