Articles / houseplants

The Best Indoor Plants for Entryways and Other Tricky Spaces

The Best Indoor Plants for Entryways and Other Tricky Spaces

Not all plants can stay in entryways. Here are the best indoor plants for those awkward spots in the house.
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How to Keep Your Fern Alive: Indoor Plant Care Tips

How to Keep Your Fern Alive: Indoor Plant Care Tips

Here are some fern care tips to help you properly maintain these ever-popular houseplants. 

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Major Shade: 6 Houseplants For Low Light Areas In Your Home

Major Shade: 6 Houseplants For Low Light Areas In Your Home

If your indoor window light is limited, you’ll love these houseplants that do well in the shade.
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7 Easy Flowering Houseplants We’re Low-Key Obsessed With

7 Easy Flowering Houseplants We’re Low-Key Obsessed With

These flowering houseplants are so easy-to-grow, you’ll love what they do for your home decor!
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Pottery Trend Report: Cool & Unique Plant Pots For 2021

Pottery Trend Report: Cool & Unique Plant Pots For 2021

The art of ceramics is always evolving. Take a look at these unique new pottery styles emerging in 2021.
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Transition Into Spring With Your Indoor Plant Care Routine

Transition Into Spring With Your Indoor Plant Care Routine

Indoor plant care isn’t the same all year round. Switch things up this spring to help your plants grow at the right pace!
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8 Colorful Houseplants to Brighten Up Your Home This Spring!

8 Colorful Houseplants to Brighten Up Your Home This Spring!

Do you love bold, bright colors, but still want to keep your home decor looking sophisticated? Opt for these stylish, colorful houseplants with tons of personality!
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Do I Need to Fertilize My Indoor Plants?

Do I Need to Fertilize My Indoor Plants?

Fertilizer is important for your plants, but if you apply it wrong, you could do more harm than good! Learn how to fertilize your plants like a pro in our latest feature.
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7 Houseplants to Raise the Vibes in Your Bathroom

7 Houseplants to Raise the Vibes in Your Bathroom

Indulging in a self-care bubble bath just doesn’t hit right if the room decor is dull. Brighten up the scenery in your bathroom with these humidity-loving plants!
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3 DIY Plant Art Projects to Decorate Your Living Room

3 DIY Plant Art Projects to Decorate Your Living Room

Art is beautiful, and so are plants—it just makes sense to combine the two! Get some inspiration from these 3 DIY living art tutorials.
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7 Cat-Friendly Houseplants You Should Bring Home

7 Cat-Friendly Houseplants You Should Bring Home

You don’t have to choose between having cats and having plants! Here are some non-toxic varieties that are safe to keep around your pets.
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How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants Naturally

How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants Naturally

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.  

 

fungus in houseplant soil

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:

spraying houseplant for fungus gnats

  • 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. 

 

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