Any proud owner of an indoor jungle knows there’s an itty bitty downside to having a home full of plants: the bugs that come along with the blooms. Whether it’s gnats or spider mites or other unmentionables, those pests aren’t doing you or your greens any favors. But, there’s a simple two-step, nontoxic way to expel them from your space, according to wellness blogger Jules Hunt of Om and the City.
Hunt, who recently relocated to Austin from New York City, has an impressive collection of plants, and now that she feels settled into her new place, she’s focusing on making her apartment green again.
“[Plants] help clean the air from pollutants, and they’re also very healing for your mental health. Having something to care for—and watching something grow—has a profound effect on your well-being. It truly cultivates a beautiful, bright, and positive space.” —Jules Hunt
To keep unwelcome bug life away from her new verdant babies and her pristine Zen den, Hunt doesn’t mess around. In fact, she goes into ick-prevention mode before the bugs even stand a chance. “You never know what might be lurking in the soil waiting to hatch a few weeks later, so you always want to be one step ahead. I had a crazy gnat fest back when I lived in NYC, and it wasn’t fun,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
So, before positioning her potted plants in a sunny spot, Hunt puts them in the bathtub to start a two-step treatment for preventative pest control. First, she lightly sprays them with her homemade bug repellent: 1 Tbsp of tea tree oil per 1 cup of water. Then she tops the soil with food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, which is safe for kids and pets. “It’s good for so many others things, too. I actually used to drink a DE mixture when I had a stomach parasite,” she says. After you’re finished, your plants will be all ready to get nestled in at their new home. And you can enjoy being surrounded by palms and spider plants galore, minus the unwanted roommates.
But if you’re overwhelmed at the responsibility of holding the life of a plant in your hands (or flower pot), you can introduce gorgeous fake blooms to your home for a similar mood-boosting, fuss-free aesthetic.
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