Posted May 16, 2019 12:05:30A plant’s natural defenses can be a powerful tool for protecting itself.
So how can you make sure it is protected from pests, like insects, and can thrive in a changing climate?
The GardenWatch Guide, a free, online, and hands-on guide to keeping plants healthy and thriving in the Garden, offers the answers.
Read More for a guide to identifying and detecting common garden pests.
“The key to preventing a pest outbreak is identifying them early,” said Laura McLeod, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of New Mexico.
“If you have a good garden, your plants are going to do well in a new climate,” McLeod said.
“You don’t want them in a greenhouse.”
So how do you know what your plants need to do?
McLeod suggests following a few guidelines.
First, she said, plants that need protection from pests should have a thick, dense, leafy canopy.
“That means that the leaves have been replaced with a thicker, more dense canopy,” McLean said.
Plants with a dense, canopy-bearing leaf should also have a dense root system that allows for easier root access.
The leaves should also be able to provide a barrier against root penetration.
McLeod advises plants with dense, thin, leaf-like plants that have roots that are just as thin and as thick as the canopy, but do not have roots.
In some cases, thin leaves can actually protect the root system.
“This is a case where the thin, thick canopy is better than the thin leaves,” Mclean said.
Second, plants should have lots of light and water.
“A good canopy should be at least 50 percent light and 20 percent water,” Mcleods said.
Third, plants with good soil conditions should be able and willing to tolerate high temperatures.
“The root system should be capable of taking up the extra heat,” McLeods said, noting that plants that do well at cooler temperatures will have the ability to tolerate the higher temperatures.
Lastly, McLeod says it is important to plant in a well-drained, well-lit, and well-ventilated area.
“It is important that plants are able to grow in soil that is free from pests and pathogens,” McLesne said.
“When plants are planted, they need to be kept moist,” McLee said.
If you plant a plant in the garden that is in a dry, wet, or wetland area, you can have the plant die off.
“If you plant in an area that is a wetland, the plant will not survive,” Mc Lee said.
If a plant is infested with a disease, McLee recommends applying insecticide.
Insecticide applications can be done by hand or by spraying insecticide onto the leaf.
“I use a hose with a sprayer attached to it and spray it into the soil,” Mclee said.
She also suggests that the plant be watered daily to maintain good soil moisture.
“We should be watering the plant daily, because that is how you are going in and out of a new landscape,” Mc leods said with a laugh.
If you are concerned about a plant’s health, you should take a plant by its root, Mcleod said.
“We need to identify and treat the root of the plant, which is where the plant is growing,” Mc Leods said to laughs.
“To get rid of a plant that has a diseased root system, it is a good idea to get rid the root.”
Read more about plants and pests in our guide to managing pests in the home.