Thursday, December 17, 2015
We've performed a houseplant cull.
Our Brugmansia, which you may remember bloomed just a few months ago, has a very persistent case of red spider mites. We've sprayed it thoroughly a couple of times with an organic bug spray, to no avail. It's dropped almost all its leaves and recently passed the mites to the dahlia that Olga nearly destroyed a few weeks ago -- so now that plant is not only ragged from the dog, but its leaves are shriveling.
Dave, the gardening maven, was never all that impressed with the Brugmansia blooms, and the dahlia was a free gift from a nursery when we bought some other stuff.
Meanwhile, our frost-nipped hibiscus also has some pests and has dropped most of its leaves. And finally, we have another potted plant that we think is another Brugmansia -- I found it in the trash at a house down the street -- but it's never really grown or done much and it doesn't look great either.
So we put them all outside. We're going to let winter take its course. Time to start fresh.
That leaves us with just the avocado tree, the venus flytrap and an anthurium at the back door. I'm really hoping those mites don't somehow make their way to the avocado. I'll resort to the nuclear option (pesticide) if that happens.
We haven't done anything in the garden for weeks now. We probably ought to get out there and clean up some of the "winterkill" (to use a word I learned when I was on the board of my co-op back in New York City). But we want to let things go a bit, to give the critters winter cover and allow the plants to disintegrate and re-nourish the soil. Besides, we haven't had a hard freeze yet, so some of them are still doing their thing.
(Photo: Grass plumes in St. John's Wood, on our one sunny day last week.)