Miracle Gro Leaf Shine

bellegallica(9)April 1, 2006


Does Miracle Gro leaf shine really work? Also, is it really safe? The bottle says it doesn't clog pores, but...truth in advertising? :-)

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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Forget about it! I've heard nary a positive thing about leaf shine products. In fact, quite the contrary: they DO harm your plants by clogging pores. I'd forego it.

I'm sure others will come along with some natural remedies for shining your plants.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 12:13AM
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I agree with GH about not using leaf shines. Of any commercial types. If you want to clean leaves, for large leaves use a soft rag, you can even add dishsoap, but rinse off. Misting keeps leaves clean, too..
I admit, they will never look as shiny as they do when u see plants in stores that use leaf shines, but the way I see it, I'd rather have a healthy plant w/clean leaves than one that may die from clogged pores etc..Toni

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 7:33AM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

The ones in the stores with the 'shined' leaves always look like plastic to me. The natural glow of a clean, healthy plant can't be beat. And if you get to know your plants you can tell when one's a little too dry, or otherwise not in peak condition, when it loses its glow.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 1:38AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I work for a professional interior plant company and we use leafshine (Pokon brand) all the time. Never had a single problem, just make sure not to use it in the sun or under bright grow lights because you will fry the foliage. The instructions also say not to use it on hairy leaved plants.

When I was a hobbyist, I used to believe that leaf shine was evil. I've actually grown fond of the shiny, slightly plastic look. The clients love it.

Leaf shine also works much like a horticultural oil to smother mites, mealy, etc. We can use it safely for that indoors as it is not a "pesticide".

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 9:13AM
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The nursery where I work uses it for plants going to picky clients such as florists & interiorscapers.

I hate the smell, but don't mind the look.

I don't know how it affects the plants in the long run though.

I've never used it for my plants & don't think I will either.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 10:56AM
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soundgarden(z8/ New Orleans, La)

I've used some of the MGLS on my plants, and maybe I used to much, but the leaves looked really waxy and spotty afterwards and I had to wash it off. Maybe I was supposed to mist them rather than get them soaking wet. It didn't hurt the leaves, and I can see where some people would like that glossy look. My house is kinda dark, so the leaf shine actually makes the room appear brighter because of the shine. I haven't used it in a while, but I don't think I'd be apposed to using it again.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Leaf shines seem to defeat the purpose. You go out and get a piece of nature, then put artificial stuff on it, and it no longer looks natural or real anymore.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 3:30PM
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soundgarden(z8/ New Orleans, La)

"Leaf shine seems to defeat the purpose. You go out and buy a piece of nature....." Exactly, plants grow IN NATURE where rain water and dew clean the leaves off, thus making them shiney. Plants don't naturally grow in houses, (unless you've got really funky carpet :))so you do have to do something to dust them. You can either mist the leaves, give them a shower or wipe them off with a soft cloth. Jerry Baker recommends cleaning leaves with a diluted baby shampoo/beer mixture. Of course, I don't know much about him, but I went to walmart and bought my first 40 today to give it a shot.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 1:53PM
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The shiny look is very much a matter of taste. Personally I like it, and I have been using different leaf shine products for years. I was surprised to realise just how many people think it's bad for the plants as I've never seen anything to indicate it is. The plants are done once a month and they seem to be in perfect condition. Leaves look good and haven't been obviously damaged. I know for a fact that some of the leaves on my cheese plant have been there 7 years as it's never lost a leaf once, and they've been leaf shined about 80 times.

I think it has minimal to offer towards plant health, except for cleaning leaves which can be done with plain water anyway, but I don't consider it bad for them either. I don't believe plant leaves have pores in the upper surface, so blocking them isn't a concern when you only treat the upper surface. It's a harmless cosmetic thing. My only concerns are extra costs and the time it takes to apply.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 5:45PM
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Reviving this thread with some input on natural leaf shine: milk!

I brought home a burgundy Rubber Tree yesterday and it had white spots from mineral deposits from the overhead spray watering they do at big box stores. I looked all over this forum to find a remedy, but maybe I wasn't doing the right kinds of searches... So, I leave my favorite source of information and venture out in the world and find the milk trick. It works! I guess I'll find out how long the effect lasts, but for now the looks is just right, not too artificial looking, yet shiny. And no more water spots. And cheap.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:23AM
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I use cotton balls and mayo. Depite what you'd think, I've never noticed any smells and it does make them more naturally shiny (and clean).

On the note of commercial sprays, we have a new "plant lady" at work and I don't think she's even paying attention when she applies it. It's all spotty and sticky-shiny in certain areas of the plant, and it looks more like a bad case of honeydew than a supposedly healthy plant. They do look pretty healthy otherwise, though. So I guess if you are going to use the chemical sprays, at least make sure that you apply evenly.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 2:42PM
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From all I've previously read on these forums, is that it is not good for plants but I will have to admit, I've seen some gorgeous plants with the leaf shine.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:06PM
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sometimes i can tell when my plants need moisture when thier leaves start to look dull (especially true with my gardenias)I am afraid leaf shine will cover up this little sign if i use it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 7:15PM
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It does seem kind of unlikely that leaf shine would kill an otherwise healthy plant.

Though I still wouldn't use it, because it seems even *less* likely that leaf shine would do anything to improve the condition of a plant that *wasn't* doing well.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 9:04PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'm not a fan of the look myself, looks too artificial for me.

I don't believe all leaves are meant to be shiny. Mine that are supposed to be, seem to do so on their own when healthy like Hoya Lacunosa, Citrus leaves, a new Hoya that looks maybe like a cross btwn Carnosa & Motoskei & a varieg. Hoya Australis. I've got a young ZZ plant so shiny it looks like it's got leaf shine on it, but doesn't. I think (for me anyway), very healthy looking is best.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 9:55PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

"I think(for me anyway), very healthy looking is best." I agree with that statement 100%.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 6:52AM
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I'm finding that some gentle rubs with a microfiber cloth shines them right up (at least with the thicker, more robust leaves) and takes off dust. I wipe with water or water/vinegar first then "shine." I end up 3/4 to as shiny as with a leaf-shine product (waxier, thicker leaves get shinier, like Rubber Plant). Requires more than one "treatment" but once shiny, stays shiny, healthy and no clogged pores.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Waste of money, just give them a shower.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:53PM
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I just shower them off or wash the leaves. I'm of the "au natural" school when it comes to shiny leaves.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Would never use he stuff, makes plants look plastic (in my opinion) thus, defeating the purpose of having a "real" plant.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:43AM
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Yes, I find for my shiny leafed plants (non hairy) a gentle dusting with a swiffer cloth brings out all the shine I need!

I've brought home plants from the store that have the white water/fertilizer spots on them, I scrub gently with a cotton ball dipped in vinegar, took off the white spots and did not appear to harm the plant.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 2:19PM
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I've changed my mind. While I don't approve of leaf shiner most of the time, and understand why nobody else would either, it can be extraordinarily handy on a retail level. Plants that have been in the greenhouse at work for a long enough period of time (I'm not sure how long that is, only that there's some cut-off point somewhere) develop a dull coating of . . . *something*. Most of it, I think, is pesticide residue, since they pre-emptively spray every week, but then there's also water spots and dust and soil and fertilizer and what have you. Whatever it is, it's waxy enough that it won't come off with just water, so you can't just wave the hose at it and be done. (I've tried.) Ficus, Schefflera and Dracaena seem to be more affected than most; Spathiphyllum, Aglaonema, Calathea, and Philodendron -- not so much.

And this coating *can* be wiped off with a little soapy water and some soft paper towels, but --

1) We have the scratchy brown industrial paper towels, which are less useful, and (I suspect) sometimes scratch more delicate leaves. Also, whatever it is doesn't come off immediately; it takes a bit of rubbing. Not a *lot*, but some. Then, too --

2) Think carefully about what it would be like to wipe each leaf, front and back, of a four-foot Dracaena marginata. Then ponder a five-foot tall Schefflera, one of the ones with the tiny leaflets. Then contemplate a seven-foot Ficus benjamina. You see where I'm going with this.

I will generally still try to wipe plants off with soapy water and everything, if we're not busy and its leaves can handle that, and even if we *are* relatively busy I'll still try to get the worst of it off, if the customer doesn't object, but even after I've wiped it off, it still often looks better with a light spray of leaf shiner. (If you've got so much on that it looks fake, then you've used too much, is my thinking.)

So, it's still not really doing the plant any favors, but in a backhanded way it might be: people will take better care of something that they like to look at, and unnaturally shiny is, for most people, preferable to unnaturally dingy.

I'm just saying.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 7:41PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

hi, Isn't miracle leaf shine just another anti desicant? I thought all it did was keep water from transpiring through the leaves. During the growing season I use "rootzone" but once the ground is frozen it won't work. I have a dwarf cryptomeria that needs protection and I was planning on using this product. however the last thing I want is a dead plant I just don't want the poor plant to keep getting winter burn it took all year for it to recover after las winter. Anyone know if this prouct is safe to use during the dormant season. It was mentioned before that it works like horticulture oil which you can't use when the plant is not dormant so I'm wondering if this can be used outside during the winter.
Thank you

PS. the plant in question is a cryptomeria japonica 'Kilmacurragh'

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:29AM
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I bought a can.... only £2.99 so not biggy if it didnt work.

Pleased to say it was spot on! My Ficus looks so much better for it and it also seems to keep the dust off. I did use a different brand before and the leaves seemed to sweat white liquid, this was apparently a sign of the pores clogging.

MG Leaf shine did not clog the pores... did shine my plants and also has kept them looking great and dust free!!

So i'd say go for it :) Worked for me.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 9:41AM
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