Would you like to use a multi-purpose bottle of vinegar to spray on your plants? You might find it hard to resist the temptation to just use it since you have it in your home and we use it for various purposes, from cleaning to cooking to health care, but you remember reading somewhere that it might even enable houseplants to thrive.
Is it true, the vinegar can be sprayed on houseplants? The clear answer is no, vinegar shouldn’t be sprayed on houseplants; it’s not safe. It will dry out the leaves and make the plant very difficult to recover, as well as kill the plant outright if the vinegar gets in the soil. But this is not true for all plants.
Effects of vinegar on common houseplants
Thus, when we refer to houseplants, we refer to a wide range of plants that are extremely adaptable to growing within our warm, cozy homes. Although all houseplants look alike, no two houseplants are alike. In fact, different houseplants display their own unique features.
Depending on the size and age of your houseplant, the damage level will get worse if you spray vinegar on them. Let’s take a look now.
– vinegar makes them happy.
Plants that prefer being in an acidic environment thrive best when treated with vinegar, as they enjoy this kind of environment and make the most of it. Most cacti and most succulents are acid tolerant, including Camellias, Japanese anemones, Azaleas, and Gardenias.
A few drops of vinegar are likely to have entailed a great deal of physical damage on the leaves of perennial woody plants that have been around quite a while. These are the old heroes of your house.
Consider Dracaena. If she has grown 3 feet/1 meter high, then she will be fine if you touch her with household vinegar.
Although that depends on the quantity, if she’s tall and healthy, she should recover from the damage because she has enough foliage.
A good example is Snake Plants. Despite their lack of height, Snake Plants still have strong, thick foliage that is less susceptible to damage from the acetic acid in vinegar.
– can be harmed
Vinegar is more likely to cause some cosmetic damage on succulents.
Here is the threshold for how much household vinegar you must spray on houseplants before the houseplant develops scars on its leaves. This happens if the household vinegar is sprayed on it in small quantities.
If there is an excessive amount of vinegar poured or sprayed on the succulents, they may develop fungal infections and die within 3 weeks to 2 months.
Also, the level of damage depends on the type of succulent.
Most plants like Huernia or Echinocereus (cacti) suffered the most damage, whereas Aloe and Haworthia (both in the same family) only suffered some scarring.
– most vulnerable
Since perennial herbaceous plants don’t have woody stems, they’re technically considered annual plants, but there are exceptions to the rule, hence perennial herbaceous plants.
And they can be tough cookies, or not.
For instance, the Salvia Divinorum makes a beautiful houseplant that doubles as an herbal plant and that will grow year after year if grown indoors but won’t survive frost.
When she is sprayed by accident with vinegar, the leaves that get touched will be burned, and should be removed. Nevertheless, most likely, she will recover in time for next season.
Do not spray houseplants with vinegar if the plant is a seedling. However, regardless of the type of herb, vinegar can hurt the whole thing, especially if it is a pup herb that just emerged two months ago out of the soil. I recommend you do not use vinegar for any reason on this type of plant.
How then Should I Use My Vinegar?
To keep pets and bugs away
Everyone who has pets knows that they are the kind of creatures that get into trouble pretty regularly.
Therefore, if you are worried that your cat may set up a fight with your favorite houseplant or even sit on it, here is a simple solution: soak a towel in vinegar and stick it around the pot.
The same method from above can be applied to put an end to pests on your plants.
Alternatively, you can soak some cotton balls in vinegar, drain and place them on your houseplant’s soil at random.
If the smell is strong enough, pets and critters will leave and look for trouble somewhere else.
To make acid-loving plants happy
There are plant species that thrive indoors and outdoors when they have a high level of acid in their soil. These include fruit plants, beautiful potted flowering plants, and a wide range of varieties as well.
You can think of daffodils or gardenias for example. They love an acidic environment and will be fine with getting vinegar sprayed on their leaves.
Vinegar will provide a temporary acid boost to these plants, even though the effect will only last for a short time.
Here are some other acid-loving plants you can use to make your plants happy. Mix a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and your plants will be happy.
Help! I sprayed or watered my houseplant with vinegar
We all make mistakes and there is no reason for you to beat yourself up about this one! It depends on the size of the plants and the amount of vinegar sprayed on them if you accidentally spray vinegar on them during planting, and if you pour vinegar on them if you don’t mop them thoroughly with water.
See if you can figure out what exactly you need to do in case that happens by looking at the following scenarios and see if any have the right answer.
Vinegar on young plant
To be honest, you can’t do much worse than watering or even spraying house plants with vinegar while they are still young.
The plant can still be saved if you make sure the leaves of the plant are rinsed well with clean water as soon as possible.
There are some chances that the houseplant will recover from the vinegar if you do this before it dries off. It will only weaken the leaf membrane and not destroy it, since the acid hasn’t had time to penetrate the leaf’s cells and penetrate them.
After a long time, if the vinegar dried and the leaves haven’t been rinsed, the acid must have reached the cells, destroying the membrane.
In this case, the plant will die.
Vinegar on old plant
The plants can still grow if the vinegar is sprayed on them and they are large and old.
In this case, if the houseplant is large enough, pour a bucket of lukewarm water over it quickly when it is not much time left to rinse it well.
The plant may seem severely damaged, but it will recover in time for next season if it is a wood stem plant.
Even if your houseplant has lost some leaves if it is an annual, you may be able to salvage it with a bit of luck and a quick action before the vinegar dries.
Diluted vinegar on young plant
This can be prevented by flushing it with lots of water. Other than that, there isn’t much you can do to stop the vinegar from killing the plant.
Plants that are very drought-tolerant may be able to make it on their own. However, you can also try to help the plant recover if it needs additional waterings and better conditions.
Diluted vinegar on old plant
In order to protect houseplants from causing harm, spray them with vinegar when the plants are old, but the vinegar solution should not be too strong.
This is the best-case scenario. Your houseplant will either recover soon or it will not even suffer any damage.
Please ensure that your houseplant receives the best possible conditions, has enough sunlight and the right amount of water, as there are other factors that could harm it more.