Cure for Mites on Potted Plants


Indoors or outdoors, potted plants may become infested with mites. These pests are small, spider-like creatures with a hunger for plant sap. In bad infestations, plant foliage will look shriveled and discolored. If you do not destroy mites, they will eventually destroy your plants by literally sucking the life out of them. There are a few things you can and should do to cure your potted plants of these creatures.

Step 1

Take plants outdoors or place them in your shower (if your shower has a removable hand-held shower head that you can aim directly at it). It's easiest to do this outdoors (because it is less messy), but during the winter months you may have no choice but to do it in the shower.

Step 2

Turn on your garden hose or shower. Direct the spray of water at the foliage to knock off as many mites as you can. Wash the underside of leaves as well, since mite eggs may be hidden here. According to the Colorado State University Extension, washing plants is one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of mites.

Step 3

Allow the plant to dry. Next you will spray either a miticide (Colorado State University Extension recommends using one for houseplant foliage that contains imidacloprid) or a horticultural oil spray (look for either miticide or horticultural oil at any garden store) and the leaves should be dry for this so the product is not unduly diluted.

Step 4

Put on rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from the spray. Spray the underside of the leaves and the stems first. Next, spray the tops of the leaves.

Step 5

Retreat the plants if you see any more mites. Most plants will have to be treated more than once.

Tips and Warnings

  • The University of Minnesota Extension advises against using a feather duster to dust houseplant leaves. These dusters can spread insect pests from one plant to another.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Horticultural oil sprays (or a miticide)


  • Colorado State University Extension: Managing Houseplant Pests
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Houseplant Insect Control
  • Esprit De Isle: House Plant Pests
Keywords: mites potted plants, cure for mites, controlling plant mites

About this Author

Corey M. Mackenzie is a professional freelance writer with knowledge and experience in many areas. Corey received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University and has been a writer for over two decades. Corey specializes in pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites online.