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Pests in flower pots: which are the most common and how to fight them, we show you!

Controlling pests in flower pots is a problem shared by many gardeners. The good news is that because flower pots are more accessible and we water them frequently, we can spot problems before they get out of control. If you take immediate action as soon as you notice a problem, you can save the plant or prevent the problem from spreading. If you bring your houseplants outside over the summer, be sure to give them a thorough shower before bringing them back indoors in the fall to ensure you don’t bring container plant problems indoors. We’ll show you how to control pests in flower pots. But first, let’s see which pests are most prevalent.

What are the most common pests in flower pots

Pests in flower pots - which are the most common ones

  • Aphids
    They feed on tender shoot tips. Try our homemade recipe that we provide in this article and avoid using insecticides that are harmful to plants, the environment, pets and people.
  • Caterpillars
    The best method of control is to pick off caterpillars.

What are the most common pests in flower pots

  • Mealy bugs
    They look like patches of white mold. They are difficult to get rid of and should be treated regularly. You can use a mixture of water, vinegar and washing-up liquid (mixing ratio: 4:2:1). The smell of vinegar should serve to keep the pests away.

Fill a bottle with white vinegar and use it to control weevils

  • Red spider mite
    It thrives in dry conditions. Look for fine webs and mottled leaves. Pick off infested leaves and spray a mixture of 3 tablespoons of dish soap with 4 gallons of water to kill spider mites. Spray the soap solution on infested plant leaves weekly as needed. Rubbing alcohol, which you have around the house, can also kill spider mites.

You can use petroleum jelly to keep snails away from your pots


  • Slugs
    They generally do not reach hanging baskets, but can infest wall baskets and window boxes. They hide behind containers during the day and eat plants at night. To keep slugs away from your pots , apply a one- to two-inch-thick strip of petroleum jelly just below the rim of the container.
  • Weevils
    They first show up as white larvae. They eat the roots of the plants. Pour white vinegar into a bottle and label it for regular use.

Pests in flower pots - whiteflies feed on the underside of leaves

  • White fly
    These tiny white flies flutter up in clouds when disturbed. They feed on the underside of leaves. Spray the leaves well with a hose. Try our homemade recipe provided below, applied with a sprayer.

Homemade solution to pests in flower boxes.

Control bugs in flower pots with homemade solution


If you want to control pests in flower pots, without chemicals, try this homemade solution. It is not expensive and good for your plants and yourself. The recipe is suitable for most “soft body” insects – especially aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies.

1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
1/4 teaspoon cooking oil
1 liter of warm water

To increase the effectiveness of the solution, you can add garlic or hot pepper. For hard-shelled bugs like beetles, add 2 teaspoons of citrus oil or peppermint extract. Look for small hiding places in the leaves. Continue spraying every 10 days or so until you are sure the problems with the container plants are gone.

Measures to prevent pests

Do not reuse potting soil if the plants were infected

Here we show you some strategies and measures to keep pests away from your pots. With a little extra attention and regular care, you can tackle the problems with ease.

Don’t reuse potting soil

Dispose of the soil from flower pots with infested plants.

To avoid pests in flower pots, don’t reuse potting soil, especially if it contained plants that were affected by fungus or bacteria. Even if the soil looks good, it may be contaminated with disease and contain insect eggs or larvae that you can’t see. Discard such soil.

Clean containers to prevent pests in flower pots.

To avoid problems with bugs, you need clean containers

To avoid problems with pests, you need clean vessels . At the beginning of each new planting season, scrub your pots and containers with liquid detergent and water. You should soak pots that have already been affected by pests and diseases in a solution of one part household bleach and ten parts water for about an hour. Rinse them thoroughly and let them air dry before planting.

Keep your plants healthy

Give your plants enough sunlight, fertilizer and water

Make sure you give your plants the combination of sunlight, fertilizer and water they need. Healthy plants are better able to fight off pest infestations. Remove dead leaves and flowers, and make sure plants are spaced far enough apart to allow air to circulate around them. Regular inspections of plants will help prevent problems in the container garden. Look at both sides of the leaves when watering and also check the soil for burrowed pests.

Pests in flower pots: get rid of infested plants.

Do not allow infested plants to infect your other plants

If you find a plant that is infested with pests and diseases, isolate it or dispose of it. Do not allow it to infect your other plants. Keep the plant away from other containers while treating the problem and wash your hands and garden tools after working.

Be careful when choosing potted plants

Check the plants for pests and take action quickly

Pests in flower pots are more common in certain plants. Keep this in mind when selecting plants for your potted gardens. This is especially true for tropical plants or other plants that are not native to your area. They have not yet acquired natural resistance to bugs and diseases in your region and are therefore more susceptible. Do not avoid these plants, but check them regularly for pests and take action quickly.