bringing plants indoors for the winter

therealmrsdoodlepunk(5)September 19, 2012

I need to bring my plants in this week, a couple hoyas, a cactus and aloe vera, and a big pot of oxalis.

I have done this before but hated the bugs that rode along with the plants! What if anything do other people do to get rid of the spiders and mites so I don't have to fight them all winter long?

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Mrs. Doodle. Oh, please don't remind me about spiders. YUCK.

I too will soon be hauling plants indoor, and like you I don't want hitch-hiking spiders, earwigs and ants in our house.

Here's what I do.

First, don a pair of thick, high gloves. This is a must for people who dislike insects.

Each plant, 'soil and leaves' are drenched with the hose at the highest speed. Sometimes, a second hosing is necessary.
Or, plants/pots can be dunked in a container without drainage holes until insects run to the top for safety. Then squashed.

I set each plant to the side to air dry and wait patiently for a sneaky, hiding bug. If one appears, out comes the hose.

For small to mid-size plants, each is then taken to the sink and rehosed. I sprinkle a little dish soap on foliage, then rinse.

For house plant bugs. I mix a bottle of water, Fish Emulsion, dish soap, garlic, citrus, and hot pepper. Sometimes mouth wash like Listerine. Shake thoroughly, then spray entire plant. Spraying with this mix is best dowe outside, but it's more work, especially for those who have numerous plants.

Before placing plants on their winter shelves/sills, I clean every window and shelf with soapy water then spray areas with vinegar. Remove dog/cat fur, old soil, dust balls, etc.
Afterwards, each plant is set on the cleaned area.

Because we've had ant problems the last 4 yrs, I'm placing ant baits near plants. I don't like using chemicals, but home-made insecticies are not working.

That's about it..

Keep an eye for spider webs. If you see webbing, wipe away and spray w/vinegar. I use Webster, since I don't want my hands anywhere near a spider. lol.

Also, inspect plants for scale, mites, mealy and whitefly. Look on leaves, upper and lower, stems and trunks. But, that's a different topic. I think at the time you're more concerned with spiders, etc..:)

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 2:31PM
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That is pretty good routine you have, your plants should love you for keeping them so clean.

You really don't like spiders, right?.
Sounds like my daughter - she is terrified of them. She trained her dogs to eat them, lol.
I don't care to touch them, but generally leave them alone since they eat flies and other small flying insects - at least that's what I assume.
Not sure if they eat whiteflies...
As long as there are no poisonuos ones around.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Hi Rina,

NO, don't like spiders...Especially thick-bodied/leg types. Daddy-Long-Legs are frightning, but thick spiders gotta go. Poisonous or

Funny your DD trained her dog to eat them. lol. How'd she manage? lol. Does he/she listen? Too funny.

I'll swat flies, and/or use sticky traps for whitefly, but can do w/o spiders.
I vinegar'd a thick bodied spider last night, 'in the house,' but don't know where he/she went. Their bodies curl up, YUCK, and die.

Recluse Spiders are bad news. My friend got bit by a Recluse on a camping trip here in IL. It took 5 different antibiotics to stop the infection.
At first it looked like someone died a cigar ash on her leg..then it grew. It's awful looking. Ever see what a bad infection looks like? Oh Dear God.

Your poor daughter. I know how she feels. Is she afraid of all spiders, or just poisonous types?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Any spiders...first dog was the best (after 16 yrs he is in doggie heaven), she would just yell Brok, spider and somehow he always found it, jumped as high as necessary to get it's Jimmi's turn-he is slower learner, lol.
Actually, I think my DD's fear is just a bit lesser as she gets older.

Hope I never meet recluse, never saw one or what it does, but read about.

It's going to be very interesting for me to bring them all in, somehow many new plants made their way to my place, there must be 3x as many as last fall...oh, my goodness.

mrs doodlepunk,

(I like your name!)
I also have oxalis, this one plant always have to be watched since it gets scale very easily. Outside, it's no problem. Do you find same problem with yours?


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Rina, sorry about Brok. It must have been devestating for your DD.

How old is Jimmi? He'll learn. You know how dogs are? They want and need attention, and will do anything to get it. Even hunt for spiders. lol.

If your DD can overcome her fear it'd be great. Then again, it's best steering clear. lol

Wow, 3 times as many plants. lol. Problem is, the house looks bare when plants are outside. We think, ok, a few more won't hurt. Then, once autumn comes, and plants are brought inside, where do they go?

I've been pretty good this year. Ordered a few plants since spring. Probably because I was sick almost 3 But, repotting in larger pots means less space. Maybe root pruning is best.

How many plants do you have? Tropicals, succulents or both?
Plants will fit, but it's going to be tight.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Brok was almost 17, so he lived long life (got him from shelter, he was abt.4). Jimmi just turned 5; then there is Honey (also 5) and new member of her familty Bruce (4mo old kitty). Jimmi is the one constantly needing attention...

The plants occupy the house after kids moved out, lol.
They took over extra bedrooms, even bathroom (has good window).
I have mix of tropicals (maybe 1/3rd) and succulents. Just few short of 100 - for now.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Just a thought.. How about canned air? (The same stuff they sell to blast the dust off keyboards etc.)

Toni.. I can just see you out on the deck, going Ninja on the bug population! :-)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Rina, what breed was Brok?

17-yrs is a long life, but it's still heart-breaking. In May, we had to put our 12.5 yr-old, 172lb, English Mastiff down. Mastiff's life span is 7-9, so, Sam too lived a long life. Still it was hard. Before bringing him in the vet, his personality changed..suddenly he was a care-free dog, without problems. I felt like bringing him back home, but he was suffering, limped, 'hip dysplasia' and several malignant tumors.
5-yrs ago, we adopted an abused Shih Tzu...He tried parroting Sam's actions. All 18
Coco 'tries' catching bugs. I'll say, Coco, get the could be a fly or moth, he goes after it..Coco thinks he's a hunter
I haven't asked him to catch a spider, worried one might be poisonous.
Some thick-bodied spiders are close to Coco's size. lol.

We have one dog, four Cockatiels and our son has an Iguana. Pet's are the greatest, better than some people. lol.

The Iguana, Iggy, is'd never think a reptile would be affectionate, but Iggy is. Rub his head and he'll sit back for hours. Though I wouldn't want an Iguana..they take a lot of room and love nibbling plants.

100 plants..very good. lol. Remember when you had one? lol. Did you ever think the number would grow?

Instead of curtains/blinds, plants cover the windows. All but the room w/birds and downstairs bathroom w/o a window.
No plants in the basement either. It's too dark...there are 4 small windows that get very little light. However, back when I sowed garden seeds, 'mostly annuals,' treys were set on a plant stand under lights.

Charlie. Wouldn't canned air just blow the bugs off to the side, or worse, land on me??? lol.

Since it's gotten cold, spiders find ways in the house. Even though I do, I fear killing them. It might jump on me. lol.

The basement, which has beams instead of a ceiling, collect webs. I'm sure there are spiders too, but they hide. I don't know how to catch these things. And what if I'm sweeping and one falls on me? I'd die! If I was rich, I'd hire people to rid every single bug. lol

Can't use sprays because we have birds, so that's out. Although, I have sprayed a little when birds are in their cages, covered..not in the same room though.

Yes, usually I wear gloves, a fly swatter in one hand, and broom in the other, ready for war. lol.

Wish the only insects around were butterflys, lady bugs, and lightning bugs. They don't bother me. But spiders and ants!!! Yuck. lol.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:09AM
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