Digiplexis- Pest infestation

(Question)

I have two digiplexis plants. They are not hardy here. I’ve had them for 3 years. This year they were infested by house flies when I had them out in the garden.

I don’t know where the house flies lived before they became flies. Are they in the soil of these plants and should I be changing the soil or go over to a hydroponic system.

I’d like to bring them in but I am wondering if I will be infested by house flies if I bring them in.

(Answer)

How lucky you are to own two Digiplexis plants.¬†This plant is a really new hybrid foxglove, which only came on the North American market about four years ago. The fact that you’ve managed to keep them inside over winter for three years is amazing.

With regard to the houseflies or whatever they were that you saw buzzing around your plants (there are so many thousands of the species) you certainly do not want to bring an infestation into your home. It’s hard to determine if the flies are attracted to the plant itself or whether they emerged from the soil in your containers.

Therefore, before bringing your plants indoors do a thorough inspection of the leaves and stems looking for anything that might look like insects or their eggs. Spray a commercially prepared insecticidal soap over the plants if you see something suspicious. Next give your plants a good water and carefully slide them out of their pots. Get rid of all the old soil keeping an eye out for very small white eggs or maggots. Wash any remaining soil off the roots and re-pot using a good quality potting soil. If the roots look to be crowded now would be the time to go up to the next pot size. At this point it should be safe to bring the plants indoors. Keep them in the cool sun room where you usually keep them.

Listed below are a couple of resources you may want to read for more information:

https://wimastergardener.org/article/new-hybrid-foxglove-digiplexis-illumination/

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/bringing-plants-indoors-for-the-winter/