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Leaf cleaning????

This is a discussion on Leaf cleaning???? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Crusty plants?...

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  1. #11
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    Crusty plants?

  2. #12
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    I think I read that milk works. Maybe it was buttermilk? I imagine that after applying either a rinse would be in order. I have this problem as well and I'm very happy you brought it up. Thanks!
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  3. #13
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    When showing plants at orchid shows, I always take a bit of Sunoil and water mix and spray on the plant and wipe it away. It leaves the plant healthy looking and the Sunoil is also good (like neem oil) in removing any pest that might be on the orchid.

    I have also used lemon juice and water to wipe down plants.

    cheers,
    BD

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Coca cola diluted 1 part to 20 parts water, Orange juice diluted tot he same extent work very well for me.
    Ok, I like these ideas, but I'm a little wary of the oil based ones, is there a chance of accidental burning? I know I can wipe both sides of the leaf with the vinegar, cola, citrus juices without worrying about causing any real damage to the plant. I am not in any way scientifically inclined but doesn't the plant need to 'breathe' through the leaves? I have a leaf shine from Miracle Gro and the instructions specify not to cover both sides of the leaf, won't stuff like mayo and other oil based cleaners cause problems? Or is it just stuff like the Miracle Gro Leaf Shine that does that, cause it does seem to leave a waxy finish?

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    The acidic options (vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, cola) that have been discussed actually will remove or at least reduce the calcium deposits. The vinegar is probably the best choice because the acetic acid in it is somewhat volatile, so almost nothing is left behind after a day, unlike citric or phosphoric acid and sugars etc. in the others.

    The choices like milk and mayonnaise primarily just gloss over the problem for a temporary cosmetic improvement, and certainly leave some oil and protein residue behind as well. It would take heavy frequent applications before I would worry about any problems for the leaves breathing though.

    I would stick with the acids, and possibly add a drop of a mild liquid soap (not a harsh laundry or dishwashing detergent) which will actually help remove any residue the next time the plants get misted. If you can't wipe all the leaves, spray a little while before the mist comes on to wash the loosened deposits away.
    Last edited by PaphMadMan; August 18th, 2012 at 03:40 PM. Reason: slight correction

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    Here's a quote from Frownie's book "Moth orchids".

    "Clean and shine the leaves with a paper towel dampened in whole milk, which contains the fat necessary to add shine;mayonnaise, which is acidic and helps remove mineral spots; or a bit of mineral oil and water. if the leaves are blemished with mineral deposits, wipe them with a cloth damped with a mild vinegar solution. None of these solutions will harm the plants.

  7. #17
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    I've used a produce called plantshine to remove mineral deposits on leaves that has worked well.

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    I was hoping this was the right answer with the vinegar--I used a mild dilution and wiped leaves which had rust? and mold on leaves and cleaned them well and the rust is going away--I kept it away from the roots as I don't know if the acid will hurt them----??? just learning all this stuff

  9. #19
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    I've heard of milk and mayo working, especially if you buff good. Whole milk or buttermilk provide the fat that can give you a good shine, and it can be used often without hurting the plant. I know that the leaf/plant shine stuff works, but it isn't good with repeated application too soon as it can block some of the cells from functioning well for photosynthesis - maybe one application per year or so is what I've been told as far as leaf shine.

  10. #20
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    i used to work in a grocery store where they used that leaf shine stuff on the house plants. it was well known it would kill the leaves after a few uses. but people bought shiny beautiful plants. i doubt many knew why soon after they took them home all the leaves would fall off. i would NEVER put that on my plants. especially orchids.

    ---------- Post Merged at 07:52 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sand_tiger86 View Post
    Crusty plants?
    yes, and they still look crusty! i wiped them with a damp cloth a few times. i might try vinegar? they look terrible compared to the newer leaves.

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