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Outdoor potted plants brought indoors for winter?

does anyone know of ways to rid bugs from the soil of potted plants i had outdoors but need to come inside for the winter?

  • Gail Salminen
    Gail Salminen Canada
    on Sep 30, 2013

    @Johnathan Bing when I bring mine in, I usually spray with a soapy solution (I use ivory soap & water). then I put a plastic bag over the whole plant, including the bottom of the pot and seal it for 2 - 4 days. Have never had a problem.

  • Barbara Thomas
    Barbara Thomas Cincinnati, OH
    on Sep 30, 2013

    I repot with potting soil. (Miracle Grow) Rinsing the roots first. Works good.

  • Shirley Tomes
    Shirley Tomes Park City, KY
    on Oct 1, 2013


  • Bonnie Lewenza
    Bonnie Lewenza Canada
    on Oct 1, 2013

    Repotting to be safe because you don't need a nest of ants or ear wigs in your house. Besides if you have other house plants that you don't put out side you would be protecting them as well. Repotting gives you a chance to cut back over root and more fresh food for your plant. I just put the old soil in my vegetable garden and work it in. Less mulching in the spring.

  • Luis
    Luis East Haven, CT
    on Oct 1, 2013

    I use this method found on E-how Instructions : Inspect the pot for slugs or snails stuck to it. Wipe them off with an old rag or pick them off. Dampen a cotton ball with alcohol and wipe down the tops and bottoms of the leaves. Pay special attention to the undersides and leaf stems where they attach to the plant. Pests such as mealybugs, scale and aphids are often found there. Spray sturdy plants with a strong stream of water to kill pests, then soak the plant still in the pot in a large bucket of water for 15 to 20 minutes to kill pests in the soil. Apply insecticidal soap to the tops and bottoms of foliage to kill pests such as whiteflies, aphids, spider mites and thrips. Let the soap dry thoroughly to smother pests. Spray foliage with an insecticide spray containing bifenthrin or carbaryl to kill pests that may still be on the plant after other treatments or in place of other treatments.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Oct 1, 2013

    I like the double spray of insecticidal soap advocated by Clemson University: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/indoor/care/hgic1454.html It's also important to take the time to acclimate your plants to the different light conditions in your home. Move them to a shady spot for a week or so before moving them inside.

  • Johnathan Bing
    Johnathan Bing Decatur, GA
    on Oct 1, 2013

    thanks for the replys i am futher researching all of your suggestions.esp. yours Mr Douglas Hunt

    • Judy
      Judy Grants Pass, OR
      on Oct 2, 2013

      @Johnathan Bing Yes, pay attention to Douglas H...he knows his stuff!

  • Virginia T
    Virginia T Queen City, TX
    on Oct 1, 2013

    I use soapy water on my plants a couple of times before bringing them in and it seems to to rid them of ants and other insects.

  • Carolyn Vermillion
    Carolyn Vermillion Elizabethton, TN
    on Oct 1, 2013

    I like to mix Liquid sevin and when the plants needs watering I put the pot in the bucket of the mix--several times before I bring them inside if I get started early enough . I also like to spray the leaves at the same time. i make sure hanging plants get a generous spraying and the entire surface of the soil is covered with the liquid , catch the liquid and reuse it as I bring a lot of plants into my garage for the winter.. The Hawaiian plant My wandering jew and xmas cactus have a milky reside left from it but I put them in the shower after im sure the bugs are gone. My local nursery also carry's a brand called Bonide systemic insect control that I sprinkle on the soil. It does have a strong smell to it tho.

  • ByLightOfMoon
    ByLightOfMoon Warne, NC
    on Oct 2, 2013

    Great answers! Smiles, Cyndi

  • Joanne
    Joanne Rochester, NY
    on Oct 2, 2013

    I give the pots and plants a bath using Dawn detergent and water. Rinse really well. I've never had a problem bringing plants indoors.

  • Evaniderstine2hotmail.com
    Evaniderstine2hotmail.com Manlius, NY
    on Oct 2, 2013

    if you use a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water it will kill fungus knats and most other creepy crawlies.

  • Diane Renaud
    Diane Renaud Canada
    on Oct 2, 2013

    I used water with soap and some mint essential oil

  • Gu3mom
    Gu3mom Stockbridge, GA
    on Oct 2, 2013

    I have a HUGE, old African Milk Tree that has to come in soon for the winter. Repotting is just not realistic as the thing is gigantic and difficult to handle. Wrapping it is also questionable due to size and prickly surface. Ideally, it would live year-round in a greenhouse so that it doesn't have to be moved seasonally but I don't have one. I would be very interested in tips about de-bugging specifically and dealing with such a large plant in general. (I am willing to consider selling it to someone who will do right by it.)

  • Tabby
    Tabby Orem, UT
    on Oct 2, 2013

    I slowly dunk all my plants down in a bucket of water. (moving slowly keeps soil from being disturbed too much, I have rock mulch on them.) Any bugs come up for air, ready to be killed. I leave plants in about 10 minutes or so. They don't mind being completely submerged for that long. Let them drain well, of course, before dragging into your house.

  • April E
    April E Oklahoma City, OK
    on Oct 2, 2013

    I have always used a mix of dawn dish detergent and water I run it through the soil after a watering and let it set a couple of days then bring them in and have never had a issue

    VALERIE Southfield, MI
    on Oct 3, 2013

    I apply a systemic houseplant insect powder and water it in, in case there are eggs in the soil. If there are are any visible pests, I use a combination of fly tape (to catch any thing movin around) and quarantine for a few weeks before bringing into the house.

  • Jan B.
    Jan B. Crossville, TN
    on Oct 3, 2013

    Very good idea to check your plants before they come inside....my daughter's friend had a small snake appear on her kitchen floor which came out of her outdoor plant!

  • Noel cathey
    Noel cathey
    on Sep 12, 2014

    probly in the soil-- so reot it before bringing it into house , and add chili poweder into the soil,,,, this will get rid of any bug except those with egg sacs,,,,

  • Kathybrunin
    Kathybrunin Saint Marys, KS
    on Sep 12, 2014

    you can soak them in a bucket or pan of water for about 10 minutes. Drowns the bugs!

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