Sterilize pots, dirt before potting plants


DEAR SUN SPOTS: After throwing away three potted plants because they were ravaged by white, powdery spots and dying, I bought three new potted plants last November. Now the same thing is happening to them. Can anyone give me a solution?

I would also like to have the words to the song, “Hotel California.” Thanks for a great column. — No Name, Greene

ANSWER: Did you reuse the pots and dirt from the first three plants? If so, you probably transferred the disease to the new plants. You should sterilize the pots and dirt (or buy new) before planting. There are instructions on how to sterilize potting soil at

Following are the lyrics for “Hotel California.” Once again Sun Spots found an amusing error in one of the Web sites that she checks for lyrics. Instead of Mercedes Benz, one had Mercedes bends!

“Hotel California”

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair


Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air

Up ahead in the distance, I saw shimmering light

My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

I had to stop for the night

There she stood in the doorway;

I heard the mission bell

And I was thinking to myself,

‘This could be Heaven or this could be Hell’

Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way

There were voices down the corridor,

I thought I heard them say …

“Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)

Such a lovely face

Plenty of room at the Hotel California

Any time of year (Any time of year)

You can find it here

“Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz

She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

“So I called up the Captain,

‘Please bring me my wine’

He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969’

And still those voices are calling from far away,

Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them say …

“Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)

Such a lovely face

They livin’ it up at the Hotel California

What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)

Bring your alibis

“Mirrors on the ceiling,

The pink champagne on ice

And she said ‘We are all just prisoners here, of our own device’

And in the master’s chambers,

They gathered for the feast

They stab it with their steely knives,

But they just can’t kill the beast

“Last thing I remember, I was

Running for the door

I had to find the passage back

To the place I was before

‘Relax,’ said the night man,

‘We are programmed to receive.

You can check-out any time you like,

But you can never leave!’”

DEAR SUN SPOTS: What is the nearest “Antiques Roadshow” to Maine? How do we find out when they will be in New England? How does one get tickets to take an item in? Thanks for all your great research! — No Name, Farmington

ANSWER: According to, Antiques Roadshow doesn’t have any visits to New England this year. The closest one is in Washington, D.C. Details for the shows, the rules for submitting items, tickets, etc., are all at Unforunately applications for this year are closed.

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