We all know how quickly dust can accumulate in our homes. While a pile of dust on the top of a bookcase can is harmless, a buildup of dust and dirt on your plants can actually hurt them. Take the time to learn how to clean your house plants so they can look beautiful and thrive for years to come.
Why You Should Clean Your House Plants
A buildup of dust on the leaves of your plants will block sunlight and can impact the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. As you may remember from grade school, photosynthesis is the process of how plants feed themselves. A plant that is photosynthesizing at optimal levels creates a healthier plant, less prone to disease and pest infestations. Taking the time to clean now will result in healthier and better-looking plants that will add to the overall look of your home.
How to Clean Your House Plants
How often you clean your plants depends on how much dust is in your home. For example, if you live in a busy city with lots of construction, it’s likely your plants will get dustier faster than if you live in the suburbs. To check, simply run your fingers over a leaf. If you can feel or see dust, it’s time for a cleaning. To clean your plants, use one of the following methods.
Wipe the Leaves
This is a great method for any type of plant, from big and strong to tiny and delicate. Take a damp cloth or paper towel and gently wipe your leaves clean. Be sure to use lukewarm water as water that is too hot or too cold will shock the plant and actually harm it. Use one hand to hold the leaf while you wipe it clean. Be gentle to avoid bruising or ripping your leaves.
If you have a plant with fuzzy leaves, such as an African violet, you can use a soft paint brush or toothbrush to remove the dust. Do not use oil or polish on your leaves to make them shine. This will block the pores in the leaves and make it difficult for your plant to breathe.
Once you’ve cleaned the built-up dust off, you can maintain this by dusting your plants with a soft duster when you do your regular cleaning.
Soak and Spray
For heartier and larger plants, giving them a dunk in the kitchen sink or bathtub is a great way to wash away dust and dirt. Simply hose them off with lukewarm water. If your plants are really dirty, you can spray them with a little soapy water and then hose them off. Let your plants drip dry in the sink or tub before returning them to their normal spot.
Trim and Pluck
Once you’ve removed the dirt and grime, it’s time to go through and remove any dead leaves from your plant. This will aid in the new growth of healthier buds and leaves. By leaving in dead pieces, you’re stunting new growth. Remember to remove fallen leaves from the soil as well.
Wipe the Pot Clean
Last but not least, give your planters and pots a wipe down. You’ve spent all this time making sure your plants are sparkling, so why leave them in a dusty or dirty pot? Use a wet cloth to wipe down your pots for that finishing touch.
Now that you know why and how you should clean your house plants, all that’s left to do is get to it! Show your plants some love and they’ll return it by growing healthy and beautiful. Plants are living, so you should take the time to show them some TLC so they can continue to thrive.