Houseplants attract different kinds of bugs, and it is disturbing to see these pesky little creatures destroying the beautiful foliage of your Chinese Evergreen. You don’t see a Chinese evergreen getting infested with bugs often, but if it does, there can be a problem if you don’t fix this soon.
So, in this article, we shall discuss do Chinese evergreen gets bugs and how to get rid of them.
The most common bugs that can infest your Chinese evergreen are mealybugs, aphids, scales, and spider mites. These bugs suck all the nutrients out of the plant leading to yellow leaves and wilting of plants. Using neem oil and insecticidal soaps is the best way to eliminate chinese evergreen.
Bugs such as spider mites attack Chinese evergreen if its conditions are dry. But other pests like mealybugs will come to the plant if you overwater it. Attacking the plant becomes easier for the bugs when the living conditions are inappropriate.
If you see bugs on your Chinese evergreen, read this article to learn about them and how to get rid of them from your Chinese evergreen plant.
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What are the common bugs that attack Chinese evergreen?
Here are the common bugs you might spot on your Chinese evergreen plant.
- Spider mites
If you don’t know which bug has infested your Chinese evergreen, don’t worry, as I will dive into the details of these bugs, and you’ll learn how to get rid of them.
Mealybugs are tiny and oval-shaped bugs that feed on the sap of houseplants. These bugs look like tiny cotton balls moving around the leaves of your Chinese evergreen.
They also secrete honeydew, a white sticky substance that sticks to the leaves and stems of the plant. These bugs attack the new leaves, thus damaging the plant’s new growth.
Mealybugs get attracted to moist environments and cannot tolerate dry conditions. So if you have an overwatered Chinese evergreen plant, the mealybugs will tend to get attracted to it.
Some signs of mealybug infestation are:
- Yellow leaves
- Droopy leaves
- Stunted growth
- Falling leaves
- Wilting leaves
How to remove mealybugs from your Chinese evergreen?
Let’s look at some ways of removing the mealybugs from your plant.
Wash the plant: If your Chinese evergreen is not heavily infested, you can try giving the plant a good wash with a strong stream of water.
You can repeat this a few times to remove all the bugs from the plant. This might not work if the plant is heavily infested, and then you might need to use any of the other methods.
Neem oil: Neem oil is an efficient way of getting rid of mealybugs. It is an organic method that doesn’t harm the plant.
Add some Neem oil to water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray this solution all over your Chinese evergreen for at least two weeks.
Alcohol: If you spot the mealybugs on the leaves, take a cotton ball, dip it in alcohol, and wipe the leaf with it. This will kill the mealybugs.
Don’t start wiping all the leaves at once. Test it on one leaf, and if you don’t see any reaction, you can use it on the other leaves.
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Spider mites are tiny spider-like bugs that come in different colors, such as red, black, or tan. Spider mites tend to attack houseplants that are kept in dry conditions.
You might notice spider mites on your Chinese evergreen during winter when the weather gets dry, and the light intensity remains low.
Spider mites reproduce and spread fast and feed on the sap of the leaves of your Chinese evergreen. If you don’t take action fast, these bugs take over the plant and kill it.
You know your plant is infested with spider mites if you notice:
- Web-like structures on the plant
- Discolored foliage
- Curled leaves
- Spots on leaves
- Shriveling leaves
How to get rid of spider mites from the plant?
You can get rid of spider mites in the following ways:
Insecticide soap: You can prepare an organic insecticidal soap to get rid of spider mites. You can mix 1 teaspoon of liquid soap with 1 liter room-temperature water.
Mix them and pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray your Chinese evergreen with this solution. It will kill the spider mites.
Neem oil: Neem oil will work against spider mites also. But to make it more effective, you can use it with the insecticidal soap mentioned above.
You can mix 1 and a half teaspoons of neem oil with the insecticidal soap solution and spray it all over your Chinese evergreen. Keep doing this till you notice that the spider mites are all gone.
Raise the humidity: Since spider mites are attracted to dry conditions, you can raise the humidity around the plant to get rid of them.
Use a humidifier or mist the plant to increase the humidity for your Chinese evergreen. Remove the highly infested leaves from the plant.
Scales come in different varieties and colors. While some are soft, some are hard. You won’t see them moving around the plant. They stick to one part of the stem or leaf and pierce and suck on the sap.
Scales excrete honeydew that attracts fungal organisms and often leads to sooty mold.
If there is a scale infestation on your Chinese evergreen, you’ll notice:
- Bumps on the leaves and stems
- Yellow leaves
- Stunted growth
- Sooty mold
- Falling leaves
How to remove scales from the Chinese evergreen plant?
You can remove scales from your Chinese evergreen plant with these:
Handpick them: You can spot the adult scales sticking to your Chinese evergreen, and you can remove them from the plant with your hands.
Sprays may not work on the scales that have armored bodies, so using your fingernails or any tool to remove them is a good idea.
Wash the plant: Take your Chinese evergreen to the sink and give it a good wash. Also, remove the sooty mold if there’s any.
Insecticidal spray: You can create a homemade spray by mixing 1.5 teaspoons of dish soap, 4 ounces alcohol, and 16 ounces of water.
Spray this solution every week on your Chinese evergreen till you see the scales leaving the plant.
Unlike scales, aphids move all over the plant and go from one plant to another. So, you must isolate the Chinese evergreen if you spot aphids on it. They come in different colors, and some of them have wings.
Aphids suck the plant’s sap and attack the plant’s new growth. If the infestation increases, the leaves start dropping. They also secrete honeydew that invites ants and causes sooty mold.
An aphid infestation can cause the following:
- Stunted growth
- Sooty mold
- Distorted growth
- Falling leaves
- Weak plant
How to remove aphids from Chinese evergreen?
Use any of the following methods to eliminate aphids from your Chinese evergreen.
Garlic spray: Garlic is readily available, and you can prepare an effective spray from it. You need to chop 3-4 garlic cloves and mix them with 2 tsp of mineral oil. Leave this aside for 24 hours.
Strain the liquid and remove the garlic pieces. Add the liquid to two cups of water and 1 tsp dishwashing liquid. Mix these and keep them in a plastic or glass bottle.
You can store this and use it on your Chinese evergreen to remove the aphids.
Pyrethrin: You can use a product containing pyrethrin to get rid of bugs. Pyrethrin can be used when aphids infest your Chinese evergreen heavily.
Read the product label. Follow the instructions to avoid making mistakes.
Use water: You can dip the plant in water to get rid of the aphids. You can also spray it with a strong stream of water but make sure the leaves don’t get damaged.
Also, get rid of the heavily infested leaves and other parts.
If you keep your Chinese evergreen outside or might have taken it to the outdoor garden, the chances are that soil-borne nematodes have infested the plant.
These bugs attack the roots of the Chinese evergreen and feed on them. Thus, the plant becomes weak.
If your Chinese evergreen has nematodes in the soil, you’ll notice:
- Discolored foliage
- Loss of leaves
- Weak plant
How to remove nematodes from Chinese evergreen?
You can remove nematodes from your Chinese evergreen in the following ways:
Use a plastic bag: You can moisten the soil and surrounding your Chinese evergreen and then wrap the soil with a plastic bag. Fix the plastic bag so that the moisture gets trapped inside it.
Leave the plastic on the soil for a few weeks. The nematodes and their eggs will die when the soil temperature goes high.
Use sunlight: Take the Chinese evergreen out of the pot and expose the soil to sunlight. This can kill the nematodes.
Add compost: Take the plant out of the pot and add compost to the soil. Dig the compost deep into the soil.
The organic matter in the soil will take care of the nematodes.
Why does Chinese evergreen get bugs?
If you expose the plant to unfavorable conditions, bugs will attack it. Bugs will not come to a healthy plant but favor an unhealthy plant and make it sicker.
Some common reasons behind bug infestation on Chinese evergreen are:
Overwatering not just affects the plant’s health by damaging the roots but also invites pests due to the soggy conditions. Pests such as mealybugs and aphids will prefer living in moist conditions.
If you think overwatering is the reason behind bug infestation on your Chinese evergreen, you must:
- Stop watering your Chinese evergreen and let the soil get dry.
- Place the plant in a bright area to help the soil dry faster.
- Check if the soil is draining the excess water.
- Check the pot’s drainage holes and make sure they are not blocked.
Also read: How Much Water Does A Chinese Evergreen Need? (How Often+Summer & Winter)
Bugs such as spider mites will get attracted to your Chinese evergreen if you don’t provide enough humidity. It happens mostly in winter when the humidity levels drop below average.
Without proper humidity, the plant fails to grow properly. Spider mites attack these plants living in dry conditions and feed on them, making them weaker.
If the plant doesn’t get enough humidity, you can:
- Increase the humidity with a humidifier.
- Keep it near an aquarium if you have one in the house.
- Relocate it to the bathroom, getting more humidity than the other rooms.
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Lack of airflow
Proper airflow is an essential factor that can keep the plant healthy. If your Chinese evergreen doesn’t have good airflow around it, it can develop many problems.
This can also lead to pests attacking the Chinese evergreen as lack of airflow will create a damp environment which many bugs prefer.
How to prevent bugs from attacking Chinese evergreen?
You can prevent bugs on your Chinese evergreen by keeping the plant healthy and providing it with the ideal growing conditions.
- Spray a neem oil solution all over the plant once a month to keep the pests away.
- Keep the Chinese evergreen in a bright spot that gets sufficient indirect sunlight.
- Water the plant to keep the soil evenly moist without making it soggy.
- Provide sufficient humidity to the plant by using a humidifier.
- Keep the leaves of the Chinese evergreen clean by misting them.
- Fertilize the Chinese evergreen during the growing season to keep it strong and help it thrive.
- Reduce watering and stop fertilizing in the winter season.
Reference: Wikipedia, Nasa clean air study, Missouri Botanical Garden, The University of Kansas, NC State University.
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