Mid Atlantic Ventures in Gardening forum: Containers, Tropicals & House Plants #2 October 10

 
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Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 8:18 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Well folks it's just about that time again, the great clean up and migration indoors begins. Decisions decisions, what to save and what not to. Ok let's see where do we begin?

Here's one that I'm having a hard time making up my mind about. This is last year's photo. This mandevilla grew like crazy, but it didn't bloom at all this year. That is very surprising as I cut back the canopy above it considerably this year, so it has actually gotten a good bit more light than last year. This plant realy suffered indoors. It lost about a 100 leaves per week despite having the humidifier sitting right in front of it. To keep or not to keep?

We came from here: http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticMusings/thread/view/5670/

Thumb of 2010-10-03/stormyla/6d9c20

Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 8:42 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
While I'm busy trying to decide on which plants to save, I know that some of you who live in colder areas are already bringing yours indoors. With that in mind, lets turn the discussions towards the first objective, killing those creepy crawlies that are living in our plants.

Since I watered my containers all season with my soapy dish water I'm hoping that I will have a lot fewer insects living inside of them this year. This whole summer, I've had much fewer spider webs anywhere near them. But, I'm not going to let that stop me from giving them their Baths.

The first order is to start spraying them for bugs. Not only do I spray them, but I will also be giving mine a bath in the same solution that I use to spray them. I used this mix which Sally provided last year.

1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 pint very hot water
1 tsp pure, cold-pressed neem oil
3-4 drops Murphy's oil soap



Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 8:57 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I will spray the plants every day for 10 days or so to keep killing any bugs that are living on the leaves. Be sure to spray the leaf axis and the undersides of the leaves very well. Many of my pots will come indoors with only a mild refreshment of the existing soil. Others will be completely repotted. All of my pots are outside in nice ceramic pots so the pots will need complete cleaning too.

When it's time to give the plants their baths, I make up a big tub full of the same solution described above and sink the entire pot, under the water level and let them sit in there until the soil is completely saturated with the soapy water mix. Now for the bath, I add a good bit more of the Murphy's Oil soap and also add a good quantity of liquid dish soap.

With a scrub brush and sponge, I will scrub any adhering soil and debris off of the pots.

Thumb of 2010-10-03/stormyla/467fc6
Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 9:07 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I will also wipe down any of the plant stands and tables that are to come indoors with the same soapy solution, paying particular attention to the undersides of them and the inside of the legs where any eggs may be lurking.

After immersion and scrubbing of the pots, I will keep running water through each pot until I'm satisfied that anything that may want to crawl out will do so, and hope that any eggs laying in the soil will be rinsed away.

Then I will turn the pots over and let the excess water drip out. The plants will stay outside for another day or two while the water logged soil will have a chance to dry out.

Thumb of 2010-10-03/stormyla/63bacf
Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 9:14 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Just before bringing the pots indoors I will spray the plants again.

Once indoors, the first time that the plants are dry enough to need watering, I will water them with the addition of a bit of some Merit 75WP in the water. Once a week week for the first 6 weeks, I will add a tiny amount of the Merit to the water. I found it necessary last year to do this to avoid any spider mites. Last year I only lost 1 plant to spider mites, so I consider this product to be highly effective.

Now... back outside to peruse those plants to decide what to bring indoors!!
rubyw12
Oct 3, 2010 1:03 PM CST
Wow Stormy - you just blew the wind out of my sails with your very organized system of taking care of your plants. I brought my jungle in on Friday and it was just in time. I didn't even consider doing any of the above. Our area is exriencing an onslaught on Stink Bugs this year. All of the newpapers are carrying stories about it and it is a part of most everyone conversations. Those critter are quick to make their way inside and usually come in through cracks around windows and doors. We have about ten a day we catch and throw back outside and the outside of our screened porch has had up to fifty or sixty at a time a week or so back.

I haven't thought to go in the official Plant Room yet and see if buggies are crawling around but will do so after writing this. Reading all of your winterizing procedures now has me thinking I might find some of those critters in there now. Yikes, I hate them. Maybe I will do better next years in terms of cleaning and de-bugging the plants before bringing them in. I guess if I hang around you much I should take some of your hints for happy and healthy plants.

Thanks for starting this thread, it will be interesting to see what others do in preparation for the winter.

Ruby
Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 1:36 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Thanks, Ruby. I just hate bringing bugs into the house and would rather send them to their just rewards while they are still outdoors!
ImageOnewish1
Oct 3, 2010 5:01 PM CST
Name: Allison
NJ
thanks for posting it Stormy
luvsgrtdanes
Oct 3, 2010 5:18 PM CST
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA~Zone 6
I Love MAM~So Happy Together
Thanks Storm some good advice here Thumbs up I am deciding what I want to save this year. I have a few hibiscus and don't know if I want to keep them again. They don't flower well for me Thumbs down and they are getting big.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Imagesallyg
Oct 3, 2010 6:20 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Very timely thread and good advice for those dedicated to bringing plants in. As for me....With the rain to come down and be chiilly all week, this weekend was do or die time. This fall I am just thinking die. I have too much going on to let myself get sad about losing plants. And too many new exciting plants will be out there come spring. So far I have mentally put a few special ones on the DO list (wil come in) . And today I dug my plumeria and potted her. hoping against hope she will bloom inside for me. And not be devoured by spider mites. Also I dug and potted three variegated brugs,One's got buds, ones just Y'ed and might bud, the last is quite small. They can't ship or I 'd send them to anyone here that wants. My friend is connected to some kind of local gardening group and I may find someone locally who wants one. Course ,the leaves have lots of caterpllar holes and look kinda crappy...
Otherwise, they'll just be allowed to go dormant and I'll have them for next spring. That still leaves two large ones in ground that have bloomed three times each this summer and budding for a fourth YAY.

In reality, the night we get frost I will probably bring in armfuls of stuff, bugs and all .
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 6:37 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
LOL Start spraying tomorrow Sal!

I'm definitely not bringing any annuals except my geraniums in this year. Normally I keep them potted up and they bloom repeatedly throughout the year, but they get so dry and brittle inside that they are always creating such a mess. I may hang them up to dry or just take the pots down to my unheated basement and let them overwinter in the dark with no water.

I'm unsure as to what I am going to do about the coleus this year.
Imagesallyg
Oct 3, 2010 6:46 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I kept one special geranium, dried, in the basement. I get annoyed an any blooming plant indoors making too many little petals that fall.

Gosh the coleus. I did enjoy having them on my plant shelf, so pretty the mix of colored foliage.I guess I would miss having a shelf of plants in the basement. I have a nice setup that DH did for me.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagestormyla
Oct 3, 2010 8:11 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I want to dig up some of the bulblets of the purple oxalis just in case they turn out not to be winter hardy here.
Imagesallyg
Oct 4, 2010 1:58 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
By the way I don't know why the Mandevilla would have been so sad. But I did have one, one summer, let it go dormant for the winter, and got it going again but it must not have been that great cus I did not keep it a second winter.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagestormyla
Oct 4, 2010 4:46 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Sally, it grew fine inside of the house. I had cut it back twice. Now it's gotten quite large again. But no blooms this year. Maybe you aren't supposed to cut them back. I don't have enough humidifiers inside to keep it in a spot separate from the other plants. It kept growing and wrapping around the other plants, so I had to cut it.
luvsgrtdanes
Oct 4, 2010 7:10 PM CST
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA~Zone 6
I Love MAM~So Happy Together
Storm do you ever have problems with mealy bugs?
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Imagestormyla
Oct 4, 2010 8:20 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
No Ronnie, I've never had them.
luvsgrtdanes
Oct 4, 2010 8:28 PM CST
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA~Zone 6
I Love MAM~So Happy Together
Just wondering Storm...I often get them on the plants I keep upstairs, I know they like the dry warmth. I don't want to use any kind of harsh chemical with the dogs and girls...I know I can dab them with alcohol but that's so time consuming.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Imagestormyla
Oct 4, 2010 8:43 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Ronnie, The only chemical that I use is the Merit 75WP. I don't put it anywhere on the leaves or stems. I water the plants with it.

Can't you mist the plants with an alchohol/neem/murphy's solution?
ImageOnewish1
Oct 4, 2010 9:09 PM CST
Name: Allison
NJ
I resorted to putting the alcohol in a small spray bottle... makes killing the little white coleus killers easier

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