Let's Talk Spider Mites!

Just in case you've lost track of the days again (is it seriously STILL 2020?!), it's SUMMER time and it's HOT out here!🥵

Higher temperatures typically mean that our plants are drying out faster than in the previous winter and fall seasons. This also usually means that we need to water our plants more often. Depending on your climate, this could mean going from watering once every 7 days to watering once every 5 days. Some plants may even need water multiple times a week (we're talking to you Calathea and Ferns!)

Unfortunately, dry plants are more prone to pests, specifically, you guessed it...SPIDER MITES🕷🤦🏼‍♀️

If you're anything like me, you NEVER have enough plants! However, watering 300+ houseplants can present a bit of a challenge when life gets busy! With that being said, I'll admit to having fallen prey to the heartbreak that can come along with a spider mite problem🥀
On the bright side, that also means I've learned a few things along the way😜

So, today we're going to talk about how to identify, treat, & prevent pesky spider mites as well as learn a few tips and tricks for those days when you need to water but you just don't have the time!

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SIGNS your plant has spider mites
🕷Tiny white or yellow dots the size of a needle point, also referred to as stippling
🕷Webbing on any or all parts of your plant
🕷Tiny black, white, or red dots that crawl when touched
🕷Yellowing of leaf edges
🕷Drooping, especially of the lower leaves

TREATMENT of spider mites
🕷Try to do treatments in the evening to prevent the sun burning recently treated leaves, as they'll be more sensitive

🕷Bring the infected plant outside to the hose or to the bathroom or kitchen to spray off leaves. I personally prefer to do this outside to avoid making a mess because I like to get into here real good and blast those puppies off

🕷Spray all the leaves and parts of the plant off with the hose. This will knock free a large amount of the spider mites! Be sure not to miss the backs of the leaves, as this is where the majority of the pests will hang out.

🕷Next, you'll want to use an insecticidal spray or soap to spray down the leaves and all parts of your plant (don't forget the leaf backs)! Neem is always a great non toxic option. This spray and this soap have both worked for me in the past as well. Although, I'm a bit partial to our GingerSprout Bug Off & Shine On Plant Spray these days! In a pinch, you can also make your own soap spray at home, which we have a recipe for down below!🙌🏻

🕷After spraying the leaves, allow them to dry. Again, be sure your plant isn't in the sun when drying or the sun could easily burn the leaves

🕷Once dry, spray your plant down again, one more time (it's gonna be okay🎶🤣), with water and allow to dry

🕷Once treated, keep your plant away from others until you are sure all spider mites are gone, as to not spread them to other plants!  This process may need to be repeated weekly until there are no longer signs of spider mites. Inspect your plant every 7 days for signs of bug life. If there are still spider mites present, follow the above steps again until the plant is pest free. Please be sure to read the label of whatever product you use, as you some products only allow for treatment every certain amount of days. If you're using something that says to use once every 7 days but you see spider mites when you check at 3 or 5 days, just spray the plant down with water again, dislodging those critters! Water will be a great aid in this journey with you, I promise!

DIY Insecticidal Soap Recipe
🧼 1/2 Tablespoon Soap (I like this one)
but any dishsoap, such as this one, works too!
🧴16oz spray bottle [plastic or glass]
💧Fill with water
🍸*As a bonus, you can add 2 Tablespoons 70% or less Rubbing Alcohol if you have it on hand, as this also aids in smothering the spider mites


🌱Wipe down the leaves of your plants weekly or biweekly. This will keep your leaves dust free and will keep you more aware of changes in your plants!

🌱Hose down your plants for a good cleaning and soaking when possible. I try to do this monthly with my larger plants and hanging plants!

🌱Spider mites LOATHE humid environments, so keep the humidity up around your plants using a humidifier, oil diffuser, or pebble tray! PRO PLANT TIP, if you're too busy to water, blast a humidifier (or a few) to help your plants have extra moisture to make it through when you get too busy! My favorite humidifier is the Levoit but these smaller travel humidifiers are super cool for placing anywhere you need them (hello #calatheacorner!) Check out our last blog post about humidity for our recommendations on all things wet🥴💦 

🌱Keep air flow up around your plants by not packing them too closely together and having a fan for added air flow, on especially hot days. I like these USB chargeable fans or these if you're looking for something a bit more sleek! These can also hang on a wall due to the way they swivel, which I find to be a nice touch! Both can be charged via USB OR can run on batteries as well! 

🌱Plant deterrent plants, such as cilantro or dill, near plants as these will repel spider mites and are great to use in the kitchen!

A Few Notes
There are a few plants out there that are a bit more prone to getting spider mites. At the top of that list would be English Ivy. For the love of plant goddess, just don't buy the English Ivy...OKAY?! IT'S NOT WORTH IT!🤣 Alocasia come in at a second. Bless their hearts, it's not their fault😞🙏🏻 Some others that I've personally found to be prone to spider mites when I allow them to dry out too much (just to be clear, this is MY fault, not the plants😭) are Calathea and Diffienbachia. Regardless of that fact, Calathea remain at the top of my favorite plants list! 🤷🏼‍♀️🌱 Diffienbachia hate me, don't even get me started🙄

 All in all plant fam, I hope this little diddle helps you guys battle spider mites with a better arsenal in your back pocket!

If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to comment below and give us your thoughts!

 GingerSprout out👩🏻‍🦰🌱✌🏻

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