My alternantheras were looking bright and sparkly until recently. Perched on the grill receiving filtered sunlight every morning, they live a privileged life. However a couple weeks back on taking a closer look at them I realised white spots taking over a few stalks. Distressed, I sprayed them with some of the solution I had used before, but as the days went on I determined that they needed something more drastic. These leaves are bit too small and fickle to wipe down in the way you would do a philodendron. So in an inspired move, I took them to Jesus - I unhooked them from the inside veranda grill, walked outside and placed them on the pool grill in the open sun. I said, "If I can’t fix this, nature can." Three days and three nights later, they're back to beauty.. what happened?
The insects that usually take over your house plants, are quite frankly house pests. They thrive inside the cool shady conditions and slowly grow and infest them until they take completely over. But in the outside elements of sun and rain, they stand very little chance. Each morning the sun blasts its rays and burns away these crawling critters. By Midday the showers come and wash the rest away!
A quick and easy solution for some, but not all of your plants. Many house plants would scorch or just die if you left them out into direct sunlight for extended periods. Some Dracaenas and philodendrons have leaves that turn black in a few hours, so make sure to do some research to know which ones can manage. Alternantheras can thrive in direct sunlight, but also need very frequent watering! The climate now is perfect for them to live outside provided it rains everyday, or is at least overcast for most of the day. The one thing you must be careful of when leaving your plants outside are ants, as it may quickly turnout that you got rid of one pest, and invited another into your home!
What’s your best way of dealing with white flies, spider mites and mealy bugs?