So you took the leap and bought that houseplant you always wanted. In fact, that interior decorating shot you saw on a social media post, ‘inspired’ you to get a few. And why not? Plants make us happy! They increase the indoor oxygen and filter air too. You also made sure to buy only houseplants that are safe for babies and pets, since you share the house with others. This is good news and all very exciting. A life with plants can be a very rewarding one. As with many things in life we discover and learn new things on the way. This of course is true about houseplants too. Be prepared for some challenges along the way. These may come in the form of little creatures. A bug infestation may quite literally kill your houseplants. If you are a low maintenance kind of person and want to avoid possible drama, why not go for any of these houseplants that do not attract bugs.
What kind of bugs are we dealing with, you might wonder? Although this falls outside the scope of this article, allow us to give you just a short overview.
5 Common bugs that like houseplants
So your plant is not looking too great and you are certain the cause has nothing to do with the pH of the soil. It seems mysterious since you have done almost everything else to establish a happy climate and environment for your houseplants. If you’ve ruled out other common causes, then consider the presence of bugs. Although some houseplants do not attract bugs, many do. Consider the environment that you create for your houseplants. Standing water, wet leaves, high humidity, and insufficient airflow may encourage and attract bugs.
Aphids are tiny green bugs that usually sit in their multitude underneath leaves, sucking the sap of the plant. You can also find them along stems. They go for those areas of the plant that are usually new and soft. Aphids can be white and black in color too. Look out for the honeydew deposits they leave behind on the plant. You may also see their husks litter the soil. Prolonged infestation may eventually lead to viruses and other diseases.
These little flying insects are a mere 2mm in size. They are more of a nuisance than a threat to the plant. You can usually spot them at the base of the plant, either running across the soil or buzzing close to the stem base. It is not easy to see their larvae, which can be found just underneath the soil.
Mealybugs like the sap of the plant. If not taken care of, the infested plant may dehydrate. You will usually see the plant start to droop or the leaves starting to fall off. Mealybugs look like tiny white little furry creatures. They clump together underneath the leaves and also along the joints of a plant.
Usually well camouflaged, scale insects are not easy to spot or to get rid of. With their brown outer shell, they look like natural plant blemishes. There will usually be sticky honeydew underneath the leaves or stems of the plant.
This is a pest you do not want. They are hard to get rid of once you have an infestation. They are related to arachnids. Instead of catching other insects or flies in their web, they feed on the sap within the leaves of the plant instead. Most commonly, the leaves will appear brown and mottled. Look out for webbing spun around the plant.
These 15 houseplants do not attract bugs
There are a couple of ways to tackle bug problems. Here are some suggestions:
- Apply neem oil and/or rubbing alcohol on the leaves.
- Dust neem powder on spider mite-infested plant help control these bugs.
- Cutting or trimming away the parts where the mites are, may also prove successful.
- Some people treat certain bug infestations with a once-off vinegar bath. Alternatively, people invite ladybugs indoors to do what ladybugs do best.
For those who couldn’t care less, simply getting houseplants that do not attract bugs may prove to be the best solution. You can also keep these as companion plants for other houseplants often targeted by bugs. This strategy can be very effective for certain combinations of plants. Examples are discussed below.
Bromeliads come in about 2000 varieties. These beautiful decorative plants have vibrant thick and fleshy leaves. Bugs do not like to chew on them. Water only when the soil is dry.
Cast Iron plant
This hardy houseplant with its big shiny leaves does not attract bugs. It can tolerate overwatering, underwatering, and low light. Mostly it prefers dappled sun and to be kept moist.
A firm favorite for many cat lovers, although some would disapprove. These popular houseplants do not attract bugs, in fact, they are pretty good at repelling cockroaches for example. A chemical called nepetalactone is responsible for this superpower. In addition to repelling critters, it drives cats crazy. Grow this plant in pots and place them around entrances to keep bugs out.
This plant is a cross between African geraniums and Citronella grass. It has a rather potent citronella aroma that bugs don’t like. Crush the leaves and rub it on your skin to keep mozzies at bay. Place these houseplants that do not attract bugs in pots near entrances on your patios.
Mint, Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, Sage Bush, Lavender
Many of these herbs are not just good for cooking and tea. Try are also good as houseplants that do not attract bugs. Their strong scent repels all sorts of bugs. Lavender can be grown in window sills, while basil, mint, rosemary, and sage will be happy by the kitchen window.
The Dracaena is another example of a popular houseplant that does not attract bugs. Happy both indoors as well as outdoor, this tall growing plant has leathery leaves that repel bugs. Be aware though that the Dracaena plant is known to be poisonous to pets.
The very popular Jade plant is an excellent bug resistant houseplant. It has smooth and thickish leaves that contain a sap that is toxic to many insects. It is also a plant that is poisonous to pets if chewed. These are low maintenance plants that grow fast and like sunny areas. It will be happy near a sunny window.
This beautiful houseplant does not attract bugs. In fact, it contains a chemical called Pyrethrum, used in many bug repellents today. Grow this plant next to your tomatoes or containers near windows to keep bugs away.
Also called Mother-in-law’s-tongue. The Snake plant is a tough plant with attractive upright leaves. The strong leaves help bugs stay away. Keep it in tip-top shape by not overwatering it.
Not only are the Venus flytraps houseplants that do not attract bugs, but it also has them for lunch. A bug that lands on the plant and moves across the tiny hairs inside the lobed leaves, triggers them to shut. Trapped inside the closed leaves, the fly or gnat is digested by the plant. It likes sunny areas and moisture.
Last thoughts on houseplants that do not attract bugs
It can be devastating when a bug infestation kills the houseplant that you misted every other day and grown rather fond of over time. Just like most things in life, time, and effort is required for houseplants to thrive. Choosing houseplants that do not attract bugs makes life easier. You still have the green, but minus the bugs.
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