Do you take precautions when visiting nuseries? What do you do?

meyermike_1micha(5)November 29, 2010

Do you take precautions when visiting nuseries? What do you do to protect your plants?

This is what I do and what I have learned by many here. maybe many more can benefit from a thread as this..

I have a habit of visiting these nice cozy and warm nurseries so often this time of year, especially Logee's..

I can spend ALL day these places with no jacket and feel like I am in the tropics while it is snowing outside..I find it peaceful, relaxing, and even theraputic..

But sorry to say, once I come home, I make it a habit to leave my clothes outside and shower before I ever go near any of my plants..

Some of theset places can be loaded with pest's, such as mites, thrips, mealy and so on.

I am always concerned that any one of these can hitchhike home with me..

Therefore the reason why I take precautions..

I know a man that makes you wear booties and a dispesable outfit before you can walk into his orchid house..

It is a good thing that people like us are educated about these know what precautions to take before we go into our homes or even bring plants home from these places..

I feel bad for unsuspecting customers whom haven't got a clue about these things..

Maybe it's better they didn't..lol

At the last nursery I visited, I was informed after walking for hours in there that their plants were infested with the "Asian thrip", a difficult pest to irradicte, and that is all it took for me to almost strip before even sitting in my car..

Would you believe the owner suggested that I wash all my clothes and shower before I even go near any of my own houseplants?

I hope that these nurseries you visit are much better off than the ones that I visit although beautiful...For mw the work it takes to keep these buggers away from my home and plants is worth the effort to visist these make believe tropical paradises..

One also has to watch out when brushing up against plants in Walmart and other box stores since I have seen a many of these infested too..Can any of these bugs jump into your hair and clothes like this?

Mike..:-)

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meyermike_1micha(5)

Thank you everyone for your support , and you all know who you are..Good friends you are.

Mike..:-00)))

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:30PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

Hi Mike - You make a very good point and I am very glad you posted this thread. Though, I've never taken precautions (previously) but will think twice next time I come back from the nurseries.

Happy Growing!

Bo

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:42PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hey Mike, I agree with Bo...I'm glad you posted this as well. I guess its something we don't really consider but a valid concern. Its always a good idea to be extra cautious when we introduce a new plant in the house, but haven't given much thought to hitch hikers,lol...thanks for bringing it to our attention :o)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike!

I'd never even considered that I might have picked up a pest on my clothing.
That is a keen observation.

Of course, one must be wary of visiting friend's houses, too, for that matter....
particularly if they're known for houseplant infestation.

Up to this point, I've really only done a haphazard quarantine of new plants.
Part of that is due to the superior California growing conditions - but it's mostly
due to the fact that I inspect plants at the nursery for potential problems, and then
I make sure to *change the potting mix*!!! I think that's the key.

To everyone: Don't leave your plants in peat moss nursery soil...!
Nursery soils are selected for profit, not plant health.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 9:08PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

You all make great sense..

I use to only watch and inspect my plants when I bring a new one home...In fact, now I try to avoid attaining new plants until the spring so if anything unexpected comes up I can deal with it outdoors..Any I do get I isolate, and wash before they are introduced to my plant rooms..For some, this may be too much work, but I find it comforting and a pleasure doing so.

I have been pest free for quite sometime now with all your great idea's..

What made me post this thread is that I have come to realize that one is ever wrong for being extra cautious..There are many things that many of us never think of and for me, to be given this great advice from many growers in the business for years, including pest experts who are hired to rid these using natural predators, is something I love to share amongst my friends here. many also just spray the leaves, but It was also recommended to me that I even wash the containers, and spray the top or the soil mix for added protection..

Pest's, especially thrips do hitch rides on our clothes and bodies, just as ticks do. And since I have known this and not share it would of been selfish of me..
I remember just going to a Hydroponics store to purchase fertilizer and the workers there told me to remove my clothes before I go near my plants because their plants in there were infested with spider mites..If I need anything from them, I won't even go near those plants anymore..

In fact there is NO nursery that can make the claim they are completely pest free, or they are lying...I would love to know just where one get's all their plants if they tell us to stay away from these places, including big box stores?
The majority of people I know like to frequent nurseries, stores and C&S meetings in which I saw someones plant loaded with mealy..Many stayed away from those plants I tell you..lol

Thanks everyone and have a great night..

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:03PM
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emerald1951

Hi......
I guess ever since I have been into buying plants I have always look for bugs and pests on plants and if I see anything I don't buy the plants...I do like Mike says I keep new plants (no matter where I get them from) away from all my other plants, I usually repot, new soil and spray them off so I don't spread the little beggers arround
I must say I never thought you could bring them home on your clothes...I will have to watch that...
interesting thread.....with every post I read I learn something new or a different way of looking at things...
thanks Mike and all...
have a good night and I will be reading more....linda

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:49PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

I've never done anything but keep new plants separated for awhile but I've also think I've never given much thought to this subject. I think if you concentrate your energy on keeping your plants healthy then a few bugs on them wouldn't be able take over everything. I'm sure there is a happy middle ground most of us find regarding this.

When you keep your plants outside in the summer nothing keeps pest from visiting them. If they are in good condition, normally, very little harm is caused. We clean them up before we bring them in for winter but I don't believe short of keep them in a "clean room" you can prevent something from happening 100% of the time.

It's like in an aquarium, most of the pathogens that infect fish are in almost every tank but if the fish are healthy then there is very little chance of disease.

I see that the original second post that was so rude is gone, How'd that happen? I thought these forums weren't monitored.

Danny

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:46AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Danny, YES these forums are being monitored, that's why the "rude post" is gone.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 7:35AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Danny...

This time of year the little elves check the forums, and if there isn't that Christmas spirit, they get rid of them..:-)

Danny I love that reasoning..I think many wish the good pest's would come in with the bad ones to keep the bad ones at bay, or no pest's at all. lol

Have a great day and good to see you here in amounts all of us..

Linda, Pug, Josh,Bo, great points and have a wonderful day and thank you for your ideas and kind words.

Mike

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 7:36AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Hey Mike, If they're good would you really be calling them pests?

I'm not saying that a healthy plant or animal can't get infected, by example, I am generally a healthy person but currently I have a cold, however my general wellness helps to keep it a cold and not something more serious.

An outdoor pest can run rampant inside where there are fewer or no predators to hunt them down so the predator job become ours unless you want to free a bunch of lady bugs or mantids in the house. Which I may be inclined to do but my more sensible other half would toss me and my plants out on the street if I did, although my cats would have a lot of fun.

I guess I could spray nematodes without anyone knowing . . .

Hopefully that certain member will spend a little time thinking about what she writes next time, that wasn't the first time I felt she crossed the line.

Danny

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:56AM
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kim_b_2010

Just when I think I have tings down, you people throw a curve ball at me!! LOL! I've never thought much about bringing pests in, especially on my clothes!

I just brought home two, GORGEOUS Golden Pothos from my favorite garden shop. I'm trying to nurse my old ones back to health, but they just looked pittiful in the pots I selected for them, so I splurged ($13 a piece!) on some new ones. I have never had a problem with any plant I bought from them (both indoor and outdoor), but I will definitely be more careful in the future! Thanks for the tip, Mike!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Don't forget that such things as thrips and spider mites can be virtually invisible...all the more reason to be extra careful when browsing through a garden center. 'Hitchhiking' is a primary mode of exposure.

Have you reminded people to put their new plants into solitary confinement for a few weeks before letting them join the rest of the population, Mike? I think that we've ALL learned that lesson the hard way.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:27PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, Quarantine those new acquisitions! ;)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:03PM
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kim_b_2010

Oh boy, now I'm sitting here at work all worried about the succulents that just came in the mail being right next to my mature Jade.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:14PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hi Kim...Don't be all worried...This thread is not meant for that..:-)
It is just to keep our friends well informed and to teach others what to look for and be aware of, and up to us to decide what to do with it..
We just deliver the news and the public choses what they want to do..

If I were you, I would be more worried of not knowing what could possibly cause harm to your plants than to find out too late, possible after throwing a plant away after it's demise the way many I know had to do in the past.
Now you are armed with information that will help you stay ahead of the game in case it happens, avoid future problems, and if you should have any problems from not taking precautionary steps, how it could of started, and what to watch for when you do visit places that sell plants or when you receive them from any source..

I would just keep a close eye on them, and if you notice any strange happenings with your plants, check your cultural habits.Be informed about how to care for them as best as you can learning from these forums..
Learn as much as you can about those jades and what keeps them healthy and happy..Visit the Cactus and Succulents forum..There are jade threads galore..
I would defiantly have a magnifying glass available, and this thread at your disposal if your plants should ever encounter the problems associated with pest's spoken of here..

Josh...My sister loves the point of peat moss you brought up..She says thanks! I say thanks for your advice too..

Rhizzo..Good point..Thank you for that and your offerings!:-))))

Danny: Fantastic points and thank you for what you added to this thread..Your comments mean a lot ..Thank you much.

Hi Pug....You are the best! I can only hope that many of us never have to deal with "citrus minor" and other hurtful bugs your way..Do you have enough good predators to combat these type of insects, or do you have to treat your plants?
Thank you Nancy...

Linda..We learn something new everyday, don't we? That is what I love about these forums and one should never be afraid to freely express what they feel and think about their plants and how they view, handle them..Better to be informed than to withhold from each other what could other wise hurt/ harm their plants..Good job,

Bo: Happy growing to you too..Thank you for your input and your words..I hope your babies are doing good..

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:56PM
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kim_b_2010

Mike, I am doing my best to soak up as much knowledge as possible here. :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:11PM
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wrenwood69

It's not just garden centers where you might pick up destructive pests, it can just as easily be your own yard, especially if you do a lot of gardening outdoors. I learned that the hard way.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Excellent point, wrenwood! The only time I had to deal with a spider mite infestation (inside) was when I brought some fresh cut holly, pine, magnolia, juniper and other greens in the house for decoration.

Plus, it's easy to pick the pests up on your cloths, hands, and tools.

We've had lots of people post pictures of their pest problems shipped to them along with their new plants. I'd treat any new shipment just the same as I would a plant purchased from the the discount table at WalMart....solitary confinement, prophylactic applications of insecticidal soap (not with jade) or rubbing alcohol mists (when appropriate).

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:58AM
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