Q. Dear Umbra,

I recently bought a palm houseplant at Home Depot and was shocked when I got it home to find it had a tag saying it had been treated with a neonicotinoid pesticide. I thought Home Depot had pledged to stop using this pesticide, but it turns out that they are phasing it out … for another two years. I was going to take it back and read the manager the riot act, but it occurs to me that the plant would just be put back outside for sale. As it is a houseplant and I would not be putting it outside, is it safer for me just to keep it? How long will the pesticide infest the plant? Since I don’t have much of a green thumb, if I eventually need to dispose of it, how do I do that safely? 

Erin M.
Falls Church, Virginia