Thursday, April 22, 2010

What A Difference Six Months Makes

Earlier this month, around the tenth of April, I put the remains of my Hedera helix collection out on the porch. This was well in advance of my local average last frost date (May 15.) However, since the original Hedera helix species is hardy in the ground around here, I figured that my potted cultivars could handle the light frosts we get this time of year. They are on a covered porch, and if a hard freeze was forecast, I could always bring them inside for the night.

Here is what I brought inside last October:

Seventeen happy Hedera helix cultivars

Here is what I put out this month:

Eight somewhat bedraggled Hedera helix plants, four of which I didn't even have last fall. Sigh. The Pelargonium seems much unchanged since last fall, having spent the winter blooming intermittently in my bedroom window.

I lost several plants to spider mites this winter, including some of my favorites. My success the previous winter made me overly optimistic, I guess. Those mites are the devil incarnate. In fact, they are the reason I put the plants out so early. I figured the mites would find the fresh, chilly air discouraging. (I also washed the plants with a soap/water/alcohol solution before putting them out.) Despite the setbacks, I am determined to replenish my collection.


Aerelonian said...

The before looks much better but give it a few months and you're set. I hate pesky insects (only the bad ones of course)...

Ivynettle said...

Not a good winter for ivies, huh? I kept mine outside, which worked well last winter, but this year it was, apparently, just too cold. Bah.
I guess next winter I'll move them to the balcony, maybe wrap them in some fleece when it gets really cold (although, who knows where I'll even be living next winter...)