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And So It Begins…

October 5, 2011

… the oh-so-wonderful yearly ritual of bringing the plants back inside:

It begins with a shower, to get rid of the dust, and maybe a few bugs – and to get the plants watered again. They were pretty damn dry. Because I don’t put the plants outside to be nice to them – I put them outside so I’ll feel like I don’t have quite so many (hah!), and ignore them as much as I can, which means the holiday cacti and Chlorophytums only get watered every few weeks, not until the cacti are looking all shrivelled, and the Chloros grey.

It also begins the yearly ritual of “Shit, I don’t have enough space for all this!”, of repeated neem treatments to get rid of the spider mites who loved my balcony, and the scale insects on the Abutilons, the cursing as I spend several minutes moving plants every time I want to open a window…

I have no idea where I’m supposed to put all this, but I’m too tired to deal with that right now. For now, I’m solving the problem by just leaving the holiday cacti (which I hope so much won’t drop their buds) and orchids (which had better do something soon, or I’ll kill them!*) in the hall for the night, and telling myself I’ll find a place for them tomorrow. I’m just afraid I’ll trip over them when I stumble towards the bathroom in the morning…

A few have already found their permanent winter home again, though:

Chlorophytums are always “bookcase plants” here. In the unlikely event that I end up with a free windowsill spot, I might move one or two there to get them into a sellable state by next January, but otherwise, they’re stuck there. I’m sure they’ll soon decide they preferred their balcony spot – it might have been a little cold there, and more than a little dry, but dark as it was, it still got more light than they’ll get there. But: Deal with it or die, that’s the rule here in the Nettle Nest.

Also, a miracle: I’m taking pictures. Indoors. With none too much light (in fact, one of the bulbs in the bathroom just burned out) – and the pictures aren’t completely embarrassing! Can this be the same camera that completely refused to take a decent picture of my latest plants?

Moving my plants back inside would also be a good time to update my plant list. Can’t promise whether that’ll actually happen, though – I think it will depend on whether I get a day off this week or not (no, I didn’t ask for a day off to move my plants around, although the thought did cross my mind. My boss asked me if I wanted to take a day off since there’s not much to do this week. It’s tempting to take him up on that, but at the same time I’d rather save my remaining few days for November/NaNoWriMo.)


* I already chucked my one Phalaenopsis, my three “discount Dendrobiums” and miniature Phals get another, last chance.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2011 06:36

    Oye, I am also bringing my plants back inside. It’s gone from charmingly cluttered to sort of nasty. I was wondering… how do you “collect” your ladybug larvae?

  2. October 7, 2011 11:26

    I always had a small plastic container in my bag, and whenever I was outside walking or biking, I kept an eye on the plants I was passing, on the lookout for either the ladybugs or larvae themselves, or aphids – where there are aphids, there usually are ladybug larvae munching on them. Some plants, like Elder, are known aphid magnets, so I usually stopped to look at those. If I found any, put the open container under the leaf or stalk they were on, gave the plant a sharp tap so they dropped into the container, lid back on and container in my pocket so I wouldn’t forget to release them when I came home. It gets a bit trickier when you’ve collected several, they keep trying to climb out while you’re trying to catch new ones, but not as tricky as catching adults – those are cuter to watch when they’re munching on aphids, but they tend to fly away – the larvae have no choice, they’ve got to stay until they’re grown up.

    Speaking of ladybugs, I currently have about a dozen in my bedroom that accidentally dragged in with my sweet potatoes last night… oh well. Better a dozen ladybugs than a dozen spiders (ew!)

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