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How to Remove Lichen

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Lichen, a combination of algae and fungi, grows naturally in gardens and surrounding areas. Although lichen is not debilitating to to plants or rocks that it grows on and around, gardeners often find it undesirable. Lichen can be removed for aesthetic purposes.

Mix water and glycerin in equal parts, then add enough clay particles to create a thick mixture.

Spread the mixture over the lichen and allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes. Then scrub it off with a hard-bristled brush.

Wash the surface with water.

Mix water and bleach in equal parts. Using gloves and a sponge, apply the mixture to the rock surface from which you removed the lichen. This will prevent lichen from growing there again.

Remove Lichen From Roof Shingles

Lichen does not have roots like most other plants and it can grow without soil. In moist or damp climates lichen flourishes, growing on roofs and walkways and garden walls. However, if allowed to grow, it may turn black and become visually unattractive. Inspect the roof shingles visually. To correctly wash a roof you will need to stand at the top of the roof and point the hose downward. Mix 1 cup of bio-degradable liquid dishwashing soap and 1 cup powdered oxygen bleach in 5 gallons of water and apply to lichen prone areas with a push broom brush or hand scrubbing brush. Follow manufacturer's label directions carefully. Enlist the services of a professional roofing contractor to remove excessive lichen build-up on the roof. Zinc strips (1/2 inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long), available for purchase from hardware stores and home and garden centers. An application of vinegar kills lichen. Use an organic liquid soap.

Warning

Determine what type of lichen is growing in the garden before you remove it, as some types are rare and should not be removed. For example, Boreal Felt Lichen is extremely rare and grows in dark brownish-gray to bluish-green velvety fronds. All lichen types can be determined with the aid of online plant encyclopedias.

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