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Greenhouse tragedy help

I’m in Florence Sc where it has been extremely cold this past week. We have all of our ferns, fruit trees, and other plants in our greenhouse which is heated but also had to use kerosene heater to keep the heat up. Unfortunately last night the wick ran dry and covered every plant is covered in soot, thousands of dollars in plants and fruit trees. Does anyone know what I can do to possibly save these plants? Maybe a cleaning solution? Thank you 


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999

    Hello Becky

    The only way I can possibly think of is to (if practical) rig up a hose-pipe , incorporating a soap dispenser , like used to wash cars , and spray the plants down thoroughly  . The soap can be washed off with clean water afterwards .

    Unfortunately with your temperatures being so low ,it's a bit of a 50/50 as to whether you do it now or wait until it's a bit warmer. ASAP would be better !

    I don't think the soot  will harm the plant roots though .image

  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,525

    Wiping the leaves over with a damp cloth to remove the worst of it would probably be the best way if practical.  Shaking plants first may dislodge a lot of the soot.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999


    I thought of suggesting to wipe the foliage first , but she mentions having ferns and fruit trees etc. .

    Quoting 'thousands of dollars worth' conjures up an image of a lot of plants image

  • Becky-Becky- Posts: 3

    Thank you I’m going to wash down the best i can with ivor and water. My husband sprayed them with water and some soot came off. The walls of the greenhouse will have to be replaced in the summer. Maybe they will survive?

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,823

    Try to use Soap- especially soft soap if you can get it rather than detergent it will be less damaging to the plants, & of course rise off well. 

    AB Still learning

  • Dont worry

    Most plants actually breath via holes underneath their leaves.Obviously the soot will look horrible on them but washing in soapy water like what has been suggested will do the trick. 

    More information on how plants "breath" can be found on the following web site

    Best Regards

    Joly J

  • Jimmmy2Jimmmy2 Posts: 13


    That happened to me some years ago, I have still got some "black and green" cacti, the soot never came off!

  • Becky-Becky- Posts: 3

    Thanks we sprayed them with water hose and they look much better?

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