Simple questions .

cghpndSeptember 4, 2013

This is my first year doing any type of gardening. I had plant lust in the beginning and well I bought about 8 succulent/cactus plants. Simple questions that I should know the answers to, But I want to do this right so I dont kill them during the winter.

All of the succulents/cactus are outside. I have to bring them in for the winter. Now a few of them are still in their original soil they came with ( i didn't get around to changing the soil) and they seem to be doing great.
How do I bring them back in? Like making sure there are no unwanted pest coming in. Do I change the soil?

Im thinking to wash the plants off and change soil. Am I correct?
What do you all do when your bringing them back in?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Succulent plants in a really chunky mix that dries very quickly are unlikely to have critters in them at all, it's just not the decomposing environment most soil dwellers seek. Letting them get really dry is what I prefer to do.

Then, I give plants a little drink and if no ant colony comes pouring out, and I don't see any pests on leaves, in they come, resume normal indoor care regime, more water if still thirsty. Fall repotting is something I try to avoid, generally.

If you think something is living in the pot, you can submerge it so the soil is under water, but that's of course risky with most succulents, more of a foliage plant thing. But if done, after about 15 minutes, anything in there will either be suffocated, or will have evacuated.

If something does hitch-hike inside a pot, you'll probably never know, it will just stay in the pot, either dead or alive. If something does come out, smush it or put it back outside. I don't see critters crawling out of pots. Ants are the only thing I've seen that would be in huge numbers that one might accidentally bring inside to cause problems (for people. It's certainly possible to accidentally bring in 'plant pests' too, although I'm talking soil dwellers.) You wouldn't believe the critters I find repotting when I take plants back outside and repot for spring... worms, pill bugs, snails, centipedes, earwigs, an occasional one here, one there. Since I didn't know they were there, they didn't bother me. I'm sure a lot of people would read this and say, "gross!" Like me, a few years ago. That's OK, I understand those more squeamish and proactively concerned very well.

I'm sure some input in that direction is forthcoming. You'll have a ton of options to choose from by the time it's a concern... LOL!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Just a little story from sunny southern california.

So I've been scouring my neighborhood for cuttings. I just knock on the door of neighbors who have lots of plants and I've been getting lots of cuttings- agave, jade, aloe etc.

I usually just throw them in my trunk with some newspaper.

The other day a neighbor gave me a dying Aeonium bunch and I threw it in my trunk with some news paper. I left it in my trunk for a day and when I reached in to grab the Aeonium, I felt a cob web and BOOM right in front of me was a HUGE black widow. I quickly killed it with some newspaper, but luckily I didn't get bit.

Just be careful...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 1:41PM
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double post sorry

This post was edited by yorkiemiki on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 13:46

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Hi all... just thought I'd pop by with a link you might like to check out...

Here is a link that might be useful: Another thread with black widow info

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 12:49PM
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