The Q&A Archives: Bugs In Soil Of Potted House Plants Brought In For The Winter

Question: What is the best way to take of your plant before you bring it indoors for the winter? I know to spray the foliage with insecticidal soap, but what about bugs in the soil? Is there any treatment or prevention to make sure there are no eggs waiting to hatch etc.? Every fall I bring a lot of potted plants to winter over indoors.

Answer: I've had a similar experience and generally discourage insects from inhabiting the soil by immersing the pot in a bucket of water long enough to thoroughly soak the soil. Repeat twice at 2-3 day intervals and the soil should be clean of hitchhiking insects. Then, prior to bringing the plants indoors, a routine washing or two with a spray of water from the garden hose along with careful inspection and treatment with insectidal soap (if needed) will clean off any insects including aphids, spider mites, and spiders that may have hopped onto the plants during the summer.

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