How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants Using 2 DE Application Methods

Wondering why it’s highly recommended to learn how to apply diatomaceous earth on houseplants? Diatomaceous earth, or also commonly known as DE, is a type of non-toxic insect repellent for plants that gardeners have been using for a long time. Although it says non-toxic, plant growers still shouldn’t let their guard down when using this type of insecticide and should proceed to use the treatment with caution.

DE comes in a powder form and works by cutting the insects that pass through the treated plants. The sharp microscopic edges of the substance wound the insects and as the fluid leaks out of the bugs’ bodies, it could lead to dehydration, thus killing them eventually. It’s because of this ability that many gardeners – both novice and experts – continue to use it in their plants to this day.

 

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants Using 2 DE Application Methods

What is Diatomaceous Earth Made Of?

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is made from the fossilized exoskeletons of diatoms – a microscopic aquatic organism. Their exoskeletons are made of silica and which are a naturally occurring component of the Earth’s crust. These silica sediments have very sharp edges (like broken glass) and have the ability to cut the pests.

 

2 Methods of Using Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants

Diatomaceous Earth kills a wide range of plant bugs and insects including aphids, millipedes, slugs, ants, centipedes, and squash bugs. If you find yourself experiencing these types of infestations on your houseplants, be sure to treat it immediately. Here are 3 ways on how you can treat insect infestations in your houseplants with Diatomaceous Earth.

 

Method #1. Dust application

One of the easiest ways to apply diatomaceous earth on houseplants is through dusting. Using a dust applicator approved for such use spread your DE powder on the affected houseplant. One thing to remember when applying DE via dusting is that you have to keep your masks on to keep the powder from entering through your nose and may cause irritation or shortness of breath.

The best time to dust DE into your plants is after a light rain or early in the morning where dews are fresh. The moisture will help the dust settle and stick better to the plant’s surface. It’s also important to keep children and pets away from the treated area until the dust has settled to protect them from the dangers of them coming in contact with the DE powder.

 

Method #2. Wet application

Another way to apply DE is through a wet application. This is especially helpful for indoor plants where they don’t get water from the rain that often or when there are no morning dews and you have to treat your plant as soon as possible. With the wet application method, you only have to mix four tablespoons of DE in 1 gallon of water and apply a few coats on the top or underside of your plants where pest or insect infestations commonly appear.

The drawback of this method is that when DE has been mixed in water, it’s rendered less effective. However, if you’re using this method of applying DE in your house plants, you may need to reapply the mixture on your plants a few times to speed up the killing of the insects or pests.

 

Important Thing to Remember When Applying DE

It’s worth noting that DE can kill all types of plant insects or bugs – including beneficial ones. That is why when dealing with unwanted pests and insect infestations, it’s recommended to cover the treated plant with burlap or a plastic sheet to keep the beneficial bugs from getting killed. You can remove the covering after a day or two and water the plant to keep the remaining diatomaceous earth off the surfaces of the plant.

 

Greenhouses for Plants Benefits

If you’re an avid fan of growing plants, then you may have come across a lot of people telling you that you should use a greenhouse and you might want to consider following their advice. Greenhouses offer a lot of benefits for plants. Here are some of them:

 

Advantage #1. Pest control

One of the best benefits greenhouses provide is pest control and prevention. Being an enclosed structure, aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, slugs, and other unwanted pests won’t be able to attack and eat your plants. This reduces your need to use pesticides like diatomaceous earth to ward off insects and pests.

 

Advantage #2. More plant choices

Thinking of planting a warm-weather plant during the cold season of the year? You can do that with a greenhouse. A greenhouse is more humid and warmer than the outside which makes it a perfect place for you to grow warm-season vegetables and fruits like sweet potatoes, zucchinis, hot peppers, lemons, winter squash, guavas, and more.

 

Advantage #3. Weather protection

Aside from pests, greenhouses also protect from tough weather like strong winds or heavy rains. The structure of the greenhouse offers enough protection against winds or extreme changes in the temperature during the winter or summer. With that, you can preserve the integrity of your plant and ensure that they will survive the tough season.

 

Learning How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants

At some point in your gardening journey, you will eventually experience pests and insect infestations that will endanger the health and integrity of your plants. If you find yourself with that issue on your indoor plants, learning how to apply diatomaceous earth on houseplants will make the difference between plant death and survival. Now that you have an idea on how to do that, you can immediately address any insect problem and ensure that your plant will live a long and productive life.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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