Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Overwintering Tender Perennials

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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
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Catmint20906
Aug 18, 2014 6:10 PM CST

Moderator

For those of you who have successfully overwintered tender perennials, what do you do to keep them free of bugs? I've had a particular problem with fungus gnats, even when I use fresh potting soil, to the point where I've been thinking of not overwintering anything this year --just doing my amaryllis bulbs and nothing else indoors. But then a tender perennial or two starts calling to me wistfully, 'saaave me, saaaave me.' Whistling

Any advice, suggestions, tips? Confused
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[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Aug 22, 2014 5:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
typwc
Aug 19, 2014 7:00 AM CST
I think you can get those little yellow sticky cards that attract the gnats. That should help keep the population from getting out of control, and don't overwater your plants because fungus gnats like soggy soil.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 19, 2014 7:55 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks Typ! :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Aug 19, 2014 8:24 AM CST
I never had gnats until this year. I have not changed a thing in my house and they are not in the greenhouse that I can see, but the doors and windows and vents are all open so they could be just flying away. I use the sticky papers plus you can use the Apple Cider Vinegar in a small container like you do for fruit flies and see if it works. I do know they seem to love water. They even get in the dogs water dish in the house. Not sure what happened this year to have such an explosion of gnats, but whatever it was it affected all of us.

You need to treat your plants a few times before you bring them inside. I seldom have a problem with the jasmine and the camellia until about November or December and then the camellia gets the scale ...last year, it did not get it and I think it was because I washed it good and sprayed it several times before bringing it inside. I also trim the jasmine before they come in. The Mandevillea also gets trimmed as does almost everyone that comes inside. I also treat the soil before bringing them inside with same insect spray.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 19, 2014 6:57 PM CST

Moderator

thanks, JB! It sounds like a lot of dedication and work to overwinter a plant successfully. I think I would need to be selective.
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Aug 20, 2014 7:59 AM CST
If you do not mind bringing bugs in the house it is very simple. Pick it up and carry it in and boom. Done.
But, if you have some teeney tiny critters lurking in little dark places when they get warm the the nice house they will multiply and you may have a problem. I have brought in plants without any prior preparation and have had no problem at all. It depends on where you live and how much infestation you have in your yards. Houseplants usually are not the problem unless you put them in the ground. I think you are talking of trying to winter your annuals and I have very little luck doing that, even in the greenhouse. I have lost so many trying to do that I have given up and felt it was just as easy to buy new ones. Maybe we are not on the same page here. ????"?
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 20, 2014 9:40 AM CST

Moderator

Hi JB am talking about tender perennials not annuals. In the past when I've tried to keep them indoors they've developed fungus gnats. Just wondering if there's a way to avoid that. I do have some nicer more expensive tender perennials that might be worth overwintering if I could figure out how to avoid the fungus gnats.
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Aug 21, 2014 10:30 AM CST
Have you done any research on fungus knats? Google them? Interesting subject.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Aug 21, 2014 8:53 PM CST
Catmint, fungus gnats love moisture. Keeping your soil on the dry side will help a lot. I think I've read that some people sprinkle cinnamon on top of the soil. Bayers 3 in 1 is a good systemic. Neem is also effective. I found this info for those who choose not to use insecticide: You can also place inch-long pieces of raw potato on the soil surface. If fungus gnat larvae are present, they will migrate to the potato within four hours for a free lunch. Look for the tiny black-headed larvae both under and on the potato piece, then dispose of the potato.

I also found that fungus gnat larvae will die on contact with hydrogen peroxide. Once the top layer of soil is dry, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with four parts water. Using this solution, water your plants as you normally would. The fungus gnat larvae will die on contact with the hydrogen peroxide, but the solution will not hurt your plants so long as it is mixed correctly. I hope this helps.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 22, 2014 5:31 AM CST

Moderator

thanks, Deebie, those are very helpful suggestions! Thumbs up Between that and the yellow sticky paper, maybe I could keep them in check. :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Teri
Mount Bethel, PA
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Roses_R_Red
Aug 29, 2014 1:56 PM CST
I give in to putting Bonide Systemic Granules on the soil in the pots......two weeks before they come inside. Never have a bug problem.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 29, 2014 2:15 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks Roses! Since they're inside no need to worry about harming pollinators. Great idea!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Aug 31, 2014 8:12 AM (+)]
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