An indoor garden inside a building, we all know beautiful examples: an office building, a shopping mall, a hospital, a tropical swimming pool or residential building. All of them are places where more or less continuously people are present enjoying the plants and the flowers. But of course, this will only sustain provided that these beautiful plants remain healthy. And that can sometimes be a difficult task. The plants grow in an unnatural environment, low air humidity, low light level, irregular watering, which makes them rather susceptible to pests and diseases.
Pests in an indoor garden
In indoor gardens we regularly encounter pests such as spider mites, thrips, mealybugs and aphids but there are several more. Which pests occur partly depends on the climate and the plants chosen. In an indoor garden with a (sub) tropical climate you will mostly encounter (sub) tropical pests. They often come unnoticed, a single individual, along with the plants and soon they may develop into a pest spot. Sometimes they are rather specific and will not move to other plants. However, pests such as spider mites and thrips occur frequently on all kinds of plants. Also in indoor gardens they may build up a population rapidly and cause a lot of damage. Especially spider mites thrive very well under low humidity conditions, such as in an air-conditioned room.
In an indoor garden a sustainable way of pest control is needed. The use of chemical pesticides is impossible since at any time there may be people present in the garden who may suffer from side effects of chemical products used. Biocontrol fits in perfectly here. This method is environmentally friendly, does not give any nuisance and, if applied in a proper way, will be active and effective for many years. It is important to make a good selection of biological control agents that will be used. By far not all available products can handle the conditions in an indoor garden. Application of biological control in a indoor garden is completely harmless to people. The beneficials that are being introduced only attack the pests, not people nor the plants they are applied on. Once the pest is eradicated, the natural enemies will also die. No annoying flies or whatsoever will keep flying around the plants. The beneficials are very tiny and hardly visible by naked eye.
For many years we have been practicing biological control in various indoor gardens and we still do. Together with gardeners, residents or fully managed by our own, we develop a tailored program for each situation in which we determine which products we use, how often and in which numbers. Depending on the situation, these are only some products or a wide range of different types. Gardeners learn from us how to identify pests and how to monitor the course of the program. We regularly send the required products and visit the gardens occasionally to discuss the progress with the gardeners.