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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    20

    Topdressing houseplants with sand

    I have a problem with compost flies in my houseplants. According to a gardening show I saw, they can be discouraged from laying eggs in potting soil by topdressing the soil with washed sand. On the show, they used bagged "washed sand" by Whitney Farms. I can't find sand that specifies it is washed, and the folks at Home Depot told me sandbox sand would suit my purpose. My concern is that if there is salt in the sand it will kill my plants. Comments?

  2. #2
    Guest
    It depends on the plants (and the amount of salt) whether salt will
    kill them. And of course you can always wash the sand yourself.
    Sandbox sand is usually a pretty good bet for being clean.

    Aloha,

    Maren

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    20
    I have a palm, draceana, agave, christmas cactus, ficus, spider plants and ivy. Would any of those be particularly salt sensitive? The ivies are my main concern, since they are the only ones getting root damage from the larvae.

  4. #4
    Guest
    Ivy is supposed to be realtively salt tolerant say
    http://www.bonsai-bsf.com/KBS/salt.html
    and
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO014

    (but to me that's "book knowledge")

    If you're really concerned about the possibility of salt in the
    sand, why not put it outside in the rain for a while and wait for
    the salt to get washed out?

    Maren
    (for all I know Seattle is about as likely to get rain as Hilo,
    only a bit less of it)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    20
    Thanks a bunch! I'll see how my little ivies do with the sand before I put it on my big treasured one.

    Slightly off topic: I'm taking my 4th trip to the big island this fall. What is the best botanical garden to visit? I went to the World Botanical Garden last time, but was impressed mainly by the voracity of the mosquitoes. :shock:

    Also, is there a garden with good birdwatching, or a zoo with native birds?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Murph,

    I'm sure Maren will have some great ideas for you. You can also use this site to search for all types of gardens to see, many lesser known.

    http://www.botanique.com/

    Newt

  7. #7
    Guest
    <g>

    about botanical gardens or about avoiding mosquitoes?
    In either case this is the wrong thread, or maybe even the wrong board.
    We'd either have to start a new thread, or you can email me off the board.

    Aloha,

    Maren
    (admitting that I don't go to botanical gardens very often)

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