There’s been a sudden wave of people searching for information on how to get rid of gnats in plants, with fungus gnats popping up in households at increasing rates. What’s causing this spike in fungus gnat problems, and how can we get rid of them naturally? We put together this quick guide to help you eliminate these unwanted house guests and prevent them from returning!
How to Kill Plant Gnats Naturally
Fungus gnats are tiny little flies that swarm around your indoor plants, increasing in number quite quickly. While the mature flies are more of a nuisance than an outright threat to your houseplants, their larvae are the ones that can do some significant damage! Fungus gnat larvae feed off plant roots, and that’s the most delicate and vulnerable part of a plant. Getting rid of the larvae and stopping the mature flies from reproducing are your two main goals when you have a fungus gnat problem.
What Causes Gnats in Indoor Plants?
Fungus gnats get their name because they love fungus! So, if your plant soil is full of fungus, the gnats will soon come. But, what causes fungus in houseplants? The answer, usually, is overwatering your plants! There’s been a big increase in fungus gnat problems in the last year because everyone was spending more time at home, and the temptation to overwater is too real!
While there are a few houseplants that thrive off consistently moist soil, many houseplants prefer to have the top few inches of potting soil dry out in between watering, especially in winter. To prevent water from collecting in the bottom of the pot and growing bacteria, use pots with drainage holes on the bottom and allow the excess water to run out.
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Soil Naturally
So, you’ve noticed fungus gnats flying around your houseplants. Now what? Well, you need to tackle both the larvae and the mature flies, so it’s generally a good idea to combine a few tactics if you want to do a thorough job. Here are a few solutions you can try to stop fungus gnats at all stages of development:
- Neem Oil: This essential oil is an excellent pesticide that’s safe for home use. Spraying a naturally formulated neem oil solution all over your plant’s leaves will help kill mature fungus gnats, but drenching the soil with neem oil in water will help kill all the larvae lurking in the soil.
- Pyrethrin Spray: Like neem oil, this product can be sprayed all over plants to kill mature flies naturally and can be diluted with water to pour through the soil to kill larvae. It’s entirely safe for use indoors and is derived from the chrysanthemum flower! Just be careful about using it for plants you intend to bring outdoors because pyrethrin is harmful to bees and butterflies.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Use one part peroxide and four parts water, and pour this solution through the soil. Not only will this kill the larvae, but it will also kill the fungus naturally!
- Sticky Traps: If you need a quick-fix solution to get rid of fungus gnats like if you’ve got company coming over and you want those swarming bugs out pronto, use sticky traps! These little sticky cards can be discreetly tucked in your potted plant containers, and the fungus gnats will get stuck. Once they’re covered, you can throw them straight in the trash.
- Allow the Soil to Completely Dry Out: Since you’ve probably been overwatering your plants if you’re dealing with fungus gnats, allowing the soil to dry completely will help stop the growth of fungus. Fungus needs moisture to survive, and if it’s not there, it will go away. Don’t worry, your plant will bounce back from a period of underwatering much easier than if you overwatered it.
- Replace the Soil: If the problem is pretty severe, you can always repot your plant into some new, fresh soil. Be very careful when repotting your plant, and take precautions to avoid the root ball getting shocked. A plant that larvae have already munched on may be extra sensitive when repotting.
Remember, the best solution for getting rid of fungus gnats naturally is really a combination of several solutions! Try a few, wait a few weeks to see if any new mature flies emerge, and then repeat the process if needed. They aren’t very tough insects, but they reproduce quickly, so diligence is necessary to get rid of gnats for good!
Once you’ve honed your skills at kicking fungus gnats to the curb, add some more houseplants to your growing collection. Can’t find a good place to find houseplants for sale near you? Order online from our fully stocked webstore, with an incredible selection of houseplants we deliver right to your door.
Every December, the design trend powerhouses at Pantone forecast the hottest colors of the year with one color dominating fashion runways, home decor catalogs, and digital designs for the upcoming year, but in an exciting twist, Pantone chose not one but two colors of the year to share the title for 2021!
We couldn’t be more excited about this unexpected color combo—a stark contrast from 2020’s simple, classic blue. Discover the trendiest, modern shades for the new year and how you can pull off a stellar houseplant display by incorporating these colors strategically into your design.
What Are The 2021 Color Trends Of The Year?
The two colors chosen by Pantone really couldn’t be more different from each other, and yet they pair so perfectly together! While they look lovely on their own, there is a certain type of sleek modernity and stimulating effect achieved when you pair them together, creating invigorating energy that breathes new life into tired spaces.
The first color is an absolute showstopper: Illuminating Yellow. This electric lemon shade is all sunshine and positivity. It’s no surprise why it earned its name—it really does light up the room! Yet, at the same time, there’s a sensible and smart quality about this primary color, so it doesn’t feel ostentatious or gaudy. Plus, studies show that rooms filled with bright yellow help to improve focus and work motivation, so it’s great if you’re still trying to figure out the whole work-from-home thing.
The second color is a much more subdued, classic neutral: Ultimate Grey! This ultra-versatile shade helps ground the intensity of Illuminating Yellow, bringing a cool sophistication that brings to mind modern studio lofts and the old-meets-new aesthetic of repurposed industrial materials. Think concrete, steel, and stone!
Using Illuminated Yellow in Your Houseplant Design
One of the great things about bright yellow is that it occurs pretty commonly in the plant world, so there’s an impressive variety of houseplants to choose from that sport this sunny shade. An easy way to add a splash of yellow into your houseplant display is by picking up some variegated plants with yellow accents. Houseplants with multicolored foliage are hugely popular right now, so a yellow variegated plant will hit all the right notes.
Some of our favorite yellow variegated plants include:
We’ve even got a few houseplants in store that are almost entirely yellow, such as:
Some houseplants even produce yellow flowers, like the kalanchoe: an easy-care succulent with gorgeous scalloped leaves and thick clusters of ultra-vibrant blossoms. Cacti often produce yellow flowers as well—be sure to double-check which variety you’re purchasing to ensure you get the bloom color you want, though!
If you really want to brighten things up, you can also repot some of your existing houseplants into bright yellow containers. You might be able to find some if you shop around, but to get the color just right, you could also buy and paint some terracotta plant pots to match the exact Pantone shade.
Houseplant Styling with Ultimate Grey
The easiest way to add Ultimate Grey into your houseplant decor is with containers! Concrete planters in 3D geometric designs are taking the design world by storm, and their artful, cubist aesthetic is effortlessly cool. Smaller decorative concrete planters are perfect for succulents and cacti, but you can also find some larger ones (or make your own if you’re into DIY projects) to pot up your bigger plants.
Plain metal pots look great as well, particularly when made from repurposed metal with a bit of a rustic patina finish. That being said, try not to have too many of the same kind of container in grey. When you’re working with a neutral shade like that, you still want to have some variety, and the best way to do that is by playing with different textures and finishes.
Shiny metals, tarnished metals, glazed grey clay pots, and matte concrete all have entirely different appearances. Yet, they’re all the same tone, so creating a mixed assortment can add significant visual interest in the most subtle, simple way.
If your potted plants are near the window and the sun tends to dry up the soil a bit quickly during the hot summer months, it might be worth layering some decorative grey pebbles on top! They’re certainly a lot prettier than plain old soil, and they help retain water by slowing the sun from evaporating all the moisture in the soil.
Believe it or not, we’ve even got some grey houseplants in store to break up the sea of green that makes up your houseplant collection. Check out some of these incredible grey foliage plants you can buy from Plant Decor Shop:
- Chinese Evergreen “Silver Bay”
- Dieffenbachia “Memoria Corsii”
- Echeveria “Lilacina”
- Echeveria “Subsesselis”
- Pothos “Silver Splash”
- Tillandsia “Tectorum Ecuador”
- Tillandsia “Xerographica”
Even if you aren’t big on following trends and copying the design experts, there’s no denying that these contemporary colors look amazing when paired together for home decor. To give your home or office a fresh, updated look to ring in the new year, visit Plant Decor Shop and see all the incredible new houseplants ready to be shipped right to your door.