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How to Prevent Plant Disease and Pests

caterpillars

Your plants face multiple problems on a regular basis: too much water, not enough water, too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, etc. Besides the usual difficulties, there are also pests and diseases to contend with, both of which can greatly hamper your plants’ productivity and even kill them. Fortunately, there are a few ways to protect your plants, which we’ve gathered below.

Plants, like humans, are able fight off disease better when they’re stronger and healthier. So what does this mean for your plants? For starters, it means having proper airflow and not over or under-watering your plants. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, too much water causes saturation, preventing the roots from uptaking the necessary nutrients.

*The products mentioned below can be used on all plants, whether indoor or outdoor.

Potassium Silicate

Botanicare BCSIBQT Silica Blast

Botanicare BCSIBQT Silica Blast

One way to strengthen your plants is through additives that contain potassium silicate found in Botanicare’s Silica Blast or in General Hydroponics’ Armor Si. The potassium silicate found in these products will thicken the stem and leaves, making them a less attractive target for pests and better equipped to fight off disease.

*If you’re growing vegetables, make sure you don’t overdo it on the potassium silicate. Using too much can impact the taste of your vegetables.

Hygrozyme

Another additive that will strengthen your plants and prevent disease is Hygrozyme. Designed to speed up natural chemical reactions in plants, Hygrozyme breaks down old root mass, promoting new root growth and allows your plants to absorb more nutrients, making the plant stronger.

The Guano Company GUST128 Super Tea Mix

The Guano Company GUST128 Super Tea Mix

Composted Tea

Composed of all organic materials, such as earthworm castings, bat guano, and soluble seaweed, composted tea is great for plants as it serves as a vegetative and root stimulator. This nutrient solution promotes balanced growth and lush vegetation and can be used during all stages of the growth cycle.

Pests

Nothing is more maddening than coming out and seeing some bug-eyed creature happily munching on your plants. Spider mites, white flies, gnats, aphids, caterpillars, and grasshoppers are a few of the pests you’ll probably encounter in your garden. All of these are incredibly destructive and will ruin your hard work. The good news is that you can keep these creatures under control without using harsh chemicals. Below are some organic methods to control those pesky pests.

Liquid Ladybug is an all-natural miticide that controls all sorts of pests, from aphids to fungus gnats to thrips. Available in an assortment of volumes in either concentrate or ready-to-use, Liquid Ladybug is an excellent choice when you need to control a wide variety of pests.

Got a problem with caterpillars or grasshoppers? These are particularly devastating as they eat the leaves of your plants, but can be controlled with AzaMax. Safe to use on all plants in all stages of the growth process, the active ingredient in AzaMax is Azadirachtin which is a naturally occurring insecticide from the neem tree.

Seabright Laboratories HGSLWFT Sticky Trap

Seabright Laboratories HGSLWFT Sticky Trap

A great option for controlling flying insects such as gnats, white flies, and aphids are sticky traps. Non-poisonous and weather-proof, these traps hang in your garden at plant height and attract these winged pests with their bright yellow and blue colors. Once the trap is covered in either insects or dust, simply throw it out and replace it.

For more organic pesticides, including products that eliminate pests indoors, visit our pests and fungicides section.

What do you use to keep away the pests and keep your plants disease-free? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Google Plus!

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Jordan Loa

Jordan is a copywriter at 1000Bulbs.com. Check back often for new entries in his "Light Post" series of happenings in the world of lighting.