Monday, October 12, 2009

After the Swarm: New Victims!

Mini-Roses can live forever in a sunny window.
Many varieties survive transplanting outdoors.

Last Halloween, I had my very own killing spree! Bumped off every flowering houseplant that had graced my sunny window. L pleaded clemency for a couple of the extra special ones. The rest of those bug-filled urchins were tossed, unceremoniously, into the compost pile.

I have a big, wonderful, sunny, south-facing bay window. [Keeps me sane in the winter time.] In it, I can grow pretty much everything, including bell peppers and lettuce when I'm feeling cranky about produce prices.

African Violets prefer to hang out in the kitchen, where it's cooler.

I spend all winter putzing with the flowers in that sunny window. I scoop 'em up at the local supermarket ~ most of the ones I murdered last Halloween had been living in there for years.

That window is a great incubator for bugs, too. Annoying, conniving, practically impossible to eliminate, indoor houseplant bugs. They can easily reach swarm capacity if you're a lazy housekeeper such as myself.

The more the merrier Mini-Roses.
Couldn't decide on a color so I ended up with two!

I made a valiant effort to win this war. Tried a number of homespun bug remedies. But, I'd let the situation get too far out of hand. So, I threw in the proverbial towel, sent the plants (and the bugs!) to the sweet hereafter.

Now that winter is on it's way... I'm starting over!

Ugly Bugs:
- Aphids: Persistent little green, brown, black bugs that collect on new plant growth.
- Mealy Bugs: White fluffy stuff collecting on plant stems.
- Scale: Hard brown shell hides a despicable character inside.
- Spider Mites: Tiny webs appear on flowers and leaves.

* There are lots of chemical bug pesticides but some can also kill your cat.


Sunflower Ranch said...

What a gorgeous blog!! I just love it! Your photos are fabulous!! And you are so right about the pesticides hurting the pets. If you can put a portable barrier around the area you have sprayed, that usually keeps the older cats away. Kittens are too persistent. But if it has a strong ordor, you don't have to worry -- they won't sample it! Anyhow, you can do some research on the safest products to use this winter, while those evil bugs are dormant. You'll be ready for them in the spring! Good luck!! :D

jan said...

The mini roses are beautiful! I have had the same issue with 'indoor bugs'. I used the same solution - start over!

Kate said...

Hi, Sunflower;
Thanks, that's sweet of you to say. I, so far, have found the shower method to be the best. If I catch this mess in time I literally stick the flowering plants in there and give them a thorough spray.

PS: I got the answer from Moscow Paul on the halo image. I'll scoot over to your blog and leave you another note!

Rosey Pollen said...

We just bought a Venus Flytrap, let the killing begin.
Your roses are divine!

Kate said...

Hi, Jan;
I hear ya. Bugs are good incentive to thin the plant herd. Plus some of those indoor flowering plants can grow to ridiculous sizes. My jasmine was 14 feet tall when I decided to send her packing...

Muum said...

love those mini roses, esp the peachy-hued one. I've killed many a mini rose, myself. hate indoor bugs. they decimate everything. maybe they are related to zombies.

Kate said...

Hi, Muum!

I love that peach one, too. At least for me, I've found that mini roses want to be re-potted the second I bring them home. I slice their root bound squigglers up something terrible but it seems to encourage them to start acting like real roses. :))