Cleaning Leaves

nova12(zone 2)November 12, 2007

This has got to be the most time consuming part of my hobby, is keeping the leaves dust free. I have seen leaf shine in the stores but know to stay away from it due to the fact that it can clog leaf pores. So is there anything I can use to keep my leaves shinier and dust free for longer that a few days. How do people grow these beautiful plants with deep glossy leaves? A friend of mine told me to wipe the leaves with dish soap, but I am a bit hesitant about trying this as I have never heard of this before. TIPS???

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I just used neem oil on my plants for pest control. As a benefit, the leaves were ridiculously shiny after they dried. Just get some need oil, mix as per instructed, and add some mild dish soap. Spray away until you completely soak the plant and let dry. Viola. You should see some good results and maybe get a big or two.

This should help with the dust on the leaves. I don't think it has any effect on further accumulation of dust. You could try getting an air filter to get the majority of particulates or check the filter for your furnace to reduce the dust in the air.

*There are obviously some plants you should avoid spraying water on like the african violets and others w/ fuzzy leaves.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 8:21PM
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nova12(zone 2)

I do use neem, but haven't noticed anything other than a waxy residue left by it, and of course the gut wrenching smell. I have thought about getting an ionizer, as my house is really dusty, and it drives me crazy. I actually do spray my AV's several times a day, with warm water.....I believe you just can't let them sit in the sun being wet. I shower them quite often as well. I have used Neem on them as well, to no ill effect.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:03PM
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Hummm...would there be a reason your house is unusually dusty (like dirty air vents)? I just shower my plants off with warm water once a month and they stay very clean.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:15PM
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I use a weak solution of dish soap and water for cleaning leaves, but keeping them clean is another issue entirely. My problem is living behind a company that makes, among other road-type things, cement. It can get very dusty around here...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:49PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you guys that are using dish soap as a surfactant would switch to baby shampoo, you'd be doing away with all the degreasers and (in some/many detergents) the plant-toxic bacteriostats. Just a thought.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:24PM
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I usually mist once a night with plain water, I haven't seen a whole lot of dust on my plants and I have a REALLY dusty home. (so my t.v, entertainment center, computer and whatever else lok like dustmobiles....)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 2:29AM
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hornetwife(Flour Bluff Tx Z9)

Nova~ I am right there with you on the dust! I spend ALOT of time wiping down my plants (the scheffleras are especially "FUN"). I just use plain water on paper towels. I have read to use milk on leaves but that seems like a pest attractant.
Al~thanks for the tip on the baby shampoo.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:16AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Al- Next time I use Neem, I'll try baby shampoo instead of Ivory. Johnson and Johnson good?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I guess placing your plants outside during a rainstorm would work too. The leaves would be cleaned and the soil would be flushed of salts. Just place them somewhere that the soil won't splash up and land on the leaves.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:03PM
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I am a beginner. I am only 8years old and would like to help my mom take care of her plants in the home. I want to be able to grow things. I read in a book that my grandmother made for me about taking care of plants. She mention and old way. She mixed 1tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp vingear and and used an old milk carton the gallon size one. This sat for two days. But on every Saturday she was found in the garden cleaning and talking to her plants asking them to shine. IS asking your plant to shine seem crazy? Grandma says we should always want to communicate to earth some how.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 8:38PM
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