Diversity As Natural Pesticide

Scientists have published a study in Nature that explains why plant diversity discourages insect pests. Damaging insects love monocultures, large areas planted with a single crop, because they conveniently concentrate nutrients in one place. Diverse plantings have less of what they like, so bugs need to work harder in search of food. As a result, they’re less likely to visit and hang around.

While this research is about farming and not about houseplants, orchid growers may find this complements other natural, non-toxic remedies, like carnivorous plants and beneficial insects. Grow a broad variety of plants instead of a single kind. For example, add some plant diversity to a lawn to battle pests, rather than pouring on toxic insecticides. To learn more, find the full study at Nature.com (requires a subscription.)

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