dirty african violet


Old 04-06-04, 10:55 AM
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dirty african violet

Not sure if this is right place to post this, but hoping one of you green thumbs could assist. I have two african violets that are dirty with drywall dust, as we just remodeled and I forgot to move them. Since water turns their leaves brown, how would I clean these? Thanks for any advice as I am not a green thumb but am doing very well in growing these two pretties.
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Old 04-06-04, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Smile violets that are dirty with drywall dust

Hi hmedler

Gypsum dust, is what we have on the leaves & it will not harm the plant or soil. Washing their leaves with their hairy texture could be dificult, but not impossible.

I would take some cling wrap & wrap the pot & around the base of the plant & over the soil so it would not fall out. Rubber bands will help hold the wrap when placed around the pot.

Take a spray pump mister/sprayer plastic bottle & with the plant held by the pot on it's side, gently spray wash with lukewarm water, & wash all the Gypsum dust off the leaves.

With the pot held the same way, turn the hair drier on low fan & no heat then gently blow dry the folage for about 15 minutes turning the pot gently, while keeping it in the same direction.

Other than that, you could find a source of compressed air say around 5 pounds & blow what you can off leaving a thin white film that will not hurt the plant. Now the canned air sold for blowing Computers will freeze & damage the plant so unless you can find someone with a Compressor & PSI regulator I would forget the air.

Let us know what you did & how the job turns out

Bye Now.
Old 05-05-04, 07:40 AM
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Hi Marcie, I'm new here but I do grow 200+ African Violets so I can help you with this! It is a myth that African Violets do not like to get wet--in fact they love baths! The leaves get brown spots when people make the mistake of getting cold water on the leaves or when they put a wet Violet into a window because the water droplets will act like a magnifying glass and cause burns. The easiest way to clean them is to run luke warm water at an angle over the plant (I tip the plant under the faucet) and you can either use a soft paper towel or a soft natural sponge and a little dish soap to gently clean the leaves--just make sure you rinse it well. You can cause crown rot if you allow standing water to remain in the crown (the center leaves) so simply take a dry paper towel when you are done and blot any excess water out. Leave the plant out of direct light until it is completely dry. If you leave a thick layer of dust on your plants they will suffer as it blocks the leaf cells from providing air exchange. Hope this helps!

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