Leaf Shine?

Joe1980(5)April 2, 2011

Anybody use leaf shine products?? I have some of the Miracle Grow Leaf Shine, and use it here & there in leafy plants like chinese evergreens, schefflera, etc. I've heard that some shine products are bad and clog leaf pores, but supposedly the MG stuff doesn't. To me, it smells like nothing more then vinegar water, but the ingredients are "secret" according to the web.

Anywho, I use it by applying a small amount to a piece of cloth, like a cut up old t-shirt, and wiping off the dust. They look really nice when I'm done, but I wanna make sure I am not causing harm.

Anybody have any input??


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Some of the products on the market now probably do no harm, unlike the gooey,sticky stuff of the past. Just make sure that it doesn't attract and hold the dust. And DON'T use it on your jade or other succulents!

The vast majority of pores (stomata) of most plants are located on the underside of the leaf, anyway.

I've never used a leaf shine product, finding the results sort of artificial looking (just my opinion). But I do keep the foliage of my plants clean. That's important.

The reason why the Scott's company won't put the ingredients on the label is probably because they don't want you to know how easy this stuff is to make from common ingredients. (Just a guess) You can email them, however, for the MSDS (material safety data sheet), which will list the ingredients.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:12PM
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Steer clear of Leaf Shine products. IMO, it clogs leaf pores.
Cleaning large leaf plants with soapy water, rinsing then wiping is a better, healthier way to remove dust, clean foliage.

Soap and water may not leave the glossy appearance leaf shines do, but we do what's best for our plants. Right? The least chemicals used, the better. Toni

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:21PM
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I found the MSDS of MG leaf shine on the internet, and it lists the ingredients as "trade secret or proprietary formula". Basically, you are right, they don't want you to know it's vinegar, at least that's what I suspect.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 4:16PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Maybe I can get a few suggestions here on how I can help my plants.

I have 2 bay leaf tree's that are a mess! They are covered with junk from our hard water! I bought them this way, really wanted the tree's bad. lol..

Anyway, I've been wiping the leaves with bottled water and it is getting some of the junk off. Is there anything else I can do for them?

Not so much interested in shine, just good healty plant. It is putting out new growth and i'm being very careful not to splash when I water. ;-)

The plant on the left I have been working on. I haven't started the other.

Mostly cleaned up.. The bright green leaf to the left is new since getting the plant.

This is the other one I haven't started.. The poor thing is horrible!

Side by side...


    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Jojo: That is one nice looking plant, despite the leaves. You got yourself a cutie there:-)

What I do to keep mine shiny?

There are a few things that I do. Ready?

I will spray them off with Fish Emulsion in water, a good idea I got from Toni. Not only does it keep my plants pest free, but the natural very light oils of the fish leaves a nice looking sheen to my plants.

If not that then comes the rain water. I collect barres full of it, and after I have watered the plants off with a hose or faucet water, I will usually follow right behind with rain water through a sprinkler.

Than at times I also spray off the leaves with distilled water or fresh bottled water if I run out of rain water at the time.

There are three other there things that I do that that also wash the leaves and make them glossy. I will fill a cup with warm water, the put a bit of milk in it with a few drops of vinegar, to be followed by a rinse of fresh water. This removes the water deposits on my plants.

I also notice that after spraying with Neem oil in warm water, not only will this keep my plants once again pest free, but it really REALLY shines the leaves up. I make sure to do this on cloudy days or after sun down, not in the morning on any soon to be sunny days when the sun is strong.

How is that to start? :-)

Just what I do and my ideas.

Many hellos to you Jojo, Rhizo, and Toni!:-)))))


    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Mike, great ideas, and all natural.
I've heard people used milk to clean and polish leaves, but thought after a while it'd smell sour???

I've seen your plants..they're gorgeous. Maybe the milk-vinegar-Neem-FE should be used by anyone who wants shiny, healthy foliage..Toni

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 5:49PM
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I use equal parts of water and milk, I soak a cotton ball with the mixture and then use a dry cotton ball to wipe off the mixture and dirt, works like a charm, no smell and the leaves are nice and shiny :>)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:09AM
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I've never used a product made specifically for this purpose, either... I bathe my plants occasionally, larger ones in the shower and smaller in the kitchen sink... seems to do the trick of removing any dust, and they always seem happier afterward.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 4:32PM
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I also do not use anything specifically for this.

As others have said, I do spray them with water either in the sink or the shower.

I am using Neem once a week on my AVs and Streptocarpus; this does add a bit of shine, but it's very natural looking.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 2:13AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

jojosplants - I'm just wondering why they have had water put on their leaves in the first place? Did the nursery water them overhead? In AZ bay would be perfectly happy outdoors where, if it needed watering, it could be done at the roots not over the top of the plant. If they're indoors I wonder why? Bay is a mediterranean plant, not a tropical and indoor conditions don't suit it. Scale is one big potential problem.

Bay leaves are not actually naturally shiny, however clean and healthy. More slightly matt dark green. So they should not look like a rubber plant, for example.

I don't know how much rain you get but I would just stand them outdoors whenever you next get a good shower. Preferably I'd just grow them outside permanently if possible. My neighbour's bay tree is about 25 tall and certainly doesn't get its leaves polished!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:34AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Flora, I'd bet that the nursery was watering overhead for greatest convenience.

On Sunday, one of the Sacramento Orchid folks was on the radio talking about water-stains
on orchid leaves. He recommended a little lemon juice and water to dissolve the water-spots.

As always, it's a good idea to do a test leaf first when trying out any new method.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 9:40AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Everyone!
Sorry I couldn't get back here sooner, things have been nuts here.
It has become a great thread with some good ideas!

Joe~ I've never heard much good about leaf shine products. IMO their like the miracle fertilizers for tomato's. More of a gimmick product.

My grandma used the milk and water, but I always thought that was weird and would spoil and stink. lol..

Thanks! I love these little plants!! They are just babies, in 4" pot, about 8" tall right now. I decided to give one to my mom, so I will have to go get me another. lol..
I do spray with fish emulsion once in awhile. ;-) Nothing like the yard smelling like fish. lol!

Rain??!! Mike, it wasn't nice to make me laugh right after the wasp got me, it hurt..lol!
Well I do have the rain barrel, but rain is far and few this time of year! We've had 3 small rains since Oct.!!!
Good idea though! Next time it rains, I will stash a gallon for cleaning plants. :-)

I will look into neem oil too. I worry about mealy in my C & S collection.
Thanks for the suggestions!

HI Jodi!
The problem here is bathing them with our city water will put me right back where I started. A Lot of my plants don't show a lot of build up.. but some like this spot horrible. :-(
So I guess any rinsing would have to be as Mike does with the rain. I guess I need to start saving milk bottles. :)And get a good sprinkler watering can!

Hi Flora~
Well, it is as Josh said.
These came from a nursery that is 5 acres big and all the plants are out in the open. The table they were on had about 40 to choose from, there is no way possible to water and keep the foliage dry. All the nursery's around here are that way. They have to water from overhead. The same goes for places like Lowes and Home Depot. It's all done with a hose and quick spray.

I will be leaving this plant out side, except during hard freezes. But we all get in a hurry, and leaves will get splashed. So I hope to find a way to keep them nice and unclogged so they can breathe.

I'm not so much wanting them to be shiny, I do see they have a matte look to them, just would like them clean and healthy.

The lemon juice is a great Idea! I'm going to go tell my tree's to get busy! lol!

I know it's used around the home for hard water, so why not a plant! So is vinegar. I keep things as chemical free as I can around here. ;-)

Thanks for all the help and hope to see more idea's in this thread. :-)


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Deposits on foliage can also be caused (and often ARE) by the applications of fungicides and other products to keep the plants disease and pest free until they are sold. Bay laurel can be subject to leaf spot fungal disorders, especially in a crowded nursery or garden center.

Be careful about using oils on C&S. I'm sure that you well know that some are very sensitive to oils and soaps.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 3:33PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi again JoJo. You said you would leave your bay outside 'except during hard freezes'. I'm wondering what lows you get where you live? Bay can withstand freezing temps for a while if you only get a few days. Even tougher if grown directly in the ground. I know this is the house plants forum but bay is not really a happy house plant. This is my neighbour's. I don't know how old it is but probably at least 40. It's been cut down to the ground at least once in that time. It has withstood temps below 20f in that time. Who knows maybe your bay trees will be shading your house one day.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 7:02AM
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