quarantine: how far from my other plants?

greentoe357September 13, 2013

I got two beautiful Calatheas from my local Lowes yesterday. I want to keep them away from my current plants for a couple of weeks in case any pests show up. How far away can things like spider mites, scale and other common houseplant pests travel? Is it just a matter of the plants not touching the others or the new ones not standing above the old ones where mites may fall - or do they need to be further apart like a different table in the room, or a different room?

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good question. I don't really know. I always do a minimum of several feet onto a separate surface. if paranoia is high I might move all the way across the house.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:37AM
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To be honest, if a plant is infested, it doesn't matter how far a plant is isolated.

For instance..when a plant with mites is handled, then a non-infested plant is touched, mites can be transmitted.

But, I wouldn't worry.. :)

Your best bet is, 1, inspecting the new plant. Look for insect signs. 2. Placing new plant in another room.

We can get in the whole insect topic, but I don't want to scare you away. lol.

Most of the time, 'not always,' when I get/got new plants, I soaked them in the sink, with a couple drops of dish soap.
Calatheas will enjoy the bath anyway...

Do you have pics of your new Cals? Toni

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Toni, I did inspect the plants and they seem clean.

How long do you soak the plants for? Just the soil, right, not the leaves? I was thinking of showering the leaves with my flexible shower head. It's pretty forceful for mechanical removal of pests but not too strong to damage the foliage.

He is one of the Calatheas. Ornata with pink stripes and deep purple undersides.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Here is the other. C. makoyana.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Hi Greentoe,

Yep. What I do is fill sink up with water..while water is running I add 2 drops of dish soap.

I then place plants in water a few inches below container rim.
Plants sit in water 10-15 mins.

Both your Cals are beautiful, but my favorite is Makoyana, but, I'm partial to mako's, so don't go by my opinion. :)

BTW, I also spray leaves with the sink sprayer.

Water removes dust particles, cleans leaf pores and leaves, 'safer than leaf shines,' reduces chances of insects, and increases humidity.
Cals love humidity!!!

I allow each plant to air dry, then place in their regular spot.

Your Cals are lovely, Green.

Good luck with your new greens.

Are they your first Calatheas? Toni

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:30AM
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I just did the soaking and the spraying. Makoyana leaves were covered in this white chemically residue, so I also wiped those leaves with cotton balls while leaves were dripping wet with soapy water.

>> Are they your first Calatheas?

No. I have what looks like another C. ornata, only with creamy-green stripes instead of pink. A couple of pics are here: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0812165724900.html.

And I had another Calathea - a Roseopicta that quickly shriveled and died on me.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:57AM
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The residue was probably insecticide..Yuck!!!

That's right, you have Tropical Satisfaction...which is a rare and beautiful Calathea.
I killed my TS long ago. :(

Cotton Balls are fine, but I find wiping with a soft rag better. Cotton balls sometimes leaves pieces of cotton..A soft rag doesn't and much more economical...lol.

As gorgeous as Roseo Pictas are, I will not purchase another..they don't last long indoors.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:11PM
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