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Bugs and other critters have been eating plants since before people were even walking on the planet, let alone gardening. So, it's inevitable that at some point you will find yourself sharing your plants with uninvited guests. When you bring a new plant home it's always a good idea to wash it to get rid of any pests it might have picked up at the nursery. Put the plant in the bathtub or sink and wash all the leaves and stems with a mixture of 1 part liquid soap to 40 parts water. (Don't use detergent -it's too harsh for the plant.)

We strongly recommend NOT using chemical spray pesticides on your container plants. With a small scale garden removing the pests by hand, or washing plants with soapy water can be as effective - without the danger of misdirected pesticides. If you can't figure out how to get rid of a pest, cut off the affected areas of the plant and throw them away.

It's important to keep in mind that not all insects are pests, and that not all pests are insects. Don't go nuts and kill every little thing with legs - you might accidently eliminate useful pollinators or beneficial wildlife.

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