Succulents are hard to kill, making them great for those of us with thumbs that are not exactly green, but that does not make them immortal. Even if you water them properly and give them the right fertilizer and light, they can still develop pests. These harmful invaders range from mealybugs to spider mites to aphids, gnats, etc.
If you see white fuzz or tiny bugs on your succulents, it may be time to invest in pest control. Here are just some things you should generally be doing to keep pests away from your succulents:
- Use a mild, balanced fertilizer to keep succulents strong and healthy during growing seasons. After fall, you do not have to feed your plants until the cold season ends.
- Remove dead leaves so bugs do not have places to hide and breed. This also helps prevent mold from forming.
- Keep your succulents pretty dry. Keeping soil wet for long periods may attract mealybugs, gnats, and other pests.
- Never reuse soil or put dead leaves from plants that have been affected by pests into the compost pile. You do not want survivors or their eggs to infect your other plants.
- Pesticides can deter or kill bugs and other pests in your plants. There are two types of pesticides. The first type is contact pesticides, which must contact the pest to kill it. Then systemic pesticides get absorbed into the plant's roots to poison the bugs that feed on plants. Systemic pesticides are generally more expensive and come in a concentrate that needs to be diluted.
- To help prevent future pest infestations, you can regularly spray or brush your plants with a natural systemic pesticide containing neem oil. Neem oil smells quite funky, but it is a 100% natural product that is non-toxic for humans and repels all sorts of harmful insects.
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus