Houseplant Care Series: Cleaning

Houseplant Care Series: Cleaning

Keeping your plant looking healthy year-round takes just a bit of “housekeeping”.

It doesn’t take long for our houseplants to become dusty.  This layer of dust will block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and that is how the plant feeds itself. A well-fed plant will be a healthier plant which is less prone to diseases.

How often to clean depends on how much dust you have.  Rub your fingers over the leaves – if you feel or see dust, it’s time to clean.

Leaf cleaning options:

– Spray – It’s the easiest but is not the best for all plants.  Move the plant to the sink or shower and spray them with lukewarm water.  Don’t use hot or cold water, it can injure the plant’s leaves.

– Wipe Leaves – This is the safest method except for sticky or fuzzy leafed plants.  Use a damp cloth and wipe the leaves to remove the dust. 

– Dust Leaves – If you clean often enough you can remove dust with a duster in between damp cloth cleanings.  Dusting will cut down on how many times per year it is necessary to clean with a damp cloth.

– Brush Softly – For sticky or fuzzy leaves gently brush the dust from the leaves.

Trimming plants

– Get rid of dead, brown or yellowing leaves. 

– Some leaves will fall off when touched, others will require cutting with scissors.

– You may want to cut any brown tips, follow the natural contour of the leaves when cutting.

Don’t ignore the Pot –

– Wipe the dust off the pot

– If you have a saucer, rinse it in the sink to remove stains

– Do you have salt or mineral buildup on the pot?  If so, it may require removing the plant to thoroughly clean the pot.

Your houseplants will reward your cleaning efforts by looking and growing better.

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