I'd brought a dozen cuttings inside from the Arkansas traveler tomato plant on October 31st, right before our first frost. I stuck them in two jars of water and put them in front of a bedroom window. I can only put plants where the indoor cats can't reach them, so the bedroom with a closed door was one of my few choices.
That same day I also took half a dozen cuttings from the mortgage lifter tomatoes in the garden. I had issues with the tomato plants in the garden this year, it looked like blight when I compared it to some photos online. Somehow I sort of forgot about that issue though when I took the cuttings. I stuck them in another jar and put them on the kitchen counter.
Last year the cuttings I brought inside died in just a few weeks. I was hoping I'd be more successful this year, but the cuttings in the kitchen began wilting and dying. When I finally gave up on them, I took them out of the jar of water and was really disappointed to see that they all were growing roots, just like they were supposed to do. The bottoms of the plants were healthy, but the tops were dry and dead. What was the problem?
Then I noticed the webs on the leaves. Spider mites.
I should have been more careful when I brought the cuttings inside. I could have swished them in soapy water to clean off any parasites, or blasted them with a strong stream of water.
Immediately I washed the Arkansas traveler tomato cuttings that were in the bedroom, so hopefully I won't have any further problems. Of course, the herbs in the kitchen windowsill got a shower too.
At least the mystery is solved now. I hope the rest of the cuttings will survive until spring.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a