I'd hose them off if they needed it, check the appropriate ones (jade, for
example) for mealy bugs and then bring them in. Check under the pots and
for spider eggs. IIRC, succulents are probably the ones that need the
least care to bring in but might be the hardest to make house comfortable
with the light changes and all.
Last year someone on this NG recommended spraying everything with soapy
water (I used diluted Dawn in a Windex spray bottle) and pouring some
more soapy water through the soil, then hosing everything down to get
the soap off the leaves and out of the soil. I did that, then brought
everything inside right away. One plant that's especially prone to
spider mites developed them, but not until the winter was nearly over,
but otherwise there was no infestation at all -- not even those little
I've been meaning to thank whoever sent in that suggestion.
last year while visiting my brother our visit kept being
interrupted by wasp flying around inside his house. we'd
kill one and almost get back to enjoying our visit when
another wasp would start buzzing around in the room. after
killing about five of them we decided we'd look for the source.
turned out to be one of the hanging baskets he'd brought in
from the front porch that morning had a wasp nest in it. and
yep that basket went back outside.
Except for a cymbidium orchid, I leave them outside all winter.
I bring the orchid inside around Thanksgiving, to protect it from frost.
I give it no special outdoor versus indoor treatment. Indoors, I keep
it in the dining room with the drapes open in the daytime (northern
window) to give it enough light.
We had record breaking cold in January the beginning of this year. All
my potted plants outside survived the Great Freeze of '07, although some
had damage that required pruning later in the year. I replaced the
potted Ficus benjamina because it would take too long for new growth to
compensate for the damage. In the ground, I lost all my statice (sea
lavender, Limonium perezii) and one (of 20) wax-leaf begonia. All the
dwarf citrus survived; my dear, old dwarf lemon was already dead or
dying before the freeze. Everything else recovered, only for much of it
to be destroyed this summer by the construction equipment needed to
repair my hill from a mud slide that happened in January 2005.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I have a problem with fungus gnats. So I buy some mosquito dunks and throw
one in the watering can and let sit over night. Water completely the next
day. Start this about 2 weeks before you bring yjr plants indoors. It takes
awhile to kill the gnats. or you can spend big bucks for "Gnatroll" which
does the same thing.
Sprinkle the soil with ground cinnamon. I bought a big jar of ground
cinnamon at the Dollar Store for my garden bucket and I've had it it for
years, still works just fine. The gnats disappear within minutes and it
kills the larva as well. No nasty chemicals, non toxic and it smells good
too. I've very seldom ever had to treat a pot more than once.
Absolutely! Cinnamon is a natural fungicide, I do the same, works very
My neighbor has a HUGE pot with a ficus tree in it. Her cat decided it was a
very convenient litter box while she was away at work. I suggested she
sprinkle a good bit of cinnamon on the surface of the soil........the cat
won't go near it now. This might not work for all cats but it sure worked
with hers. I sprinkled cinnamon in the pots that had the plants my cat
seemed to like chewing on.....that solved that problem too. Apparently there
are cats that just don't like the smell of cinnamon. YMMV
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