Hardy Climbing Vines Ivies
Berries And Small Fruits
Requisites Of The Home Vegetable Garden
Plants And The Calendar.
The Rose: Its General Care And Culture
Planning The Garden
The Wild Garden A Plea For Our Native Plants
Planting The Lawn
Plants For Special Purposes
The Winter Garden
Iv. Crops That May Follow Others
The Hardy Border
House-plant Insects And Diseases
If the suggestions for taking proper care of plants, detailed in a
former chapter, are carefully followed, and they are given plenty of
fresh air and not crowded together, insects should not cause serious
No matter how careful one may be, however, they are almost certain to
put in an appearance and steps to combat them must be taken immediately.
Remember, however, that the best remedy is prevention, and the best
prevention is to have good strong healthy plants.
The two troubles perhaps the most common are neither insects nor
disease. They are gas and sour soil.
The faintest trace of furnace gas or of illuminating gas will cause
trouble, indicated by the yellowing and falling of the leaves and
unsatisfactory development of buds. Where there is no way of eliminating
the presence of these gases the only way to success with the
plants--unless they can be entirely shut off in an enclosed place as
suggested in Chapter II--is to take every possible care about leaks, and
to give all the fresh air possible.
Sour soil is the result of improper drainage conditions, too much
water, or both. It causes the leaves to turn yellow and checks new
growth. Making right the harmful conditions will usually renew the
health of the plant, but in bad cases it will be far better to remove
the earth, wash the soil from the roots, carefully clean the pot--if the
same one is to be used--and repot in good porous fresh earth. Keep on
the dry side until growth is resumed.
As a rule, insects do much more damage to house plants than is caused by
diseases. One characteristic of nearly all plant insects which will
astonish the amateur is the marvelous rapidity with which they increase.
One to-day, and to-morrow a million, seems no exaggeration. While it may
be true that, as one of our erstwhile best-selling heroes said, "a few
fleas is a good thing for a dog; they keep him from broodin' on bein' a
dog," a few bugs are certainly not good for a plant, because in a day or
two there will be enough of them to endanger its life and surely,
quickly to ruin its appearance. Never let the bugs get a start. If you
take them in time they're easy: if not you have a very difficult and
disagreeable task on your hands.
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