Accidentally Sprayed Vinegar On Plant (How To Treat)

Vinegar is one of those solutions that act as natural insecticide like neem oil. Many gardeners prefer to use vinegar to kill insects and plant-destroying pests. The dissolved vinegar creates a coating that is able to protect the cells. Meanwhile, the water will drain out and the cells dry out. Therefore, using vinegar to kill weeds is an extremely popular method. However, vinegar is an acidic substance and will harm the health of plants if you use it in high concentrations.

Today, vinegar has become a natural insecticide and is regularly used in every garden. However, have you ever wondered about accidentally spraying vinegar on plants? How will the plants react in the days that follow? Can you revive plants that have been sprayed with vinegar? To answer these questions, follow us for detailed information here.

Accidentally Sprayed Vinegar On Plants – Will Plants Definitely Die?

Vinegar is a sour acidic liquid with a pH value of approximately 2.5, vinegar, containing 5% to 8% acetic acid by volume. In concentrated concentrations, vinegar can break down the membranes of plant cells, burning and destroying them. It also depletes the remaining natural fluid and causes wilting of the cells immediately. So, if you accidentally spray vinegar on plants, they will be affected health. However, the severity will depend on the concentration and amount of water you use. The extent of plant damage will depend on a number of factors below.

Age Of Plants

For young trees, the extent of the damage is severe. The concentrated acid in the vinegar will burn the cells and kill the young plants in just a few hours. If you do not wash young plants with a large amount of water, they will quickly wilt. For older trees, the extent of the damage will depend on the part of the plant. Parts such as young leaves or young shoots will be severely affected. However, if the concentration is diluted, it will not be able to kill the large stems and roots of plants.

Time To Spray Vinegar On Plants

Timing is a key factor in determining plant revival when you accidentally spray vinegar on them. Vinegar that lasts for a long time will dry out and increase the damage to cell membranes. The key to saving your plants is early detection and prompt treatment. You need to wash the plants with a large amount of water to wash the vinegar solution on the leaves, stems, and soil.

The Concentration Of Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is diluted in proportion or concentration is also a factor affecting the health of plants. If you dilute the vinegar with water to a mild concentration, you will only need to quickly remove the amount of vinegar on the leaves of the plant. However, if you spray vinegar with a concentrated concentration, the ability to burn leaves, flowers, and stems will quickly take place in plants. The degree of plant regeneration, in this case, is very difficult because the plant has broken cell membranes.

Area Of Vinegar Sprayed On Plants

Vinegar only works and affects the area where you spray it on the plants. For example, if you accidentally spray vinegar on a few branches of a plant, the other branches will not be affected. The degree of damage will only occur to the leaves that are in direct contact with the vinegar. The stems and underground root systems will also not be affected if they are not in direct contact with the vinegar. The leaves in the affected area may wilt and fall off. However, new leaves will still quickly grow to replace them without affecting the young shoots.

accidentally sprayed vinegar on plant

How To Revive Plants When You Accidentally Spray Vinegar On Them?

The degree of plant regeneration also depends on important factors such as the age of the plant, the concentration of vinegar, the time of spraying, or the affected area. Here are some simple ways to help you fix this mistake.

Dilute The Acidity With Water

As soon as you accidentally spray vinegar on a plant, quickly wash the plant with warm, clean water. Here’s how to dilute the acidity in vinegar. The water will wash away the vinegar from the leaves, stems, and soil. You should not immerse the whole plant in a bucket of water, wash the plants from the top and gently to avoid damaging the young shoots and leaves.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most common ingredients in every household. It also has great uses for plant health. So you can use baking soda to solve this problem quickly. Baking soda will help neutralize the acidity that looks like vinegar effectively.

You can mix baking soda with water to make a thin paste. Use this solution to clean all plants from leaves, stems, and soil. Repeat this process until excess water has drained out of the drain hole. What’s more, baking soda is also effective in increasing the availability of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, to plants. Therefore, plants will quickly revive after these severe injuries.

Cover With A Layer Of Straw Or Organic Matter

To protect the root system in the soil, you can mulch a layer of humus, or compost, around the base of the plant. This helps prevent the vinegar from seeping into the soil and strengthens the plants to stimulate the growth of new shoots. Besides, organic fertilizer is also an excellent source of nutrients to improve the texture of the soil. It also helps regulate moisture and increases the number of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

After you have applied the methods to revive plants after accidentally spraying them with vinegar, you need to monitor the recovery process of the plants a few weeks later. Each type of plant has the ability to withstand or recover at different times. The degree of damage also depends on the concentration and area of damage, so you need to increase the nutrients in the plants for several weeks.

Add a liquid or slow-release fertilizer to add nutrients after you’ve washed them in the soil multiple times to remove the vinegar. You can apply organic fertilizers such as compost from leaves, grass clippings, chicken manure, duck manure, or chemical fertilizers on the market.

Does Vinegar Have Any Effect On Plant Health?

Besides the negative effects of vinegar on the health of plants, vinegar also benefits plants in some cases. Some plants are very fond of acidic habitats, while vinegar provides a large amount of acid. So, if you apply vinegar dilution in the right proportions for each plant species, it will also bring great benefits to the health of the plants.

Some plants prefer diluted vinegar such as gardenias, azaleas, and most cacti. In addition, woody perennials are not affected by the action of vinegar but also stimulate the growth of young shoots and young leaves. Cactus or succulent plants can also be scarred from vinegar burns. However, they will revive quickly as succulent cells will continue to grow and fill in the scars on the leaf surface.

However, the overuse of vinegar also increases the acidity of the soil, making it difficult for plants to absorb nutrients. At the same time, vinegar can also make the soil more susceptible to erosion. Therefore, you need to find out detailed information about each plant and the appropriate concentration of vinegar to stimulate the development of an acidic environment in the soil.


If you accidentally spray vinegar on plants, they will suffer serious health effects from burning leaves or flowers. Vinegar is an acidic solution and is effective in repelling harmful insects and pests. So many people regularly use vinegar as a natural insecticide.

The degree of damage to plants will depend on factors such as young or old plants, concentration or dilution, how long it has been wet or the vinegar has dried, and the area affected as part or all of the plant. Vinegar will only affect the areas it comes into direct contact with, so you don’t need to worry too much about the healing process if the stem and root are not affected.

To fix accidental vinegar spray on plants, you need to rinse the plants with water or baking soda to dilute the acidity on the leaves and soil. Increase fertilizing to improve plant health and promote shoots and young leaves.

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