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
– 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.
– 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.
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.
Since the roots of houseplants are trapped and unable to go elsewhere, unlike in-ground plants that can look ‘elsewhere’ for food, they’re counting on you for feeding!
Houseplants need fertilizing with an all-purpose plant food, such as Schultz® Liquid Plant Food, Schultz® All Purpose Slow Release Granular Plant Food, or Bonide® 10-10-10 Liquid Plant Food. How much your plant will need will depend on how large the plant is, the size of its root ball, and what kind of houseplant it is.
You’ll want to fertilize during the growing season (Spring, Summer, and Early Fall). That way, the plant can use it’s energy to absorb the fertilizer properly and grow.
Research your specific plant and make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package!
While all plants need light, the amount of the light they each need varies. This depends on where the plant originally came from, for example, most houseplants are natives of the jungle floor that have evolved to thrive on filtered light (like the light that makes its way through jungle canopies). Light-sensitive houseplants may develop scorched leaves in bright light.
East- and west-facing windows generally receive partial sun and work well for plants that don’t need as much light. Darker locations that face north are best for low-light plants or closet plants.
Here are some key ways to tell if
your plant is getting too much, or too little sunlight:
Too LITTLE Sunlight
The plant dramatically starts to lean towards the light.
Lower and/or interior leaves on the plants simply fall off.
Leaves curl upwards.
New growth is much smaller than original leaves and may have less color.
Plants grow spindly with elongated stems.
Flowering plants stop producing blooms.
Too MUCH Sunlight
The plant develops brown or sunburned spots on its leaves.