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Label your bottle as to its contents.

Why buy a new spray bottle for your plants? It is far more environmentally friendly to recycle an old one. And a spray bottle that contained some sort of cleaning product (Windex, Mr. Clean, etc.) is easy to recycle for horticultural use.

Simply rinse the bottle, fill it with fresh water, spray a few times to rinse out the pump mechanism, then rinse, refill with clear water and spray a second time. Now pour the diluted product of your choice (clear water, insecticidal soap, rubbing alcohol, fungicide, herbicide, etc.) into the bottle and you’re off to the races.

One Product Per Bottle

Ideally you should dedicate a separate spray bottle to each product. The “insecticidal soap” bottle, for example, should only be used for insecticidal soap and nothing else. Certainly, never fill a bottle that ever contained a herbicide with any other product whatsoever: even a trace of herbicide could seriously damage the plants it is sprayed on.

To avoid errors, simply write the name of the product it contains on the bottle using an indelible pen. That way there will no possibility of error!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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