Protecting Houseplants from Insects

Houseplant Care in Winter

Q: I have had problems with insects on my houseplants during past winters. Is there anything I can do to prevent or control them?

A: The first step is to keep insects out of the house by carefully inspecting any plants before bringing them into your home. This is especially important for plants that have spent the summer outdoors. If insects are found, isolate the affected plants immediately.

The second step is to regularly monitor plants for insects or signs of insect activity. Be sure to check the underside of all leaves as well as the axis where leaves meet stems. If you find insects, it is important to identify the specific culprit before implementing control measures, because these measures vary with the type of pest. Plant Information can assist with insect identification and recommended pest management procedures.

Keeping indoor plants healthy is key to pest management. This requires providing individual plants with the specific light level, temperature, humidity, fertilization, and water that they need during the winter. Feel free to contact Plant Information at (847) 835-0972 or plantinfo@chicagobotanic.org for specific cultural information.