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House Plants/Philodendron oxycardium


QUESTION: Hi Will I have another question. I have very hard mineral water and a few leaves and stems have accumlated alot of calcium on them and I was wandering if theres something I can use thats safe for the plants and removes the calcium? Ive treated the water for hard mineral but whats accumlated now has been subject to straight mineral water for 2 yrs. Thanks so much for your help.

ANSWER: Hi Cynthia,

When hard water is used to water plants, over time the mineral salts build up in the soil. Sometimes the minerals also crystallize on the edges of the pot and on the leaves. More importantly, when those salts build up to toxic levels in the soil, they can burn the roots.

I recommend that you use lots of filtered or distilled water to pour through the soil to flush out the salts. Use only only distilled, filtered or rainwater to water in the future. Chemically softened water should NOT be used as it also contains mineral salts.

To remove salt deposits from foliage, wipe them with a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part white vinegar and a squirt of liquid dish soap.

Let me know if you have any questions.

~Will Creed

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Will Ill have to try that. Iv never heard of dishsoap what is its purpose? Any particular type or brand of soap? Thanks agin I realy appreciate you answering all my questions

Hi Cynthia,

Thanks for the top ratings! Much appreciated.

The soap is a surfactant, which means it helps the solution spread over the surface of the leaves and stems and provide better coverage. It also helps remove the salt build up and puts a bit of a shine on the leaves. A little mineral or baby oil will add even more shine to the leaves, if that is your preference. Any mild liquid dish soap is fine. Avoid dishwasher detergents.


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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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