One of the annoyances many gardeners have is bugs and pests that would invade their plants and soil. While treatable, we can’t help but feel irritated seeing pests try to mooch off the nutrients our plants need, affecting plant growth and development. That’s why many people opt to go for indoor plants, which experience fewer issues and are easier to maintain.
However, just because they are indoors doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to any problems! A common question many indoor gardeners wonder about is, ‘do indoor plants attract bugs?’
I’ll be tackling this question and showing you houseplants that may be easier to maintain in terms of bugs and pests.
Do Indoor Plants Attract Bugs?
Unfortunately, yes, houseplants can still attract bugs, despite being indoors. But why?
Here are reasons why there will be bugs in the indoor garden, and why bugs might like it more than the outdoors!
1. Lack of Air Movement
Think about what high winds can do to small bugs! They’ll need to stay grounded and look for shelter to avoid the harsh winds that have them flying to random places. That’s why insects would opt for placid environments, like your indoor garden, where the air isn’t gusty.
Remedy this by placing your plants near windows, doors, vents, or areas where they can receive a bit of air movement.
Lack of air movement can also come from placing your plants too close together. While grouping your plants helps with humidity, it can also decrease ventilation around your foliage, inviting bugs AND overcrowding plants to the point they compete for nutrients.
2. Standing Water
Standing water also includes the lingering pool of water left after watering your plants, water sitting on its leaves, soil surfaces, or the ones you leave in the container or saucers.
Bugs and insects LOVE standing water since they need moisture to prevent their bodies from drying out since this can kill them. Sometimes, if you grow plants submerged in water, then standing water is unavoidable and you’ll just have to be more vigilant.
The same goes for overwatering, as this can also increase humidity levels due to overwatered and soggy soil.
3. High Humidity
If bugs like standing water, then they will like environments with a lot of humidity, too. Indoor gardens that have a lot of tropical plants require warmth through a humidifier, which is where lots of bugs would like to settle in, too.
It isn’t just gardeners using a humidifier, but those living in high humidity conditions as well, such as areas closer to large bodies of water or experiencing high levels of precipitations.
With that said, what are the bugs that attract indoor plants the most? Here are the bugs you should watch out for:
- Whiteflies would stay under your plants’ leaves, where they congregate.
- Thrips are extremely tiny and appear during the spring, during the days you open the windows to let air in.
- Scales are similar to whiteflies, staying under plants’ leaves or on their joints.
- Mealybugs don’t have any armor and would go around warm, moist areas. They drink your plants’ sap, leaving behind a layer of wax looking powdery in texture.
- Fungus Gnats are small bugs that are similar to fruit flies, having dark brown or black bodies with light brown legs. They would stay on organic matter on the top layer of the soil, laying eggs there. They eat anything and everything the decay, potentially destroying your houseplants’ roots.
- Spider Mites are common in indoor gardens but not a critter you’d like to see! It settles under the plants’ leaves, making webs and eating your plants.
- Aphids are insects that love drinking sap from any kind of plant. They can cause pest infestations and make your plants damaged and weak!
Indoor Plants That Resist Pests
If you want to begin planting indoors but hate having to deal with bug infestations (who doesn’t?), then certain plants are naturally better when repelling bugs. Here are the plants are known to have fewer insect problems because they are scented or have waxy cuticles that prevent insects from piercing through the leaves:
- Herbs like basil, chives, chamomile, lavender, or mint
- Cast Iron Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Venus flytrap
- Snake plant
The worst plants that are more prone to bugs are the ones that require high humidity conditions, such as:
- Peace lily
It is still possible to grow any kind of plants, provided that they can thrive indoors, with proper care and prevention required to deal with bugs inside the house. It all begins with proper inspection, regular checkups of your plants, and providing them the right amount of water and nutrients that keep them growing well. Keep your plants spaced appropriately and with good airflow, and remove any dead or diseased leaves, along with soil debris when you notice them.
If ever there are bugs on your plants, then it’s best to take action immediately to control the damage and keep it from happening again. Quarantine the affected plant from other nearby plants to prevent infecting others, and if you plan on seeding new plants, avoid using old potting soil, as this may contain eggs from bugs. If push comes to shove, you may need to throw out a plant that has been infested with bugs to the point that they are unable to grow or become contagious.
Wrapping It Up
There are a lot of benefits indoor houseplants have, but even then, they are still prone to bugs. Fortunately, you can prevent a pest infestation and keep the plants relatively bug-free by caring and maintaining for them properly. If you have already experienced bugs around your houseplant, there are ways you can remove them from your indoor garden immediately!
I hope that this article answers your question, ‘do indoor plants attract bugs?’ Now that you know the answer, prepare ahead and go against those pesky pests in your indoor or outdoor garden now!