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Internet Plant Hacks you need to stop right now

Cheryl Rafuse for BCN #133

March 18, 2021

Alright y’all, we’re one year into the pani and we have all gone houseplant crazy. I get it, you’re looking to go to the next level and add some “spice” if you will. But please, for the love of the green man, don’t do these things. They A) don’t work the way you want them to, and B) may actually harm your plant friends.


No. Why? For what? According to the internet you want to wipe it on your leaves to “dust and shine” them. The claim is that it breaks down sap and any other substance stopping your leaves from looking fresh. You know what’s NOT FRESH? Mayonnaise clumps on your plants! Nah. Just use water and a cloth. Your leaves shouldn’t need anything else to look well-dusted and happy. Hot tip for cacti: try a little paint brush for getting between the pokey bits.


Naaaahhhhh. Sure, some plants like gardenias and ferns don’t mind a little acidity in their soil but straight dumping your coffee grounds into their dirt is NOT the way to get it. Your coffee grounds need to be composted to break down into a form that is good for your plants. There’s such a thing as soil that is too acidic! I recommend checking out ways to start an indoor compost bin with worms if you’re dead set on using your grounds, friend.


Just…don’t? Most houseplants and orchids we commonly see around are from tropical regions. They don’t want or need frozen temps anywhere near them! In fact, tepid or warm water is what they crave. Keep them warm and make sure they’re living in well-draining soil. Water with filtered or distilled water and make sure they never sit in water. They’ll be happier for it!!

Do you know of other weird plant hacks?! Share them with me on @plantmagicshop!


Check out all the art and columns of March's Boston Compass at


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