First aid for sick houseplants

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Some warning signs are an unequivocal indication of what your plant is missing. Ill houseplants show certain recurring damage pictures, which, if only recognized in time, can be treated easily. We show you the five most important warning signs in terms of pest infestation and diseases in indoor plants.

Bright spots and white webs

Warning signs: If bright spots and / or white webs of gossamer filaments appear on the leaves of your houseplants, the common spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is usually behind it.
Spider mites absorb the plant cells, causing them to dry up and quickly complete the plant. They are very widespread in indoor plants, show up especially in winter and are particularly active in dry heating air. As a preventative measure, you can increase the humidity by, for example, spraying the plants. Particularly popular are popular houseplants such as the rubber tree (Ficus elastica), the ray aralia (Schefflera) or the room ivy (Hedera).

Spider mites on a houseplant

Spider mites are among the most common pests on indoor plants

Measures: Isolate immediately the sick houseplants from the healthy ones. If it is about individual, handy plants, you can shower them off thoroughly. After drying, the crowns are then packed for a good two weeks with a closed transparent foil bag. The humid and warm climate ensures that the pests die off. You can treat your infested indoor plants, especially larger specimens, but also with pesticides such as pest-free Neem or Bayer garden spider mite free. In the conservatory or greenhouse, the use of predatory mites has been proven. These natural enemies of the spider mites eat the pests and their eggs and thus provide long-term relief.

Brown or yellow leaves on the windowsill

Warning signs: Does your plant stand on the windowsill and show brownish or yellow discolored leaves, which gradually fall off? In most cases, the house plants are not ill in such a case, they are just too close to the windowpane. In winter this means that the leaves that touch the disc cool, freeze and die. In summer, on the other hand, it is often a sunburn, which causes the leaves to fall and harm the plant.


If the leaves touch the windows directly, houseplants can get sick

Measures: If it was always so easy... Find a new place for your houseplants and you will see that they will recover quickly there.


Warning signs: Tiny black mosquitoes that frolic in large quantities on the potting soil or the plant umschwirren.
Sciarids (Sciaridae) are pests that occur mainly in winter and spread in large quantities on the houseplants. Dangerous are not the mosquitoes themselves, but their larvae. These live in the ground and eat the roots - which sooner or later the houseplants let go. A tip for prevention: Use only high quality potting soil for your houseplants. Mourning mosquitoes are often brought into the house via the substrate.

Yellow plugs help with funeral gnats

Yellow plugs help with funeral gnats

Measures: If the plant tolerates it, you should stop the casting for a while and let the root ball dry out completely. Mourning gnats love moist substrate, especially if it is very humus rich. Then remove the sick houseplant and remove the soil as much as possible before repotting it. A layer of sand on top of the substrate also keeps the sciarid mosquitoes away. Yellow plugs, yellow boards or beneficial insects (SF nematodes) from the specialist trade provide equally for remedy. You can also put the purple flowering Common Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) between your houseplants. It is one of the carnivorous houseplants and significantly reduces indoor mosquito infestations.
Tip: In plants that are suitable for hydroponics, sciarids have no chance! In clay granules, they do not nest.

Slender plants

Warning signals: A concrete image of damage can not be detected. But: The houseplant is sickly, leaves the leaves hanging and basically looks anything but vital.
Indoor plants are very dependent on the care of their owners. Indoors, it is particularly important that the plants can do photosynthesis. This is only possible if you get enough light. First of all, make sure that the houseplant is in the right place and then in what condition the leaves are. These symptoms usually appear when the leaves of the houseplants are covered with a layer of dust.

Clean the leaves of a houseplant from dust

Regular dusting is essential for indoor plants

Measures: Clean your house plants from dust every four to six weeks. You can simply shower off smaller plants. Make sure that you protect the root ball with a bag or something similar from too much water. Larger plants, which are difficult to move, or large-leaved specimens are freed of dust with a damp (and soft!) Cloth or brush.

Brown tips, waterlogging and hanging leaves

Warning signs: The houseplant leaves its leaves hang limp. In the pot waterlogging has formed and the roots already rot easily. Or the leaf tips are dry and brown. If you feel familiar with one or more of these symptoms, then you too have fallen into the classic houseplant trap: they over-pour!
Hard to believe, but most indoor plants do not go down because of too little watering, they die because their keepers mean it too well. Depending on the season or growth phase, plants need different amounts of water. The location also plays an important role, as houseplants that stand above a heater need much more water than those in an unheated room.

dead houseplant

You can also water plants too much...

Measures: Find out about the houseplant of your choice! For example, cacti and succulents need very little water because they can store it. Always check the planters. If water has accumulated in it, be sure to remove it and be careful not to water it the next time. There are also special moisture meters available on the market that you can put in the ground to see exactly when re-watering is needed. You can also find out about this through a so-called finger test. Rub some substrate in your hands and do not water until dry. Against waterlogging a drainage layer helps in the bottom of the pot. You can just use some sand or gravel.

Video Board: How to Revive a Dying Plant.

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