Ask a Question forum: Cleaning plants

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Name: Susan B
East Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
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lakesidecallas
Nov 9, 2016 11:07 PM CST
My aunt asked for help cleaning her tropical plant- I don't know what variety plant it is... this is what she has to say....

While the outside of our condos are being spray painted I moved
an eight feet tall huge tropical plant inside my condo. I am washing
off the broad long leaves. So far I am just using water.

Do you think that if I added a little vinegar and a couple of drops of
soap to a pail of warm water that would do a better job of cleaning
these leaves. There are diesel trucks that go by on the
boulevard on their way to a freeway and the leaves get just black
with this pollution. I would appreciate your opinion.
[Last edited by lakesidecallas - Feb 7, 2017 8:13 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Nov 10, 2016 7:12 AM CST
If there's dark stuff on your leaves that won't rinse off, it may be sooty mold. I've had good luck using cotton balls damp with rubbing alcohol to remove that from several kinds of plants. It can get on them if they are put under trees while outside for summer.

Testing it on 1 leaf first would be prudent. If it looks fine the next day, the rest of the leaves should respond the same way.

If you are able to add a pic, somebody should recognize the plant.
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Name: Susan B
East Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
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lakesidecallas
Nov 10, 2016 9:02 AM CST
She only sent me an email.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Nov 10, 2016 9:26 AM CST
I would not use vinegar. It is sometimes used as an organic weed killer.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 10, 2016 10:14 AM CST
It would take a lot of cotton balls and alcohol to clean up an eight foot tall plant; I would try the soapy water.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 10, 2016 2:29 PM CST
If the plant has been outside, it could just be dirty. Water with a little dish soap and a soft sponge will work on dirt.

Alcohol can be sprayed on the plant but unless it has an insect or sooty mold problem, I'm not sure what you would expect the alcohol to do.

Vinegar (and other weak acids) will take the calcium buildup off leaves but use it carefully. Wipe one leaf with alcohol and rinse it off - you don't want vinegar sitting on leaves for longer then seconds.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Nov 11, 2016 7:15 AM CST
I used rubbing alcohol on my leaves that had sooty mold because plain water won't get rid of it.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

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