Question about Pathos

runswithscissors(MT 4/5)February 26, 2011

Hi all, I have a problem with my Pathos. My Devil's Ivy is very, very healthy, and I honestly don't know why. The pot is up on top of my kitchen cabinets and has grown and grown for 2 years now. Some of the vines (all still fully leaved) are 20 feet long and go across the window on top of the other cabinets and hang down the sides. The other side curls up ontop of the refrigerator. When the plant starts to look wilty, I climb up and give it some water. 2 hours later it's lush and perky as if nothing ever happened. It's really very no-care and pretty in this location. The problem is: over the course of two years the plants have been coated with airborn grease from cooking. It doesn't seem to bother them, but it sure bothers me, because dust is sticking to the greasy leaves. How do I clean the leaves (100's) without taking the plant down. It would require 6 friends all in a row to hold it together.

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MojaveLove(5 - IL)

You can wash it with water and dish soap but yes you'll need to take it down. I can't really think of a way to clean a plant without taking it down as I wouldn't recommend spraying any chemicals on them.

Honestly, I can't really think of an easy way for you sorry!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Runswithscissors..Daily Misting: Aside from slight increase in humidity, daily misting keeps leaves clean. A couple drops of dish soap 'should' losen grime. Afterwards, respray with plain water.

Second. Without taking your Pothos down, 'don't blame you,' the second suggestion will require work, I'd get a ladder, bucket of water and soft, clean rags. Carefully, wash each leaf, upper and lower. A couple drops of dish soap might be needed to losen years of grease, etc. Instead of rewashing with clean water, spray leaves. It'll save time and less strenuous.

Do you have a relative or friend's son/daughter who'd like to earn a little money? A couple kids should have the job done in no time. Toni

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I agree that you should take it down off the fridge, because in the long run, it will be faster and easier to clean most of the leaves at once.
If it were mine...... I'd fill the tub with a few inches of tepid water and a good squirt ot two of some dish detergent.
I know people say not to use it, but I have used "Dawn" for grease/oil when I used waaaaay to much veggie oil for pest. As long as you rinse all the soap off real good, it won't hurt the leaves at all.
Maybe wash the leaves that are closer to the soil outside the tub.
Place as many of the vines as you possibly can into the soapy water and wash both sides of the leaves with a soft cloth a few times. From the sounds of it, you will need to change the water a few times:(

Taking a photo of it first can help you navigate it all back to the way it was before, only this time, it will be squeaky clean!

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:41PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

We somehow acquired an appliance called a Shark Steam Blaster.

It doesn't blast steam, it gently blows warm fog. There is a wand and at about 10-14 inches from the end of the wand the warm fog is about skin temperature. It is a bit of an annoyance to add the distilled water and get all the settings right and get the thing all fired up and blowing warm fog. It is a fine thing for washing plant leaves.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 4:07PM
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Ewww . . . A 20 ft long greasy plant in your kitchen! You said that it sure bothers you, and I can sure understand why! I hope you find a remedy soon that's acceptable to you and to the plant.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 8:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Your situation has filled us with pathos! lolol

Seriously, I'd have that pothos down in a heat beat, where it would be given a serious hair cut, repotting, and washing.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:59PM
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I agree. Stick it in the tub with some soap, get the grease off! Time for a repot anyway.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 3:12PM
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All that greasy fried food is obviously not good for the plant. Perhaps you should equate the 'pathos' with a canary in a coal mine. Since the grease is coating the plant with a clogging substance, it's undoubtedly doing the very same to human vascular systems.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:45PM
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    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:53PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Thanks all for the suggestions. Yes, it is time for a re-potting, and a good bath. I guess I'll just take my time and pull it down one vine at a time trying to avoid stepping on it or catching it in the curtains or toaster on the counter or sink faucet...uhhhh. I know dishsoap works good, I use it on all my houseplants...kills fungus gnats in the soil. And anyway, if a few vines have to be trimmed it should recover in no time.

p.s. my kitchen has recessed lighting above the cabinets. I think that's why the plant loves it up there. Lots of light, warmth, and since I have so many other houseplants in the windows the humidity stays fairly livable.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 3:21PM
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