Through some bold repotting, I’ve cleaned up a big mess in my sunroom, a mess which has nagged at me for quite some time.
It’s still embarrasing to admit. I had mealybugs and I’ve had them for a long time.
I don’t know where the mealybugs came from. One day they were just there. They could have come in on a new plant or perhaps they saw me as I walked by a plant display in a store, and hitched a ride on my coat to my sun room.
Regardless of how they came to be in my sun room, I could no longer deny they were there. Over time, they would attack various plants, and I’d swing into action to get rid of them. I even lost a few plants along the way that were just too weak to survive these sap sucking pests.
But finally, I managed to contain them so that they were primarily on my aloe plants.
These are not just any aloe plants, or I would have tossed them out and bought new ones. These were aloe plants that came from an aloe plant my grandmother had, so they had to be saved.
So a few weeks ago, I took matters into my own hands and decided that only a bold move on my part would rid me of these buggers, once and for all. I would have to repot the aloe.
The first thing I did was pull all the aloe out of the pots.
Do not click on the picture to try to see the mealybugs, you’ll embarrass me for having “unclean plants”, even though I don’t think it was my fault.
Then I cut away the the bigger, older stems of aloe and those that were housing the most mealybugs, which left me with these cuttings.I let the cuttings soak in the sink a bit while I took the pots they were in to another sink in the garaged and scrubbed them out.
These are the cuttings I threw out.
Or rather, this is what I threw out into the compost bin. I doubt those mealybugs will survive outside in the winter time. Death by freezing! I rid myself of mealybugs.
And here are my newly potted up aloe plants. After over a week, there are no signs of mealybugs, so I hereby declare victory. I won! Let’s all do the Crazy Plant Lady Happy Plant Dance. Or, if you prefer, and I do, let’s all go out and buy ourselves a new house plant to celebrate.
By the way, because of my bold repotting, I now have five pots of aloe instead of three. But I’ll end up with just one pot of aloe, or maybe three.
The two ‘pretty pots’ up front actually belong to my ‘sister who does not garden’. I had potted up some aloe for her in those pots years ago and she put them in her sunroom which has better light than mine (no fair!). They grew like mad and kept falling over from being top heavy, so she brought them back to me to thin out and repot. Then when they were here, the mealybugs moved in, so I couldn’t give them back.
She’s never asked about them since she brought them back to me, so I bet I’ll get to keep those.
The two smaller pots on each side of the bigger pot in the back are for my two other sisters. They’ll each want an aloe plant, once they read this post and realize that I still have Grandma’s Aloe Plant. Just watch the comments and you’ll see.
Finally, if you remember nothing else from this post, I’ll hope you’ll remember that sometimes a plant problem or any problem, requires a bold move or decisive action to solve it. Once solved, you can end up with more than you had before.
So what’s bugging your plants? Be bold, take care of it!