Common questions relating to plant health and maintenance.

I think I have an insect or disease on my plant. What do I do?

Never do any plant treatment without knowing your problems. Think of plants like children - you would never give your child medicine unless you knew what was wrong.

In some cases, bringing a photograph into your local Garden Centre asking staff will help us diagnose and suggest a problem. Sealing some problem leaves or stems in a zip-bag and bringing it in will also help identify many problems. Be sure to seal the bag well as not to contaminate anything along the way. If you see holes in leaves or insect damage, try to bring along a sample of the insect. Different insects may require different treatments so it is very important to see the insect prior to starting treatment.

My indoor plants seem sticky. What causes this?

Sticky leaves are typically caused by "honeydew" excreted by insects. Inspect your plant closely for anything unusual. Look for cottony bumps, brown lumps on the stems, or other insects under the leaves. Bring samples in for diagnosis, sealed in a bag, and we will be happy to help.

I think I have insects. Can I just use dish-soap and water to get rid of them?

Dish soap and detergents are made for cleaning dishes and not for killing insects. If you do want to use a soap solution, invest in a proper insecticidal soap - you will have far greater success and less risk to the plant.

I just treated my plants last week and the bugs are back! What's wrong?

Insects are far more resilient than we would like them to be. Often it can take multiple applications to break the cycle. Since many insects can have eggs left behind on the plant, a close inspection once a week and treatment where necessary will break the cycle. Some insects, like indoor Mealy Bug infestations, can take weeks or months to get rid of. Proper observation and treatment is the best cure.

I got a plant about three months ago and everything was fine. Now I have bugs. Where did they come from?

Bugs come in nearly every nook and cranny. They can be carried on clothing, or blow in with the wind (even through screens). Insects are a natural part of plants. You can't stop them from happening, only treat them when they appear.

We have spiders eating our plants. How do I get rid of them?

The only spiders that really harm plants are as small as the head of a pin or smaller. Most spiders are good for your garden and they munch on other insects. Having a healthy spider population is the sign of a good garden. Our greenhouse is full of spiders, some amazingly large.

We need somebody to come to our house and diagnose/treat a tree. Who can you recommend?

We suggest calling Trillium Tree Experts. They do removal and pruning of plants as well as diagnosis and treatment of plants.