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Office plant - dying with flies!

Office plant - dying with flies!
Posted by Ben from London, England on 2007-01-10 06:25:00

We have an unidentified potted office plant... it is a sort of palm plant but not exactly. It has think tapering leaves, with long spindly stalks.

It had been in a tub too small for it. Following repotting it appears to have developed small bugs/ flies in the soil at the base, of which one or two have hatched.

The plant itself was doing badly before its repotting six months ago and despite constant care and attention, watering etc. Has not recovered. Its leaves are dying - dry. In fact the whole plant seems on its way out. Is there anything that can be done?
  • Office Plane/flies
    Posted by Janet from Virginia on 2007-06-10 04:43:00

    Repot with Miracle Grow potting soil and mix together liquid dishwashing liquid and water and pour over soil. Let soil almost dry out before watering again. I think you have used some potting soil that contained these flies when you repotted. When you repot any plant, it is a good idea to wash off the roots with a water hose. Sometimes you will find mites, etc on the roots of the plant..
    Good luck
  • office plant dying with flies
    Posted by Roberta from Arizona on 2007-06-02 09:55:00

    Hi,
    I had the same problem and was told to put sand on the top of the soil since the gnats can't live in it. You don't have to use playground sand, but you can buy a regular bag of sand where you find lumber in most home depot stores. I did this and used a little vitamin B1, cut back the dead leaves and everything came back great and no more gnats. Hope this helps
  • Fungus gnats
    Posted by Will Creed (wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com) from NY on 2007-01-13 08:51:00

    Hi Ben,

    The flying critters are fungus gnats. Their larvae live in the soil and as they mature, they develop wings and fly out of the soil. The soil that you used to repot was contaminated with gnat larvae.

    Your unidentified plant was languishing for unknown reasons before you repotted. Although your intentions were good, repotting rarely solves a plant problem and usually aggravates it.

    I suspect your plant is not worth trying to salvage at this point. If you want to send a photo to my email address, I can ID the plant for you and let you know if it can be saved.

    Will Creed, Interior landscaper
    NYC

    Insiders' Plant Information

    • Fungus gnats
      Posted by Ben from London, England on 2007-01-17 06:51:00

      Hi Will,

      Thank you ever so much for your really kind and helpful response! How horrid to think we have got fungus gnats!

      We are trying to get a picture on the web to help identify the plant!

      We have used a spray so far....

      Ben
      • Pictures of our plants
        Posted by Ben (ben.smith@victimsupport.org.uk) from London, England on 2007-01-19 06:37:00

        Hey Will,

        If you would be able to take a look at some pictures of our plants, then we have some now. I can email them?

        Thanks for all your help!

        Ben
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