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Clean Your Houseplants

By wildflowers
May 3, 2012

Houseplants with large leaves and smooth foliage, such as schefflera, philodendrons, and rubber plants, benefit from periodically washing the leaves to remove dust buildup, helping to keep the leaf pores open.

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Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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May 2, 2012 8:37 PM CST
For some reason my grandmother used to dip a cotton sacking cloth in whole milk (because that's all she had) and wipe the broad shiny leaves of the plants you mention... but not the Rubber Plant. She told me it was bad luck to have a Rubber Plant indoors.
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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May 3, 2012 7:01 AM CST Admin

I've done milk, and oil too.

Besides the fact that you probably shouldn't do oil (clogging the pores), I learned my lesson about 5 years ago.
I was expecting company, so I wanted to shine the leaves of the shefflera. I did, then took it outside to give it a good watering. Normally it can handle direct sun for a short amount of time, but not when it is slathered in oil! I ended up giving it a sunburn, for which it never really forgave me.

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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May 3, 2012 9:07 AM CST
LOL trish!!

I once worked with a person who had MANY plants in their office; the plants were always beautiful. He would wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol cotton pads as he talked to the plants, telling them how beautiful they werel!! I think he said the rubbing alcohol helped clean the pores and get rid of any dust spores, etc? can't recall exactly? Shrug!

He would also play soothing music for his plants.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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