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Posted:  03 Feb 2012 18:57  
Do any of you guys recommend using this type of product? My instructor said she wouldn't because it may clog the stomata. But, aren't they usually under the leaf? And, I would only try it on the tops of the leaves.
Posted:  03 Feb 2012 21:53  
Leaf cleaners and leaf polishes ("leafshine") are both useful products.  My favorite leaf cleaner for ease of use, natural-looking finish and no phytotoxicity is Foliglo.  You can mix it at different rates for higher or lower luster and more or less aggressive cleaning functionality.

We have used Pokon/Spring/Floralife leaf shines for many years and have never had a problem with an adverse reaction by a plant WHEN USED AS DIRECTED BY THE LABEL (this caveat applies to all chemicals, and especially to medications administered to humans!).  Your leaf surface must be clean prior to application, and you must apply it out of direct sunlight, with a sweeping motion from a distance of 18" or so from the upper leaf surfaces.  Your instincts about leaf polishes being harmless if not sprayed on the undersides of leaves where the stomata are located is correct, and no harm will be done to the plants.

Posted:  03 Feb 2012 23:46   Last Edited By: Julie Blymire 
Personal preference...natural hand-cleaned shine.  Might as well have plastic plants, if they are sprayed with leaf shine.  Just my opinion...

Posted:  04 Feb 2012 03:35  
I agree to some extent, Julie, but it really depends on the product.  Some of the water-based leafshines are actually more oily-looking on the plant than the aerosols are.  When you spray an aerosol leafshine on a plant's leaves, it may look glossy at first, but within a few minutes, the solvent/carrier evaporates and leaves a relatively natural sheen on the foliage, similar to what it would look like after a thorough wipedown with soapy water.  In fact, soap itself is a type of oil or fat, so when it's used on a plant's leaves it results in a sheen as well as removing surface grime and dust via its surfactant qualities.

Posted:  06 Feb 2012 17:01  
All I've seen with leaf shines long-term is their by-product...dust and dirt that sticks to the leaves, so they need hand-cleaned anyway.  Clearly, I'm not a fan, but it's your call.

Posted:  06 Feb 2012 17:04  
It also depends on each location where the product is applied, and how well the plant is cleaned before applying polish.  If it's a very dusty area, no amount of any product will do a great job of keeping plants looking clean.  Then only hand-wiping on a frequent basis will do.

Posted:  14 Feb 2012 23:45  
I let the client decide if I should use a leafshine or not.  I have a client who loves how the plants look with a leafshine, and another who who thinks the natural look is better.
Posted:  15 Feb 2012 19:10  
Thanks, everyone! I've decided to give it a try and see how I feel about it in a few months.
Posted:  16 Feb 2012 02:02  
Exactly, number2211...each account will have somewhat varying standards and desires for how their plants are maintained...some like polish, some like "natural"...some want scrupulous chemical pest control, some want "organic" methods...it's like the lyrics of the theme song from the old TV show "Square Pegs" said:

"One size does NOT fit all!"

Posted:  23 Jul 2012 01:25  
I use the natural way to make the leaf shine. My Mom taught me to use milk (room temp) for a long time. It is a good way to use up half glasses of milk that didn't get drank. Works great! And mayonaise works as well.

Interior Plants Services LA
Posted:  23 Jul 2012 15:10  
Neither milk nor mayonnaise is an acceptable leaf polish.  Both can spoil at room temperature, resulting in foul odors and an overgrowth of microorganisms that could cause problems for plants and people.  Avoid them.

Sure, you could also use Lemon Pledge or varnish to shine up your plants, but...???

Posted:  03 Sep 2012 03:26  
Ahhh...leaf shine... A couple of stories...was hand cleaning a schefflera using NO polish, you know how they shine on their own, and a lady walked up and just marveled at the shine and wanted to know what I was using, and I replied "elbow grease" and she wanted to know where she could buy it! OMG! LOL! I had a hospital account, went into one of the executive offices and this 14" Janet Craig was blinding me from the shine and I asked what was up with that and the secretary told me she got a packet of mayonnaise from the cafeteria and shined it! Well the next thing you know the leaves started to harden and turn yellow. Upon retrieving a packet of the stuff, it was made with eggs and dried to a crisp! LOL! After letting her know she had violated the contract by messing with the plant, I used hydrogen peroxide to clean it off, soap alone did not do it! I since referred to it as "industrial strength" mayo! I'm with Clem, I like the Foliglo!
Posted:  03 Sep 2012 19:35  
We've found the new Pokon double strength concentrate works really well.  It's pricey, I think most suppliers have it at something like 37 bucks a bottle, but it's a 20 to 1 mix with water for a really nice shine, so a bottle will last us a while. 

We premix it in the warehouse and then the techs fill their bottles from the gallon jugs we have.  At forty bucks a bottle I can't afford to not have them measure correctly.

Customers always comment on how shiny the plants are and how nice they look. I couldn't imagine not using it, but that's just my opinion.
Posted:  03 Sep 2012 20:30  
I prefer the aerosol for one big reason: no chance of causing phytotoxic effects from excess product collecting in leaf axils of cane-type plants and palms.  As the solution of concentrate in water begins to dry, the concentrate is left behind in...well...concentrated form.  Not good if a lot of the stuff collects in one small location, especially at the base of a leaf, where it can do damage and cause leaf necrosis.

The aerosol is easier to control, has no runoff to worry about and doesn't do the kind of damage that aqueous suspensions of oily concentrates will.  If you apply the aerosol correctly (i.e., according to the manufacturer's label directions), there is almost never any damage to the plants.  It helps if you dust or wipe the leaf first, so as not to create an accumulation of old dust within the leaf shine product.

Posted:  31 May 2013 16:37  
Has anyone had any experience using Foliglo around aquatics? I'm the Horticulturist at an Aquarium, tried it, and LOVED it! But my boss is concerned that if it dripped into any of the tanks that it could harm the fish. Thought?
Posted:  01 Jun 2013 03:19  
I think this was discussed elsewhere earlier.  The MSDS sheet claims Foliglo is non-toxic to people, but fish can be another matter, as you know.  It's easy enough to construct a poly-sheeting "tent" around the spray area to keep the product out of the water features.
Posted:  29 Jan 2014 13:14  
We have used Pokon/Spring/Floralife leaf shines  and have never had a problem with an adverse reaction by a plant when used as directed by the label this caveat applies to all chemicals, and especially to medications administered to humans.Landscape Gardner Coventry

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