Ask a Question forum: Do you SHOWER your house plants? (& general questions)

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Name: RADishGAL
Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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radishgirl
May 10, 2017 10:15 PM CST
I see a lot of posts on instagram of people showering their plants. They'll have multiple varieties of plants in the shower with the shower head on seriously just giving them a shower.

Is this something that a lot of people do? What are the benefits or draw backs of this method?

I am interested in trying this method but am worried as I dont want to cause rot root. I have also only been using distilled water since getting into plants, would the change in water from distilled to shower water have a negative effect?

I got into house plants several months ago and have already amassed quite the little collection (around 18/20). I have had good luck so far but am eager to learn more. I attached some pictures below, 1st is a plant stand I scored for 8 bucks on criagslist! 2nd is a succulent dish garden I made today, I love it so I hope it lasts!!

PLEASE SHARE YOUR TIPS AND TRICKS WITH ME!

Thumb of 2017-05-11/radishgirl/e89506


Thumb of 2017-05-11/radishgirl/1f39e1

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[Last edited by radishgirl - May 10, 2017 10:55 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 10, 2017 10:49 PM CST
Hello radishgal, with my houseplants, so far I have not seen the need to shower them. But most tropical plants will not mind a good shower, as long as you do it early in the day and allow excess water to drain off properly. Run your ceiling fans or open your windows to help with drying out and air circulation.

You got a good collection of plants, just make sure you use containers with drainage holes so excess water and salts will be flushed out properly during watering. With succulents especially, water has to drain out, otherwise you risk root rot. It also helps to add more pumice or perlite to your soil to really make it well draining and allow good airflow at root zone.

If for some reason your plants shows distress later, best to delay fertilizer application, it will not solve its problems, and may just cause further fertilizer burn on the leaves and roots.

And if I may make a slight comment too on the combination of succulents in your container, the Sansevieria ( the one that is twisted in a ponytail) is good for indoor growing being a low light plant, but the other two is best grown with more light, nearest to your south facing window or outdoors if possible. But it is your preference and choice, just pointing out those plants growing needs.

As to the water used, I just use tap water for my plants. I only use distilled water for my carnivorous plants.

Have fun on your gardening! Smiling
[Last edited by tarev - May 10, 2017 10:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 10, 2017 10:54 PM CST
Question: why are you using distilled water?

The idea behind 'showering' your plants:

1. clean plants photosynthesize better - they especially suffer in a house with smokers

2. to discourage pests such as red spider mites. They LOVE dusty plants.

3. to wash accumulated salts (from fertilizer) out of the soil

I hope your new succulent pot has drainage.


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Name: RADishGAL
Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
🌱🌵🌿newbie planter🌿🌵
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radishgirl
May 10, 2017 11:13 PM CST
Thank you both for the info Thank You!

I was kind of weary about adding the sansevieria to it... I just (believed to) know they both require not a lot of water (?) I may end up having to re-do it because there are no drainage holes but I did put rocks at the bottom with a cactus soil and perlite mix. I have a few pots that need holes drilled in them, most of my plants are in growing pots inside of decorative pots.

As for why I use distilled water... From what I have read on the internet (thus far) it seems like distilled water is the water to use on indoor house plants. I dont think the tap water in my area is necessarily bad though. I have read that a good number of my plants prefer distilled water. I really havent looked that much into it, other than looking at a few websites.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
May 11, 2017 9:23 AM CST
Hello radishgal, yes, better correct your succulent container. You can still use that decorative container as cache pot, but put the plants in another container with drain holes, that way after watering, water drains away, and then put that inner pot back into the cache pot.

Tap water is not bad. It is often the timing and frequency of watering that makes watering crucial. Like watering when soil is still soggy wet, not allowing the soil to dry out a bit. Or watering late at night, which invites more fungal rotting. And then since our tap water is treated and with fertilizer application, there is bound to be accumulated salts in the soil, so it needs to be flushed out properly, hence the need for containers with drainage holes. Or learning to adjust watering as seasons change, when it is already entering into cold season, light levels are lower, and indoor plants also naturally slow down a bit, so you will need to lessen watering frequency a bit.



Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 11, 2017 2:24 PM CST
Yes yes yes !!! Get all your plants into containers with drainage holes. Salts need to he washed away.
No rocks in bottom necessary. Just good draining soil.
I use equal parts potting soil to washed sand or aquariam gravel for my indoor plants.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 11, 2017 2:32 PM CST
Welcome! Philip is right, no rocks at the bottom (when you have drilled your drainage holes). Having rocks at the bottom impedes drainage rather than helps it (I know, doesn't seem right but it is). The potting mix needs to be the same texture throughout the pot, no layers of different material.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
May 11, 2017 3:19 PM CST
No on the shower but my stepson had a big rubber tree that he would put in the shower. Mainly to dust off the leaves. His sisters would laugh because he would turn the bathroom light on and off simulating lightning and make crashing noises like thunder. He said that was why his plant thrived. Rolling on the floor laughing

The only showers my plants get are rainwater showers. I harvest rainwater to use when it doesn't rain.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 11, 2017 3:28 PM CST
Howdy. I have nothing to contribute right now but just want to say that your screen name 'radishgirl' makes me smile! Best screen name ever! Good luck with your plants. Crossing Fingers!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Melissa
(Zone 6a)
Moonbeam
May 11, 2017 8:35 PM CST
Hi radisdgirl
I give my big houseplants a shower once a month during the winter months
Because I think it helps get all the dust off easier , sometimes I put a large plastic trash bag around the soil so the soil won't get too wet & sometimes I just flush the soil too , I think it helps my plants .. But everyone lives in different climates so that might make a difference too .
I only use rain water & distilled water on all my plants when I'm watering them or misting them .
Using warm tap water with a shower once in while I don't think will hurt the plants .
You have a beautiful collection of plants & your plant stand is cool ! Great find .. Pretty containers too




Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 12, 2017 12:08 AM CST
I bring my houseplants out on the deck when it is going to rain a few times each year. It washes indoors dust out of the leaf pores, and leaches mineral salts out of the soil. And in fact, I don't want to leave them out in any sun more than an hour after; they just aren't used to it.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
May 13, 2017 10:00 AM CST
There is nothing wrong with putting your potted plants under a shower as long as you are not using that as s substitute for normal watering and prevent the soil from drying out properly. However, the benefits are limited to removing some dust from the leaves. Personally, I find there are easier ways to remove dust than hauling plants to the shower. Dusters and hand sprayers work just fine.

If your plants need leaching, which they should not unless your water is hard or you are over-fertilizing, the best way to that is to simply flush lots of clear water through the soil. It does not need to be done regularly.

If your tap water is hard, meaning it has an abundance of minerals in it, then it is best to use filtered, distilled or rain water. Otherwise, tap water is fine. Hard water will also leave spots on the leaves when it dries after showering.

Showering a plant does not eradicate or prevent spider mites. It does physically remove some of the mites, but it is not a reliable treatment for spider mites.

Bottom line: the benefits of hauling plants to the shower are very limited and there are easier ways to solve various problems cited here.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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