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New member seeking help for indoor rain forest!

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#1 pachamalchemyst



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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:33 PM

Hey new community! 
I'm really excited to be apart of this community, and grow my knowledge and experience of entheo-gardening with you all  :biggrin: .
I started some trichocereus seeds and a mix of white, sky blue, and yellow caapi seeds.
The white seems to be quite eager to grow. 
But I have a gnat or other soil and seed loving infestation that I'm trying to get under control. 
I messed up and created too moist an environment. I noticed one of my caapi seeds was being eaten by larvae. I quickly separated as many as I could into smaller, more drain able containers after removing them from the infected soil. I'm using a cedar spray, and I used a couple drops of lemongrass and citronella essential oil in a distilled water spray bottle. I'm not entirely sure if the cedar oil spray is safe. I would assume so, as it's just cedar wood oil and water. The essential oils are specifically used for pests as well. It seems I have the pests more under control, but I am stressed about it and not sure how to continue. 
One of my white caapi's have sprouted in just a few weeks of having them planted. I separated her into her own container, and the others' are in smaller containers, covered to supply humidity as well as safety from the pests. 
I have many questions, but am mostly seeking guidance in growing these wonderful plants who have been calling to me for awhile. I would hate to lose them to these pests. 

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#2 Jeepster



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Posted 27 December 2017 - 12:26 AM

Welcome aboard, you will find this a friendly and informative community.

You might want to top layer your soil with diatomaceous earth to help keep pests away.
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#3 pachamalchemyst



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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:07 AM

Welcome aboard, you will find this a friendly and informative community.

You might want to top layer your soil with diatomaceous earth to help keep pests away.

Thank you for the welcome.  :smile: 
I'll have to try that. Is DE at all dangerous to new seedlings? Is there a "too much?" 

#4 PsyBearknot



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Posted 27 December 2017 - 05:46 AM

Moving this over to botanicals.

Howdy nd welcome.
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#5 JanSteen



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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:14 AM

DE doesn't work in humid environments, and it's not that good for your lungs. The fine dust contains asbestos parts in some brands (I think most of them even), and the fine dust of DE is exactly what's used to tear insect trachea (lungs) apart. It will do the same to your lungs, and damage even more than in the insects' since we humans tend to have softer tissues. DE works for cacti and other plants that don't require moist soil.
In a tropical environment, there is basically no way to combat gnats other than to let the soil dry out completely, or use a natural pedator.
Fine sand (bird sand, playground sand, sandbox sand, etc.) can be used as a top layer for your soil, and a cover layer for the bottom of pots (to close up egg laying entries from above and below) with some, but limited effect. But that, together with sticky traps, are about it when it comes to combating gnats. Most tropical plants stay unaffected by gnats though - they're naturally present in the native environment - unless you over-water the plants a lot, and cause roots to rot.

Gnat infectations are usually have combined causes (attracted by fungi growing, eating only soft and damaged plant tissue, gnats need a very humid soil environment), but they only leave real damaging effects in already damaged plants. That means it might be wise to check if you're not just drowning your plants, use adequate air filters/mesh and to close the growth container to leave no points of entry. If possible, germinate seeds away from that growth room, so that you only have already established plants in the infected area. This limits damage on seedlings until they're strong enough to handle the gnats.
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#6 CatsAndBats


    this fucking guy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:08 PM

and nematodes..

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