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Monstera Deliciosa, a Swiss cheese plant, or split-leaf philodendron, is a flowering plant grown in temperate regions of the world and native to Mexico.
The Monstera plant is quite invasive and grows rapidly given conditions that favor its growth.
The deliciosa attached to its name points to the fact that the monster produces a delicious fruit that can be consumed by man and animals as food.
The leaves of the Monstera plant have natural holes that look like the ones in cheese; it is in fact the reason why this plant got “monster” for a name.
Scientists, who named it, said it looked like a monster compared to other houseplants because of its multiple holes that looked like eyes.
The Monstera plant is unique in its ability to self-pollinate. This means that a single part of the flower contains both anther and stigma and can auto-mix in the flower for reproduction without the help of insects to push pollen grains from anthers to stigmas.
The fruit of the Monstera plant is said to smell as great as the combination of bananas and pineapples.
Such an ironic monster plant with characteristics that make it sort after by both plants and animals.
This is probably why every houseplant-loving household in Mexico makes it a point of duty to own at least a plant pot of this monster.
Talking about being sorted for, the Monstera isn’t just sorted after by humans and animals. There are also parasitic insects that enjoy the Monstera plant and depend on it for a parasitic form of nutrition- especially thrips.
Thrips feed on the Monstera plant by puncturing holes in the plant’s tissue and sucking up the nutrients from the plant.
There are over 6000 species that have been identified by scientists, each characterized by predation or parasitism.
This article shows you the most effective ways to get rid of thrips on your Monstera plant.
It also explains the best techniques that should be employed in caring for your Monstera plant to prevent a thrip infestation.
How to Get Rid of Thrips on Monstera
The following are five of the most effective ways to get rid of thrips from your Monstera plant.
These steps have been used over time by gardeners in different parts of the world and they’ve reported successful control and ridding of thrips from their Monstera plants.
1. Introduction of natural predators
2. Use of commercially approved insecticides
3. Application of herbicidal oils on leaves
4. Sticky traps
The application of these methods is explained in the proceeding paragraphs.
1. Introduction of Natural Predators
Certain species of insects exist and predate on thrips without harming the monster plant.
They are predatory insects that feed on other insects rather than depending on nectars of plants for nutrition.
Some of these insects include ladybugs, amblyseius swirskii, pirate bugs, and ambyseius cucumeris.
A Ladybug predates on thrips and eliminates every single one, then leaves the plant when there are no more insects to predate on.
The amblyseius cucumeris is effective for the control of thrips and various parasitic mites on a monster plant.
They are tough and can take down any amount of thrips on a monster plant. They just need time to function effectively.
The ambyseuis swirskii is even more generalist in predation. It is not selective in its predatory pattern. It predates on any insect on the leaf including spider mites and thrips.
These predatory insects can be bought from entomologists at affordable prices and introduced to the Monstera plant.
Thrip predators are better introduced at the early stages of thrip infestation on the Monstera.
This way, the predators are able to grow colonies on the leaves of the plant for effective predation.
2. Use of Commercially Approved Insecticides
It is necessary to emphasize the word “approved”. This is because the Monstera plant produces edible fruit ingested by man and animals.
The application of insecticides on the plant should be in mild quantities that are incapable of making the Monstera fruits toxic for human consumption.
Insecticides have the ability to break through the shells of thrips making them wingless and loosening their grips on the plant.
Insecticides that contain potassium fatty acids have the ability to cause dehydration to the mites, thereby killing them.
To apply insecticides effectively on the Monstera plant, ensure you shake the insecticide can properly, to release the potassium concentrate.
Apply the insecticide at about 9:00 am in the morning after the plant must have gotten a good soak.
This helps the insecticide stay longer on the leaves and keeps their action sustained on the thrips.
3. Application of Herbicidal Oils on Leaves
A recommended herbicidal oil for getting rid of thrips on the Monstera plant is neem oil.
The neem oil is made up of a chemical solution that gets on the bodies of thrips and hampers their normal feeding, reproduction, and respiratory processes.
Prolonged stay in this condition, eventually kills the thrips, eliminating them from the plant they had infested.
To prepare the neem oil solution, mix the concentrated cold compressed neem chemical oil into enough water and add some liquid soap or detergent to the solution.
The liquid soap helps to bind the water to the oil. This concentrated solution of neem oil and water should be applied to the plats at least once a day.
Emphasis should be given to the underparts of the leaves when applying neem oil to the plant; because this is where thrips love to make their colonies and attack the plant from.
Consistent application of neem oil solution to the plant can get your Monstera free from thrips in about two weeks.
4. Sticky Traps
Thrips are blue in color and are attracted to the colors blue, white, and yellow. They would naturally gravitate to these colors whether the objects having them are plants or not.
You can use this natural affection for colors as a weapon against the thrips. This is done by placing sticky traps having these colors, around your Monstera plant.
The thrips would eventually get attracted to the colored object and fly to get a better view and feel.
This traps the thrip and keeps it there unable to move a limb. With time, all the thrips on the monstera fall prey to the sticky trap and rids your monstera of thrips.
This is used as a last resort for controlling the activities of thrips on Monstera.
It should be adopted when significant damage has been done to a leaf stalk of the Monstera.
Pruning which involves the cutting away of a monstera leaf that is infested with too many thrips helps to isolate the leaf from the full plant, to prevent the spread of the thrips to other parts of the plant.
The pruned leaf should be disposed of properly or burnt. It should not be used as compost on the plant pot.
After a leaf is cut off, it is only a while before more leaves spring forth from the spot where it was cut from; healthy and better looking than the cut-off leaf.
The technique of pruning should not be used when thrips occupy too many parts of the plant, as pruning might end up destroying your Monstera.
Signs of Thrips on Monstera
The following signs are noticeable in a monstera infested by thrips:
1. Leaf discoloration due to reduction of chlorophyll content. This is due to the fact that thrips make holes in leaf tissues and suck up their nutrients
2. Noticeable tiny bug movements on the leaves especially on the underparts. Thrips are not microscopic and can be seen by the natural eyes on close-range inspection.
3. Plants have stunted growth because they do not have the required nutrients to keep them growing normally.
4. Leaves begin to develop burnt tips and droops
5. The plant gradually wilts.
What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Thrips On Monstera
The most effective ways have been listed above.
The issue of a best ridding method is dependent on factors like infestation rate, infestation period, and amount of money available to the gardener.
In cases where the thrips are on almost every leaf on the monstera, it is best to apply insecticides or neem oil.
In cases of early infestation, the introduction of natural predators is advised. If a gardener has enough money at his disposal, he could adopt all of the methods consecutively and consistently.
The best way to get rid of thrips on Monstera is the way that is most convenient to a gardener and the plant environment.
Can Monstera Recover From Thrips?
Monsteras can recover from damages done to it by thrips if the gardener is careful enough to take proper care of the monstera plant after ridding the plant of thrips.
The plant at this point needs enough water and nutrients that had been sucked away by the thrips.
Do thrips like Monstera?
Thrips are parasitic insects that are drawn to flowers with beautiful leaves and a nice scent.
The monstera has both a nice scent and a beautiful flower, so they are a favorite for thrips.
This does not mean that thrips do not also attack other plant species.
What Kills Thrips on Houseplants?
Here is a list of potential thrip killers on houseplants:
2. amblyseius swirskii
3. pirate bugs
4. ambyseius cucumeris
5. Neem oil
7. Sticky traps
8. Excess watering
Why does my Monstera have gnats?
Your monstera has gnats because you have been overwatering the soil. Gnats are a species of flying fungus that is drawn to damp soils of houseplants.
When they get into the damp soils, they begin to feed on the root of the plant.
Can you use neem oil on Monstera?
Neem oil can be used on monstera to control thrips without hurting the plant leaves or making the fruits toxic.
This is because neem oil is a herbicidal oil made out of safe herbicides that perform the function of clogging the systems of thrips and other parasites on a monstera plant. although, they are harmful to humans if ingested.
At the end of this article, we are sure of the fact that you have gotten sufficient knowledge to control and get rid of thrips on your Monstera plant. we hope your plant blooms better after this article.