Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Everyone vacuums their plants right?

Taking the Agave geminiflora outside for the season I realized just how much last year's garden debris (leaves and needles from nearby trees), that collected at the base, took away from the overall look of the plant. Hard to see above, so here's a close up. Getting all that gunk out wouldn't be easy. Hmmm…unless I vacuumed it! This required a "special attachment," buyer beware this is not standard equipment with most vacuums, luckily if you've got a little thin cardboard you can fabricate your own. You may have to stop every few seconds and clean out the gunk that builds up in the tip of the "attachment"...but a clean agave is worth it! Now I’m wondering what other plants might benefit from a little quality time with the vacuum. Does this make me obsessive?

21 comments:

  1. Did you come up this idea after a couple glasses of wine? I suppose I shouldn't make fun of you. I vacuumed out my dryer the other day and wiped down both the washer and dryer with wipes.

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  2. It is good to see that the vacuum cleaner is a standard tool for succulent fans around the world. Yuccas and dasylirion.

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  3. Ha ! I've been vacuuming my succulents for years now- I always wait until the Banksia rose has finished blooming and dropping ten ba-zillion little tiny petals. In between vacumm sessions I use an artists paint brush for touch-ups.I think performing a vital task !

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  4. Vacuum your plants? How weird. I'm planning to shower with my houseplants this week. Showering with your houseplants is NORMAL. Using a vacuum cleaner is just weird. ;)

    [seriously, for spiky plants vacuuming is a good idea]

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  5. I should do this with the debris in my cycad. Maybe I'll just use a shag rake left from the 70's.

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  6. would be the other plants i give a spring and autumn clean.

    To finish my comment.

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  7. This is inspired. I have been long-term and painfully flicking tiny debris out of my agaves and yuccas with a piece of wire. This just makes so much more sense!

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  8. Oh My.....I thought I was odd because I vacuum off my patio. I like the thought of cleaning my plants that way. Thank you Danger Garden!

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  9. LOL Creative and effective.

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  10. Girl, you're a genius. I just spent probably a good half hour cleaning debris out of my Yuccas. It never occurred to me to use the vacuum. Thank you!

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  11. I have never vacummed my plant but you have proven that we all should!

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  12. Compulsive, yes, but in a good way. Did you buy the special agave attachment?

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  13. I've never thought of doing this. Pretty hilarious, and it looks like it was effective. I can actually thin of several plants that would benefit from some vacuuming.

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  14. HILARIOUS! My shop vac is my friend - for my agave I use a combo of a stream jet of water, a steak knife to loosen debris(seriously) and the shop vac. Glad I'm not the only one!!!! HA!

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  15. You are serious about your plants aren't you?

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  16. outdoor vacuuming appeals to my neurotic side: kind of sick, but very satisfying! (your cardboard trick to reach narrow spots is brilliant!)

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  17. D+N, yes I suspect on the subject of obsessive cleaning YOU would always win, hands down.

    Spiky O, we are back to the rain again in this part of the world, but as soon as it dries up again I am definitely hauling the shop vac out to see what else I can do! I wonder if it will reach all the way into my Yucca rostrata leaves?

    ks, agreed! A clean succulent is a happy succulent. I to have employed the paint brush method, it works well!

    Diana, you know I've heard about weird people like you! I think I would try that too, if it weren't for the fact that it rains so much here I don't have to!

    Nell Jean, ha! Thanks for the memories...we had one of those too! My mom made us each rake our rooms once a week! My carpet was 2-tone pepto-bismol pink. Pretty!

    MulchMaid, glad I can help!

    Beech Street, you are welcome! Vaccuum your patio huh? That is kind of strange...(but if it works!).

    Nicole, thanks!

    Grace, glad to help, and unfortunately you know there will be more debris to clean in your future.

    Evelyn, people may wonder what you're up to!

    James, ha! I fabricated it from cardboard. The crevice tool on the vac just wasn't long and thin enough. I looked around and came up with some thin but strong cardboard. A little folding and taping and voila!

    ryan, just don't let the kids do it...they might get carried away!

    Digs, I too use the "jet" setting on my sprayer to get most of the gunk out in the summer. The Geminiflora has never responded well to that treatment though, to many small leaves. Oh and I also use a steak knive, but manly to cut off dead/dying/discolored leaves. Works like a charm.

    Darla, definitely.

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  18. Another breakthrough from the danger sector! I thought my sister-in-law was a little nutso when she dusted and polished my houseplants, but they did look a lot better when she had finished.

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  19. Does the vacuum suck up the rock top-dressing? I haven't tried this, but I do use a leaf blower to try to blow agaves clean. It is definitely not perfect (and can blow the gravel around at the base), but it works OK. For smaller plants like this one I have several pairs of surgical tweezers that are sold specifically for cleaning out spiny cacti and succulents. So no, you're not the only obsessive one out there!

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  20. Great information here thanks for sharing!
    Take Care
    Eureka Vacuum

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