Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pesky Pests

'Twas a winter wonderland out on my deck this morning! :))  Probably looks frigid but it was 30 degrees ~ warm enough for this snow lover to stand there with the door wide open, enjoying a cup o' my famous cowgirl coffee. (More accurately, that cowgirl coffee is infamous. I'm a devout lover of French Roast and the blend is too strong for most anyone but me.)

I was delighted to see the snow. The epic cold, followed by unnaturally warm days, was really messing with my mood.

It is January, after all. My snowshoes are begging for attention.

And, so are my windowsill flowers. I gave everyone a might soak this morning.

While I was doing so I spotted the first intruder. My bugs are back. Geez! That didn't take too long.

I moved recently, just a few months ago, and so I took that grand opportunity to de-bug all of my plants. Cut them back, re-potted, and in many cases, just kicked 'em to the curb, if the infestation was too much. This is the first time, in 10 years, that I've been without a Plumeria blossom. :(

No one in their right mind nurtures roses indoors ~ unless they're fortunate enough to have a fabulous greenhouse, which I do not. It's a guaranteed bug fiesta. But what's a gal to do? Micro-Mini Roses are my one weakness...

Coffee Grounds:
The reason it's hard to get rid of those gnat-like bugs is because the little devils are nesting in your soil. Now back to that cowgirl coffee I was talking about earlier in the post...  my friends hate my coffee and so do the bugs. Spread used coffee grounds on top of the potting soil. Bugs won't nest in that PLUS used coffee grounds make a great fertilizer for flowering plants.

I've got gnats on my mind but there are lots of other pesky buggers out to mess with your indoor flowers..

Shower Time is a great way to rid yourself of aphids. Set beloved houseplants in the shower to wash off these nasty bastards.  

I've had good luck with apple cider vinegar. (Set a small cup of it near your potted plants.) There is, of course, a wide array of chemical sprays you could use, but some of them are so toxic they could kill your cat.

* If bugs were as cute as these pictures, I probably wouldn't mind. Here's an i.d. of the most common criminals:
  • 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: Little spider webs appear on flowers and leaves.

Good luck with your de-bugging and stay warm, my friends.

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Rilly said...

Loved the big window in your other place but this one has such a cozy feel/look to it. You're so talented. Don't envy you the snow!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Aww.. but the snow is so pretty! ;>)

Karyn said...

Looks like we share the love of snowshoes and hate for spider mites, yuck. Aphids, scale I can deal with but spider mites are my nemesis. Great blog, glad I found it - thx! said...

Hi! I just found your site, and I am appreciating all of your pics and advice. I live at 7300 feet near Westcliffe, Colorado and am looking for some high altitude plants for my rock/flower garden. Question: how did you move that lovely large rock to its rightful place behind the bench?

Rose said...

I always loved the view outside the window of your old house, but looks like you have another great view! When my friend comes over for coffee, she always has to add a little water because I make it so strong:) Thanks for the tip on using coffee grounds for the houseplants!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rose!
Yes, the view is very different. But, I enjoy being closer to the mountains. It's really fun being back in town. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Karyn;
Thanks for stopping by. This last week has been fabulous for snowshoeing. It's so nice to be out there playing in the snow. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

No moving of that huge rock, Susanna. That big boulder inspired a gigantic garden - just to cover it up!

Vern said...

I read a while back that any time you go to re-pot indoor plants, do not use soil that has those moisture retention balls in it. The eggs from those little buggers thrive in the damp soil, you swap out the soil in your plants, and then within days they hatch and invade. I haven't had a problem since.