Wondering whether multipurpose vinegar could be sprayed on houseplants in the United States? We are sure some of you are.
Since most of us constantly keep it in our homes and use it for various things, including cleaning, cooking, and health care, it might be alluring to use it. Still, you might recall reading elsewhere that it can even assist houseplants in growing.
Can I Spray Vinegar On Houseplants?
No, it is not safe to spray vinegar on houseplants. The plant will have difficulty recovering tremendously since vinegar dries out the leaves. Additionally, vinegar entering the soil will completely destroy the plant.
The major component in household vinegar, acetic acid, accounts for 5 to 8% of its volume, giving it a strong smell and flavor.
When you spray vinegar on your houseplant, the acetic acid interacts with the cell membranes, damaging them and causing the leaves to dry up.
Only the areas of the plants that the vinegar touched will suffer damage if you spray vinegar on houseplants.
The excellent thing is that although results come quickly, they don’t necessarily stick around. Even while the plant may seem dead 24 hours after the occurrence, the roots are often still alive, and the plants will quickly begin to develop again.
However, this does not apply to all plants, as in the instance of alcohol. The scorching impact of the vinegar might kill certain plants more quickly than others.
Young, perennial houseplants are particularly prone to damage; therefore, we suggest against doing any trials on them, including vinegar spraying. But on the other hand, fully grown perennial or yearly plants are much more likely to return from the damage.
The roots, meanwhile, are a different story. What if any vinegar contaminates the soil? As long as we’re only speaking about small sums, there’s no need to worry. The plant will probably be alright if just a little vinegar got into the soil and maybe made its way to its roots, mainly if it is an established perennial.
Thus, if the root system cannot effectively incorporate small amounts of ordinary vinegar, there is a good possibility the plant will survive.
Vinegar’s Impacts on Common Houseplants
When we speak to houseplants, we refer to the diverse group of plants modified to flourish well within our warm and inviting homes. However, not every houseplant is the same. Each houseplant is distinctive in its way.
The degree of harm caused by spraying vinegar on houseplants depends on their size and age. We’ll see.
Plants That Like Acid
The acid-loving plant enjoys vinegar, so when you splatter vinegar on the plants, they will flourish. They thrive best in an acidic environment to make the most of it.
Here are some acid-loving plants:
- Japanese anemones
- Some succulents and most cacti
The evergreens, ah! Woody perennial plants with a longer lifespan have likely experienced and survived more than just a few droplets of vinegar on their leaves. These are the mainstays and stalwarts of your home.
Consider the dracaena. It will be alright with contact from the household vinegar if it has reached a height of around 3 feet/ 1 meter.
Of course, it varies depending on how much there is, but if the worst happens and it is tall and robust, it has enough leaves to recuperate from the damage.
The snake plant is an additional fascinating example. They aren’t very tall, but they have sturdy, dense foliage that is more resistant to the damage that the vinegar’s acetic acid may inflict.
The most frequent harm caused by vinegar to succulents is cosmetic.
This is where spraying vinegar on indoor plants might cause the leaves to become scarred. This can occur if a tiny amount of home vinegar has already been sprayed on it.
If a substantial quantity of vinegar was poured or sprayed upon the succulent, it might get infected with fungus and pass away in 3 to 2 months.
Additionally, the kind of succulent affects the degree of damage.
Cacti like Echinocereus and Huernia are likely to sustain the greatest damage, although Haworthia and Aloe, which belong to the same family, are likely to sustain just minor skin scarring.
Since they don’t have woody stems, all herbaceous plants should be considered annuals. However, there will always be exceptions to the rule, which is why perennial herbaceous plants exist.
And they may or may not be difficult cookies.
Consider Salvia Divinorum as an example. It grows year after year inside and makes a gorgeous herb houseplant, but it cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
According to the vinegar, the leaves that it accidentally sprayed will be scorched and need to be removed. But it’s expected to make a full recovery in preparation for the upcoming season.
Why Is Vinegar Sprayed On Houseplants?
Here are some other remedies you may attempt to prevent harming your plant. There are three primary reasons why people use vinegar on houseplants in America.
Preventing Pets from Messing with the Plants
To deter pets is one of the primary motives. Particularly cats tend to like nibbling on houseplants. Why not try to put the pot on a plate or dish and place vinegar-soaked cotton balls on the dish rather than immersing the plant in vinegar? This should deter the pet from visiting your plants while safeguarding them from harm.
Cleaning the Plants
Finally, individuals claim that they clean their plants’ foliage with vinegar. Why not give your plant a frequent wipe down with a moist cloth rather than waiting till grime and filth accumulate on the leaves? In this approach, you’re merely using water, but the regularity should aid in preventing dirt buildup and maintaining a happy plant.
Getting Rid of Bugs
Bugs and pests can be quite damaging to houseplants. You can use vinegar to kill them, but you need to be careful about how much you use since you don’t want to damage the plant itself.
Can Vinegar Be Used to Clean Plant Leaves?
Cleaning your plants more frequently with a wet towel would be much more advantageous than waiting until there is so much dirt accumulated that you need stronger materials, like vinegar.
What Are Some Uses of Vinegar for Indoor Plants?
There are some vinegar hacks that you can use for houseplants other than just spraying them with them. Here are some uses.
1. Scrub Clay Jars
Despite their appealing appearance, clay pots collect calcium, minerals, and salts from fertilizers and water, which clogs their naturally porous ability over time. Vinegar may be used to restore the original appearance and unclog the minute pores.
Put the pots in a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar and 4 cups of water (or 3-4 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar) for 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Encourages Germination
The stiff membrane around the seed’s outer shell, which may prevent germination, can be softened with vinegar. Soak the seeds in a water dish with 5–8 drops of vinegar overnight to speed up germination.
The seeds will germinate more quickly. As a result, dramatically increases the likelihood. Find out more specifics about this here!
3. Disperses with Powdery Mildew
Vinegar’s acetic acid is excellent for preventing powdery mildew. Spray the afflicted region of the plant after mixing a gallon of water with two teaspoons of vinegar and shaking the mixture.
4. Modifies Soil pH
Pour into the kettle after combining 1ltr of water with 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Use this solution to water the plant. Acid-loving houseplants like African violets, ferns, rubber plants, and gardenias can soon benefit from it. This, however, is not a permanent fix.
Caution: Excessive use may cause the plants to die.
5. Scrub Your Plants
Your indoor plants’ foliage gradually becomes covered with soil over time. Especially in hard water and with high mineral content, many houseplants also develop white patches on their leaf. Making a solution of can help you remove these stains or dust:
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup of White Vinegar
- 4-5 Drops of Dish Soap
- 8-10 Cups of Water
- Soft Cotton Cloth
- Large Bowl
In a big bowl, combine all the components to create a solution. Spray a fine coating over the leaves and the cotton towel after filling a spray bottle with it. To make the leaves seem clean and shining, wipe them off. If required, repeat the procedure.
- After attempting this hack, keep plants away from direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
- This method will aid in lowering insect and illness issues.
6. Cleans the Glass/Vase of White Lines
Hard water often causes noticeable white lines because of mineral deposits while growing houseplants like the lucky bamboo in vases or glasses. You may eliminate them by putting a towel soaked in vinegar on the spot and keeping it on for 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Promotes Indoor Flower Durability
One tsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of white vinegar should be added to one gallon of water. Use this method to preserve cut flowers, and they will last longer!
8. Discourages Curious Animals
Indoor plants may suffer greatly at the hands of pets. Vinegar may save the day since both dogs and cats detest its stench. To get the greatest results, just re-soak some old fabric in vinegar and lay it next to the pot.
Read How to Get Rid of Black Bugs from My Potted House Plant?
What Happens When Vinegar Is Unintentionally Sprayed On a Plant?
The first step to do if you accidentally splashed vinegar on an indoor plant is thoroughly clean the damaged areas with water.
The size of the houseplant and the quantity of vinegar spilled will determine how much water you need. The maturity of the questioned plant also has a role. Young plants need different corrective actions than senior plants do.
Timing is crucial. If there is a delay, the vinegar dries up and harms the delicate membranes, which may be irreversible. Young plants must be quickly cleansed since they are far more likely to sustain long-lasting harm from vinegar spills.
Older plants should be taken care of quickly, even if they are more resilient. Older plants with substantial damage have survived after a year, as long as the vinegar is rapidly washed off.
Read Why Do Some Potted House Plants Have Thin Skinny Leaves?
How Much Vinegar Can Kill a Plant?
Vine is a popular organic weed killer used by gardeners; it takes a weed about a day to die after application. When just the leafy portions of the plant die, the lifespan may sometimes be longer since the actual plant continues to exist.
The state of the plant before harm also influences the extent of the damage. Naturally, a young plant will die more quickly. Even an elder plant will.
Due to additional beneficial aspects, a well-tended plant is also known to last for a longer time (a nice potting mix, regular watering, enough nutrients, etc.).
Another reason nursery operators and gardeners advise adhering to a precise feeding and care plan is to guarantee toughness.
A robust plant is less prone to illness and mistakes like accidentally applying too much vinegar.
Vinegar diluted with water is preferred over simple, untainted water. As was already explained, vinegar contains an acid.
Certain plants that are used to acidic conditions may fare better. As a result, most others do not. Here, measurement is just as important as quantity.
So, can I spray vinegar on houseplants? Well, in some instances, you can! For example, acid-loving plants will love some drops of the stuff. However, other plants, especially young ones, will properly receive too much damage. You need to be careful when using hacks for houseplants that involve white vinegar since you don’t want to end up with dead plants.
You may like the following houseplant articles:
- How Often Should You Change the Soil in Houseplants?
- House Plant with Spotted Leaves
- Why is My House Plant Oozing Liquid?
- How to Get Rid of White Flies on Houseplants
- How to Get Rid of Springtails in Houseplants
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.