Updated at: 27-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Is there a reason diatomaceous earth is so important to know how to use on houseplants? Gardeners have been using diatomaceous earth, or DE, as a non-toxic insecticide for plants for a long time. Despite the fact that this insecticide is labeled as non-toxic, plant producers should proceed with caution while using it.

Pesticide DE comes in a powdered form, and it acts by suffocating any insects that come into contact with it. Insects may perish as a result of dehydration caused by the substance’s sharp tiny edges wounding their bodies and leaking out fluid. Numerous amateur and professional gardeners alike continue to make use of it in their plants because of this ability.

What is Diatomaceous Earth Made Of?

Exoskeletons of diatoms, a minute aquatic creature, are used to make diatomaceous earth (DE). Silica, which is found in the Earth’s crust, is used to make their exoskeletons. These silica particles have extremely sharp edges (like shattered glass) and are capable of cutting pests to pieces.

Using Diatomaceous Earth on Seed Starts for Fungus Gnats & A Bottom Watering Trick: Ideas! -TRG2016 - YouTube

2 Methods of Using Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants

Plant pests and insects including aphids, millipede, slugs, centipedes, and squash bugs are all killed by diatomaceous earth. If you see any of these infections on your houseplants, take care of it right away. Insect infestations in your houseplants can be treated in three ways using Diatomaceous Earth.

Method #1. Dust application

Dusting with diatomaceous earth is an easy technique to apply it to houseplants. Apply your DE powder to the infected houseplant with a dust applicator authorized for this purpose. The powder can cause discomfort or shortness of breath if inhaled, so wearing a mask is essential when dusting DE on the skin with this method.

After a little rain or early in the morning, while dews are still fresh, is the optimum time to apply DE to your plants. The plant’s surface will be better able to hold on to the dust because of the dampness. Keep children and pets away from the area for at least 24 hours after the treatment to prevent them from being exposed to DE powder.

Method #2. Wet application

Wet application is another method of applying DE. If you need to treat your indoor plant quickly and don’t have access to rainwater or morning dew, this is a great tool to have on hand. You simply need to mix four teaspoons of DE in one gallon of water and apply a few coatings on the top or underside of your plants where pest or insect infestations are most likely to occur when using the wet application method.

However, this approach has the downside of decreasing the effectiveness of DE because it is diluted with water. This method of administering DE to your house plants may necessitate reapplying the mixture on your plants a few times in order to speed up the killing of the insects or pests.

Important Thing to Remember When Applying DE

Even helpful plant insects can be killed by DE – so it’s important to keep this in mind. Because of this, it is advisable to cover the treated plant with burlap or a plastic sheet while dealing with undesired pests and insect infestations in order to prevent the helpful bugs from being destroyed. After a few days, you can remove the covering and water the plant to remove any residual diatomaceous earth from the plant’s surfaces.

Greenhouses for Plants Benefits

If you’re an avid fan of growing plants, then you may have come across a lot of people telling you that you should use a greenhouse and you might want to consider following their advice. Plants benefit greatly from the use of greenhouses. Here are a few examples:.

Advantage #1. Pest control

Control and prevention of pests are two of the main advantages greenhouses offer. Aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, snails, and other unpleasant pests won’t be able to assault and consume your plants because they’ll be protected by an enclosed structure. As a result, you won’t have to resort to insecticides like diatomaceous earth as often.

Advantage #2. More plant choices

Is it possible to grow a warm-season plant in the winter? A greenhouse can be used to do this. Sweet potatoes, zucchinis, hot peppers, lemons, winter squash, guavas, and more may all be grown in a greenhouse because it is more humid and warmer than the outside.

Advantage #3. Weather protection

Protecting crops from harsh weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy rains, is another benefit of greenhouses. In the winter or summer, the structure of the greenhouse provides enough shelter from wind and temperature extremes. You’ll be able to protect your plant’s integrity and ensure that it will make it through the challenging season.

Learning How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth on Houseplants

Pests and bug infestations pose a threat to the health and integrity of your plants at some time in your gardening adventure. Diatomaceous earth on houseplants can make the difference between plant death and survival if you find yourself in that situation. A thorough understanding of this can help you deal with any bug infestations and keep your plant healthy for a long period of time.

How Do You Use Diatomaceous Earth in Potted Plants For Pest Control?

Depending on the application, diatomaceous can be used in two different ways. Potting soil can benefit from the addition of this product. Alternatively, it can be used as an insecticide or pesticide as well.

Use Diatomaceous Earth As An Amendment in Soil Mixes For Plants

Diatomaceous earth and potting soil should be used in a 20:80 ratio.

Using Diatomaceous Earth as an Insecticide?

Use a duster to spread it over the plants after a little rain or in the early morning after dewfall, depending on the weather conditions.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Using Diatomaceous Earth On Potted Plants

It’s not difficult to use diatomaceous earth on your potted plants. I recommend that you remember a few things before you start using it.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Little fossilized water diatoms form the unusual, soft sedimentary rock known as diatomaceous earth. White powder, which is absorbent enough to keep the soil moist, is ground into a fine powder. It also destroys insects that are trying to attack your house plants without the usage of harmful chemicals.

Before purchasing diatomaceous earth, take sure to read the label. Grades of it are available.

Small amounts of food-grade diatomaceous earth, for example, are safe to consume. Using diatomaceous earth in a swimming pool can be harmful.

If you’re going to buy diatomaceous earth, be sure it’s food quality.

When it comes to your dogs and small children, you don’t have to be concerned about them ingesting dangerous compounds from your plants as much as you may think.

Why You Would Use Diatomaceous Earth in Your Potted Plants

Insect pests can be attracted to potted plants, whether they are kept indoors or outside. Although diatomaceous earth is a powder, its particles are sharp, making it an effective desiccant.

Soft-bodied insects such as fungus gnats, mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids can be killed with diatomaceous earth without the use of toxic pesticides.

An insect exoskeleton is punctured by the powder grains’ sharp edges, which suck off the waxy surface’s lipids. As a result of this, the insects die from dehydration.

Because of its high absorption capacity, it is a great fertilizer for houseplants. Potting soils benefit from its moisture-retentive properties, which also aid in the drainage of excess water. It also aids in aerating the roots of your plants.

How Much Diatomaceous Earth Should You Use In The Soil?

Depending on your intended purpose, the amount you desire to consume will vary. Diatomaceous earth should make up between 10% and 20% of your mixture, while potting soil should make up between 80% and 90%.

Two parts diatomaceous earth to four parts soil is a good rule of thumb. No need to be exact, but that’s near enough for the purposes of this exercise. It’s best to mix it thoroughly and then plant as usual.

Use a duster to apply it to the soil as a pesticide. Because insects feed on more than just roots and stems, it’s a good idea to scatter the dust over the leaves as well.

Early in the morning after a dewfall, spray outdoor plants with this fungicide. For best results, spread after a light rain to ensure the dust adheres to the soil and to the plant.

Alternatively, you can combine two cups of diatomaceous earth with a gallon of water and apply it to your plants as a fertilizer. The powder adheres to the leaves, stems, and soil surface when the mixture has dried.

Diatomaceous Earth Is Very Dusty

The thin powder of diatomaceous earth can disperse dust all over the place since it is so fine. If you have sensitive mucous membranes in your throat or nose, you should avoid using this product. Pets and children should be treated the same way.

Wear the following items at all times:

  • A face mask to protect oneself from the effects of dust.
  • Sleeves that cover the entire arm
  • Pants that cover the legs in length

… while spraying diatomaceous earth using a duster or similar device. As you spray, keep your children and pets away as well.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth, as I mentioned earlier, is a natural powder derived from sedimentary rock. This type of rock is siliceous, which means that silica is its primary ingredient. Diatomaceous earth is sometimes referred to as kieselguhr or diatomite, but it’s still the same material.

Using diatomaceous earth, the rock is reduced to a fine white powder. Micron diameters range from around a millimeter (three microns) to up to 200 microns, which is typical for most powders.

Diatomaceous earth’s porosity characteristics make it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardeners. You can easily sift it because it isn’t too dense, like baking flower or baby powder.

If you’ve ever worked with pumice powder, you know what it’s like to work with diatomaceous earth. It’s not as soft as it appears and has a medium abrasive texture.

What is Diatomaceous Earth Made Of?

80% to 90% of diatomaceous earth is composed of silica, which is the primary component of diatomaceous earth. This is because, as previously stated, the sedimentary rock from which diatomaceous earth is derived is siliceous.

Diatomaceous earth also contains iron oxide (0.5 to 2%), and alumina (2% to 4%). The latter is included due to the presence of clay particles in this powder.

The fossilized diatoms that make up the name “diatomaceous earth” are what give the substance its name. When diatomaceous earth is utilized, the shells of diatoms are included in the algae group.

Cat litter, plastic film anti-block, rubber and plastic reinforcing filler, coating matting agents, mechanical pesticides, toothpaste, and metal polish are all examples of goods that use this earth as a stabilizer.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Benefit Your Indoor Garden?

Diatomaceous Earth Can Be Used As a Plant Medium for Greater Porosity

Some houseplants require potting soil, while others do better with potting mix, as you may recall from prior articles. Mediums with a different texture than the soil may be used in this case (if the houseplant requires soil at all).

Diatomaceous earth, on the other hand, is an excellent medium. Even when used alone, diatomaceous earth won’t provide much nutrition for your houseplants, so you’ll want to mix it with additional plant food for optimal results.

In the case of hydroponic indoor plants, such as Bonsai or other houseplants, diatomaceous earth is an essential ingredient. When used with potting soil, it will benefit your houseplants the most. Because of its high porosity, diatomaceous earth improves drainage and loosens compacted potting soil, which both benefit the plant’s roots.

What is Diatomaceous Earth? How to Use DE for Garden Pest Control ~ Homestead and Chill

Diatomaceous Earth Can Be Used For Deodorizing Your Houseplants

Your houseplants might get a little nasty from time to time, have you noticed? It’s a reality. Even if a plant is generally aromatic, over watering can cause it to go sour.

You may be smelling mildew, mold, or fungi, which could be the cause of the stench you’re experiencing.

Adding compost to your indoor plants is an option in some instances. Diatomaceous earth can be used to mask the odor. If you don’t want to take your plants outside to get rid of bad aromas, this natural deodorizer can help.

Diatomaceous Earth Can Be Used For Pest Control

Pest management is one area where diatomaceous earth excels without a doubt. Insects tend to avoid plants where diatomaceous earth has been sprinkled on the soil.

Mites and ticks are the first of them. You might keep your houseplants indoors now, but that might not have always been the case.

Mites and ticks are the first of them. You might keep your houseplants indoors now, but that might not have always been the case.

Mites and ticks are the first of them. There was a time when you may not have kept your houseplants indoors.

Diatomaceous earth is also disliked by ants, mites, and ticks. As a bonus, the insects they bring with them, such aphids, can find a new home in your indoor plant.

Aphids, who are notorious sap-suckers, love to infest your young plants. Your poor houseplant will never be able to reach its full potential.

The aphids will go on to other plants in your home, and they may leave behind viruses in their wake. Diatomaceous earth can also be used to get rid of aphids without harming your houseplants, unlike insecticides.

Additionally, you won’t be exposing yourself to harmful gases while using Diatomaceous Earth as your pest management.

Diatomaceous Earth Will Get Rid of Fungus Gnats

To get rid of the pesky fungus gnats that swarm around wet indoor plants, I frequently use diatomaceous earth. The fungus gnats on my houseplants used to bother me, so I used Neem Oil to get rid of them, but now I use diatomaceous earth on top of the soil to get rid of them within five to seven days.

Diatomaceous earth should be sprinkled on top of the soil of your houseplants and around the container if possible. As a precautionary measure, diatomaceous earth can be used to kill a black fly by drying it out.

Slugs may not be able to sneak into your home or business, but they aren’t impossible. You don’t need salt if you ever come across one. Using diatomaceous earth in a ring around an endangered houseplant will deter slugs from reaching it. The diatomaceous earth can actually tear the snail’s fragile skin, causing it to turn tail and flee the scene..

Diatomaceous Earth Can Be Used For Keeping Your Manure and Compost Maggot-Free

Even though it’s disgusting, manure is an excellent ingredient in the creation of natural fertilizer. Compost is a popular choice for indoor plants for many gardeners, including myself.

Maggots can infest your houseplants if you use either of these products even on a semi-regular basis. Especially incomplete compost and manure are favorites of these disgusting critters.

As soon as the maggot larvae begin to crawl around in your manure or compost, you may not detect them. Using this on your houseplants is certainly out of the question.

Diatomaceous earth powder, like many other insect repellents, can keep maggots at bay without the use of harsh chemicals.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Plants?

No. Natural diatomaceous earth can be applied to the soil and to the foliage of your plants without fear of harming them. Porosity can be increased by allowing it to penetrate the soil.

If you accidentally spread too much diatomaceous earth on your plant while applying it, simply scoop it up. There’s no need to be concerned if you follow the directions on the packing container.

How Often Should You Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Indoor Plants?

Let the diatomaceous earth remain in the topsoil for about seven days after applying it. Diatomaceous earth can be stored until the following season or the next bug or pest infestation if the problem has been resolved. You don’t have to do it all the time.

Can garden worms be killed with diatomaceous earth?

Does diatomaceous earth have any effect on warm-blooded animals, such as earthworms? Earthworms, on the other hand, can serve as a natural tiller for soil, helping to keep its quality high. It’s important to remember that not all insects are harmful.

Remove Grow Room Pest Bugs ! Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade - YouTube

Final Thoughts

Diatomaceous earth isn’t difficult to apply to potted plants. Make sure you stick to food-grade ingredients and use the correct dosages.

To stave against insects, use Food-Grade DE in your compost pile.

Aerating the roots of plants and killing pests without the use of poisonous chemicals are all benefits of utilizing DE in the potting soil.