At Logee’s, we have turned our attention to using beneficial insects, or known in the industry as IPM (integrated pest management). Today’s post is about treating for Western Flower Thrip. Western Flower Thrip is a prevalent pest in most garden centers and seen on outdoor plants. We recently had an outbreak in our new 19,000 sq. foot production greenhouse and this is what we did.
The home gardener can treat thrip, spider mite and white fly with predatory pests. I’m one of those gardeners that like convenience. For the past three years I’ve treated all my indoor plants with predatory insects and after two applications each year, I easily solve the problem.
Check out this website: A site for the home gardener called Rincon-Vitova Insectaries
The bugs for the home gardener come in tubes. Simply sprinkle the bugs, packing material and all on your indoor plant’s leaves. The bedding or sand-like substance in the tube is what carries the beneficials. It looks like sand on your leaves but is necessary so the beneficial insects can crawl out of their packing material and onto the leaves to find and consume the bad bugs.
HIbiscus leaf with sand-like material which houses the good bugs
Keep in mind, that these bugs are microscopic, only stay on the plants, will not crawl around in your house or on the furniture and in my opinion is easier than spraying. After several weeks, wipe off the sand-like material.
A single leaf of Philodendron gloriosum, one of many plants that purify inside air.
Indoor plants make great air purifiers in the way of absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air and giving off oxygen in the photosynthesis process. Especially this time of year, when many of us are stuck inside with dry indoor heat and the snow outside has buried any semblance of green vegetation.
Philodendron erubescens ‘Pink Princess
‘, another large leafed plant that adds to indoor air quality.
Other chemicals that plants absorb are the benzenes, formaldehydes and trichloroethylenes given off typically from new carpet, plastic anything, synthetic building materials, etc. All plants are not created equal(ie: the more surface area the better air purification). Although after researching this topic, most plants are beneficial.
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’
According to a study at the University of Minnesota Extension
, plants that were the most effective were the tropical and subtropical plants. A recent article in Better Homes and Gardens
also talks about the benefits of clean air in your home. At Logee’s, we grow many plants that can help cleanse the air.
Of course, the bigger and more vigorous they grow the better the air quality but Nasa’s study
has said that a dozen small plants in 6-8 inch pots can effectively clean an 1800 sq foot home.
Here’s our Logee’s List of the Best Plants for Clean Air.
We have a ready made category for the air purifiers. We call them our Indestructibles, which simply means they are easy to care for and can withstand dry conditions and take partial sun. Plants such as sansevierias, philodendrons, aloes, agaves, polyscias, and aeschynanthus.
Byron says Begonias are the way to go for attractive air cleansers. Plus, they are good for the inattentive gardener or the gardener who has a dry household. Begonias like to be kept dry between watering and do not need full sun.
Begonia ‘Palomar Prince’
is a rhizomatous begonia that fills out into a large leafed specimen. This is a 4-inch pot that we are ready to ship out.
Begonia ‘Tea Rose’
also in a 4-inch pot, has large green leaves with fragrant pink flowers.
Other plants that are easy to grow and are excellent to clean indoor air are below.
is also called the “Hawaiin Volcano Plant” and grows on a volcanic rock.
In the main greenhouse is this Maidenhair Fern that not only adds greenery but is lovely in its shape and form. Ferns are more difficult to grow. They need lots of humidity and water.
In the foreground is a stray branch from our Ficus Pumila plant that covers the inside ceiling of our retail store. We have a built in air cleaner with this plant.
Finally, think lots of leaf surface. The Alocasia sp. Zebrina
gets relatively large leaves and has an attractive striping on the stem.
But we are talking BIG with this next variety.
This large elephant ear known as colocasias esculenta ‘Thailand Giant Strain’
is extraordinary in its leaf size and structure. Let’s just say one plant this large would take care of your entire household clean air needs. Notice our son, Elijah when he was 12 years old, amongst the leaves. This was grown outside for one season but can easily grow inside in a pot if you have the space and full sun exposure.