One of the problems I’ve had in the past is that when I either bring plants or cuttings inside and grow them under lights during the winter, I get an ever increasing population of small flying bugs. My son has the same problem in San Francisco as they have fruit flies around their organic waste container that they are mandated to keep for the trash. His solution is to grow carnivorous plants, Drosera, right next to the organics and it does attract and catch the small pesky flies.
I just bought two Drosera from petflytrap.com and hope to duplicate his success.
Update – Dec. 11 – I received two plants yesterday and placed them next to my bug infested plants. This morning I counted 17 bugs captured. Drosera capensis seems the most attractive with 16 of the bugs on this one plant. Note – Drosera spatulata also has plenty of bugs a few weeks later.
You do need to use distilled water for these plants. Keep their container submerged up to an inch or two.
I’m growing these in the basement under 24 hour fluorescent light, but it’s a bit cool – around 68 degrees. They still seem to be doing fairly well.
While it’s definitely a possibility that ladybugs might attack small butterfly larvae, in general they probably are much more beneficial than a problem. This year my Red Honeysuckle is infested with aphids and these ladybug eggs and larvae are certainly welcome to help control them.
Rutgers University has put out a list of plants showing which are deer resistant. If the deer are a problem in your area, check the list closely before investing hundreds of dollars at your local nursery. I was glad to see that Buddleia, Rue and Dames Rocket were on the list of “rarely damaged” plants.
Another nice site I found on the topic is:
Lately, I’ve been infested with Spider Mites which I probably brought in with my cuttings in the fall. Using an oil spray is recommended to help with the mites, but I decided to baptize my plants in an oil solution for a couple of seconds. Hopefully, this will keep them under control.
Almost every Blazing Star that I plant is eaten by voles.
Finally after years of frustration, I’ve found a solution – Poison Peanuts Pellets.
They do work and also seem to be work on mice.
Now I can finally grow Blazing Stars again.