Pests and Diseases forum: Plants I'm bathroom more prone to pests?

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Hunterdon County NJ (Zone 6b)
Chrissyd1121
Jan 1, 2018 9:31 AM CST
Im a newbie and when it was time to bring plants in for the winter I thought it was a good idea to put the ones who like high humidity in the bathroom. They seemed happy for a couple of weeks but the humidity seemed to make them more susceptible to some pests. Fungus gnats, mealies, some kind of skinny wormy nematode, black dots and white dashes. I don't even know for sure what all was on them but there was lots of black and white... Nothing I ever saw move but just appeared out of nowhere Everytime o turned around
I know humidity is supposed to keep certain pests at Bay but my bathroom seemed to be a haven.... Anyone else find this?
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Jan 1, 2018 9:38 AM CST
I often bring plants into the bathroom to over winter.
A spray with insectide soap can prevent some pests.
But some come in the soil too, so I stick one of those--
"sticky sticks " into a few of the pots.
Also having some plants which deter insects might help.
Name: Beverly
Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter
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vitrsna
Jan 1, 2018 9:53 AM CST
Also, some air circulation may help and more light if they do not have a sunny window.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 1, 2018 10:43 AM CST
The persistent belief that bathrooms are good for plants due to high humidity is not really accurate. Yes, we all experience the steaminess of the bathroom after we shower. However, after the door or window has been open for 30 minutes or so, the humidity has dissipated. Unless you have a very large family requiring a lot of showers throughout the day, the humidity is not appreciably better in the bathroom than elsewhere in the house. In addition, nearly all commonly used houseplants do just fine in low humidity as long as they are watered properly so they get water through their roots.

Plants need for good light is much more important than humidity, so locate your plants accordingly. Healthy plants are more resistant to plant pests and pathogens.

High humidity is a deterrent to spider mites but has little effect on other indoor plant pests. Keeping plants in an enclosed space can become a breeding ground for fungi and make it easier for any existing pests to spread to other plants. But the humidity itself is not the source of plant pests.

Fungus gnat larvae live in the top layer of soil in plants. The best antidote for them is to allow the soil to dry deeper into the pot before watering. I suspect most of your plants will do better if you allow them to dry out more in between waterings.

Mealybugs are best treated by thoroughly spraying infected plants with a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. However, you must get thorough coverage with the spray of all leaf and stem surfaces for it to be effective.

Tiny nematodes in the soil, are not usually a problem. If you are seeing a lot of them, then that is an indication that the plant is potted in non-sterile soil.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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