Prevention of Container Plants from Pests

Prevention of Container Plants from Pests

Container gardening can be fun, relaxing, and exciting, but it can also be quite a hassle if you don’t take the proper precautions when it comes to prevention of container plants from pests. Containers are a perfect habitat for many insects including caterpillars, aphids, snails and spiders. Because of their small size, plants will typically do very well without any form of extra protection. However, there are a few things that you can do that will help to reduce the threat of some plant-intrusive insects, and here is what we suggest.

Role of Containers

The first thing that we think about when people talk about prevention of pests in containers is the containers themselves, which is where most problems will occur. Containers, like most other places where plants are grown, contain moisture and adequate temperatures, both of which are food sources for many insects. If your containers are not kept at reasonable temperatures and moisture levels, it is highly likely that these plants will suffer from a variety of diseases and pests. This is especially true when containers are grown in areas where the soil is frequently moist.

Keep the Water Circulating In Containers

So how can you prevent this from happening? The first thing you can do is to improve the conditions in your containers, especially if you live in areas where there is enough sunlight to encourage photosynthesis. Keep the water in containers circulating and keep the temperatures warm, as hot temperatures in a container decrease plant vitality. You should also clean your containers often so that excess moisture and other debris can drain from them.

Identify the Vulnerable Plants by Inspecting Them

There are certain specific plants and fungi that are more vulnerable to attack by aphids. These plants are lily and daffodils, for example, and there are some plant roots, such as rhubarb and bean sprouts, that are actually toxic to aphids. You can identify the vulnerable plants by inspecting them carefully. Aphids will go to great lengths to lay their eggs on the foliage of vulnerable plants, so checking for these obvious signs is an easy way to determine if any of your plants are infested. You should be able to easily notice swollen roots and areas of discoloration on the plant.

Do not Provide Hiding Place to Pests

Most common diseases that attack plants in containers are fungus and insect diseases. You can also attract insects to your garden by providing plenty of hiding places for them, such as small gaps in plants’ trunks or a piece of debris glued to the underside of a plant. Be careful not to provide a hiding place for your pests, however, as the latter may eventually invade your garden and spread their diseases. To prevent insects from penetrating your plants’ roots, you should check for root rot, which is a common problem in containers.

Identification of Presence of Pests

There are a number of pest insects that are commonly found in garden plots, although there are others that may not be so easy to find. Some of these include ants, which are always a problem because they eat your plants’ food supply, as well as aphids and leafhoppers. You can identify these pests by the black ‘ant hill’ spots that appear on the undersides of leaves of the plant. These spots are a sign of leaf hopper diseases, which attack plants on the underside of the leaf.

Isolate the Susceptible Plants

If you have a susceptible plant, it may be necessary to isolate it until you can get it under control, by either removing it from the garden altogether or treating it with beneficial insecticides. For example, plant viruses such as the tomato fruit virus, which may kill other plants, may be treated with a deadly natural anti-viral compound that’s highly effective against these creatures. However, if your plants are particularly prone to disease, you may have to resort to other means of protection.

Ways to Prevent Plant Diseases

One of the best ways to prevent plant diseases is to provide good soil, nutrients, water and air to your plants. Healthy plants that can tolerate growing conditions in containers are healthier plants in general, so you will have less work to do when it comes to controlling pests. Also, avoid watering your plants too much during the hotter months of the year, especially when you are growing plants for transplant, as this will encourage root rot. And, avoid placing plant containers close together in your garden, as they may also attract termites, who will eat your hard work.

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