After Receiving Your Plant In The Mail

• OPTIONAL - Give your plant a good rinse with warm water and let it dry before potting it up. 

• Pot up the plant in a planter that has a drainage hole and water the plant until water drains out from the bottom of the pot. 

• To prevent plants dropping leaves due to stress cause from shipping; environmental, light or temperature changes:

       1. Place your potted plant in a bright and warm location, but out of direct sunlight and not under a grow light. Slowly climatize the plant to sunlight or a grow light over the course of a week or two.

       2. Don’t mist your plant unless it’s a plant that likes high humidity. Eg. pilea, hoya, dischidia, peperomia and string of pearls/tears all like high humidity.

The points above only apply to plants that require large amounts of light or plant that takes over a week to deliver.

• Only water the plant when the soil is dry.



Taking Care of The Bugs...  


Killing Insects with Humidity





Treating Root Mealy Bugs



SOLUTION  1. Detach the plant from the root buy cutting it at the base, then root the plant in new soil and in a clean pot.

SOLUTION  2. Soak the pot in hot water at 49 degree temperature. This temperature won’t harm the root significantly, but will kill off the adult mealies. Repeat the process a few times  within a couple weeks to break the cycle as the eggs might still hatch within a few days. Or, soak the plant in water above the soil line for a few days to drown the mealy.


OPTIONAL: Add vinegar to make the water more acidic, bugs don't like acidity. Ratio 1-2 parts white vinegar to 10 parts water.



Thrips 
Brew chewing tobacco as a tea and use to spray the infected plant. A few treatments are required to break the thrips life cycle.

Or, de-soil the plant and washing periodically with water over the next few weeks until the new growth has no sign of damage. De-soiling the plant will prevent root rot and thrips from hiding in the soil.




Aphids 
Spray with End-All solution or run the plant under a faucet with stronger water pressure.
Or, a few drops of peppermint oil combined with 1 quart of water. 



Mealy Bugs
Use a small paint brush or a toothpick to remove the mealy from the crown or under/between the leaves. Paintbrush can be dipped in rubbing alcohol. Swipe the mealy off the plant.



Scales
SOLUTION 1. Use a toothpick or paintbrush to remove the scales. Alcohol can be used by dipping the tool in the solution before applying on to the insect.

SOLUTION 2. Wash the plant in light soapy water (Not recommended for succulents with powder coated leaves) and scrape off any scales, then plant in new soil and a clean pot.



Tips
All the insects listed above do fly and look very similar to gnat, so to prevent the adults from infesting other plants by laying their eggs, vacuum them up. Also, yellow sticking paper can be used to trap the flying adults.


General Maintenance
Treat plant once a week with any of the solution you decided to use, but rotate the treatment so bugs doesn't build tolerance to the solution.

My weekly essential oil concoction to keep the bug population down: A few drops of: peppermint, lavender, rosemary, cedar wood, tea tree, and oregano oil. Mix the essential oils with 1 quart of water. Shake well before spraying and always do a spot test before spraying the whole plant.


Grey or Rust Fungus
5 drops of tea tree or oregano oil mix with 1 quart of water. Shake well before spraying the infected area. Spot test spray before spraying the whole plant. Some powdery plants may not react well to essential oil and can result in dropping leaves.

Or, cut off and discard the infected leaves.

Powdery Mildew
One tbsp of potassium bicarbonate with a few drops to one tsp of dish soap mix with one gallon of water. Shake well before spraying the infected plants.

Or, replace potassium bicarbonate with two to three tbsp of baking soda.

Benefits of Rain Water
To come...