indoor plants - substrate flies

Hi

I have some indoor plants, some of them are aromatic, as mint and basil, and some other are just ornamental plants. Im having a recurrent issue with small flies (i believe those are substrate flies) from time to time. I have no problem with the flies itself other than every time it happens, the plant starts to lose their folowers and leaves

I believe the problem is that the substrate is very wet. After one week without watering it, it is still wet. 

I have tried several solutions, as adding a layer of sand on top of the substrate, but it didnt work, and also watering the plants with less frequency (every two weeks), but the plant starts to die if i do it. You know... they need water ;)

So, im out of ideas on what else can i do to prevent this from happening.  The only last thing i can think of is changing the soil completely and repot the plant, but im not sure it would work

Any advise on this please?

Thanks

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,645
    Get some of the yellow sticky traps and hang them around the plant. Water the plants from underneath so the top layer stays drier if you can too.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,347
    Do the pots have adequate drainage holes?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hi

    i can try watering from underneath. That’s a good idea

    about holes, yes, they are good, I also have some small stones to help the drainage 
  • JAYJARDINJAYJARDIN Posts: 107
    If they are the same small flies that we had then they are attracted to the water and moist soil and each female lays about 200 eggs and sadly they reproduce quickly. We did a lot of reading on how to resolve this and went to an aquarium-type shop and bought some stones used for fish tanks and covered the top of the soil with 1.5cms of stones. We then encased the pot holder with cling film so the flies could not get to the water at the bottom of the pot holder. painful as you have to replace the cling film each time you water the plant. We also bought some yellow sunflower fly traps which you stick on windows ( no marks left afterwards) and these attracted the flies. AND Whoopee- now we have no flies !! ps they love Basil- we got rid of ours at that time.
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 874
    I had to get rid of my parsley because of this! 

    Not sure if the coriander will do the same.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,645
    JAYJARDIN said:
    ps they love Basil- we got rid of ours at that time.
    Was it supermarket bought basil? I've just had this same problem but I put it down to the soil they use which seems to go mouldy very quickly.
  • JAYJARDINJAYJARDIN Posts: 107
    Wild Edges :  I grew it from seed. the flies just appeared- could have been in the compost or simply flew in the window.
  • JAYJARDIN said:
    If they are the same small flies that we had then they are attracted to the water and moist soil and each female lays about 200 eggs and sadly they reproduce quickly. We did a lot of reading on how to resolve this and went to an aquarium-type shop and bought some stones used for fish tanks and covered the top of the soil with 1.5cms of stones. We then encased the pot holder with cling film so the flies could not get to the water at the bottom of the pot holder. painful as you have to replace the cling film each time you water the plant. We also bought some yellow sunflower fly traps which you stick on windows ( no marks left afterwards) and these attracted the flies. AND Whoopee- now we have no flies !! ps they love Basil- we got rid of ours at that time.
    Thanks! I tried something similar, but with sand, as I heard it will prevent the flies from leaving the soil, but its not only that it didn’t work, it kept the soil wet and some roots were rotten...


  • JAYJARDINJAYJARDIN Posts: 107
    Welcome! The aquarium stones are to prevent the flies laying their eggs in the moist soil so have a try with stones- it has worked for us and don't water the plants too much.
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