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Tiny dancer plant indoor care guide for today's smaller spaces
May 04, 2018
Bringing the outdoors indoors is a must in our Southern climate. Every day, the temperature heats up, forcing us to store our plants inside and outside. Eventually the plants will struggle to adjust to their new environments, leaving you with a houseplant that could be perfect in another home but whose leaves are covered in little white dots. These are pests called mildews.
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Plants are our only real source of entertainment in our homes. While they must grow to survive, they have such distinct personalities — from those that prefer cool temperatures to others that love the heat — that you don’t want to change the environment they’re used to.
But if you do plan on bringing plants indoors, you’ll want to be sure they don’t develop a problem.
Mildew is a common household problem
Mildew is one of the most common household pests, and it can wreak havoc on your houseplants.
It starts with a simple infection called bacterial or fungal mildew, which can take up to 48 hours to appear. That’s why this disease is so difficult to treat. Mildew most often spreads via spores that are either on the surface of your plant’s leaves or inside its cells. Leaves are likely to have more visible signs of mildew, while stems often are only covered in spots.
As the mildew spreads, it will use up all of the nutrients in the leaves and stems. It will also cause plant material to crack and break, turning it black.
If you’re planning to move indoor plants, consider checking to make sure your home has an adequate amount of humidity to support their growth. The moisture that plants like to have is called the plant’s homeostasis.
In climates like Phoenix, this can be a problem because we have high heat and dry air. But in regions like Florida and California, where there’s much more humidity in the air, you can expect plants to do well indoors.
If you’re going to have plants in a more humid environment, you’ll want to make sure you can regularly check their moisture levels. It may be easiest to set up a humidifier or mist your indoor plants regularly, but be sure to also increase the humidity in the air.
Examine the leaves for spots or other evidence of mildew
To make sure you have successfully removed a mildew infestation, you’ll want to get rid of every visible sign of the disease. If the mildew started growing in one particular part of your plant, you’ll want to remove those leaves.
In other cases, you’ll want to remove the entire plant, including leaves and stem. Once you’ve gotten rid of all of the leaves and stem, you can soak the roots in a solution of water and bleach for about an hour.
Bleaching the roots will disinfect them and destroy any mildew that may have attached to them.
Remove or protect leaves affected by mildew
A mildew infection can spread quickly, so you’ll want to remove any sign of it on your plant leaves, or you’ll risk spreading the disease to other parts of your plants. Mildew can affect the underside of leaves or even leave clear tracks on the top, making it easy to see the disease in action.
The best way to remove mildew is with a spore killing solution. To do this, pour 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a clean glass measuring cup, stir, then add 1