When the pandemic hit back in 2020 many of us started to look for a relaxing indoor hobby, and taking care of plants was a choice for many. Although maintaining houseplants can be a lot of fun, being a plant parent comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially for a student who has many other responsibilities.
One of such challenges is pests who try to destroy your plants. For example, an infestation of fungus gnats is one of the most common challenges that can occur in indoor plants. Unfortunately, it can be hard and expensive to get rid of fungus gnats. A much better and cost-effective solution is to prevent fungus gnats from occurring in the first place. In this article, we discuss this problem in-depth and offer possible solutions.
Why Do Fungus Gnats Occur In Indoor Plants
Fungus gnats are tiny flies that hover around household plants. Although they do not cause any harm to humans or plants, they are annoying to have around. They feed on decaying leaves and are attracted to moist soil that is commonly found in indoor plants. When the home and the plants in it are not maintained well and there are damp areas around the home, these spots become breeding gowns for fungi and attract fungus gnats.
The life of a student is extremely busy, and a student is expected to handle multiple responsibilities such as finishing assignments on time, meeting deadlines, preparing for exams, and more. In such cases, it is quite understandable that a student might not have time to clean their homes or dorm or maintain houseplants. Students can order research paper online to help them relieve some coursework pressure and get some free time to take care of plants in their house or dorm room. This will prevent a fungus gnat infestation.
Ways To Keep Indoor Plants Healthy And Prevent Fungus Gnats
In this next section of the article, we look into different ways to control fungus gnats and prevent them from infesting indoor plants.
1. Use Self-Watering Pots
Self-watering pots are a great way to prevent over-watering of soil. A self-watering pot comes with a long conical stake that is inserted so that it is a few inches below the top layer of the soil.
Water is filled into the overhead water tank and only a slow trickle of water is allowed to pass through to the plant. This acts as a regulating mechanism for watering the plants and also as a time-saving method for students who are pressed for time.
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2. Don’t Overwater Plants
Students who don’t have access to self-watering equipment should make sure that they don’t give their plants too much water. Most indoor plants do not require watering every day. Plants can also be watered from the bottom instead of from the top of the pot.
This is done by placing the pot in a saucer and putting water in it. A good indicator to keep in mind while watering plants is that the top layer of soil should be dry however on pressing slightly, the soil should feel damp. This will prevent fungus gnats from breeding, as they cannot thrive on dry soil.
3. Add A Layer Of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a type of powder made from the sediment of fossilized algae. This mixture is usually high in silica content. Before using diatomaceous earth, the top layer of soil must be completely replaced to get rid of any larvae and moisture in the soil. Then, diatomaceous earth is mixed into the topsoil.
Care must be taken that the soil is completely free of any moisture because diatomaceous earth becomes useless when it comes in contact with moisture. This chemical causes no harm to the plant, however, it prevents fungus gnats from laying eggs and reproducing on the topsoil.
4. Get Rid Of Existing Gnats Using Gnat Nix
Gnat Nix is another effective way of getting rid of fungus gnats. This mixture is made out of crushed glass and works in a manner similar to diatomaceous earth. Once mixed with topsoil, the crushed grass prevents fungus from laying eggs and continuing their reproductive cycle. This mixture is even more effective than diatomaceous earth in some ways, as moisture does not affect it.
A Few Final Words
There are many home remedies that can be adapted to prevent a fungus gnat infestation or get rid of fungus gnats in indoor plants if an infestation has already occurred. While some of these – like keeping the dorm room clean, are quite easy to implement, others can be quite time-consuming and expensive. However, at the end of the day, as long as a student is taking care of their plants, they have no reason to worry about fungus.