How to clean houseplants leaves ?

As they are a part of your indoor décor, you’ll be interested in keeping houseplants clean. Cleaning houseplants is an important step in keeping them healthy and provides an opportunity to check for pests. Keeping houseplants clean makes them more attractive too. How to clean houseplants leaves ?

Why clean the leaves Glossy and Shiny?

Advantages of clean houseplants leaves

One of the biggest reasons why you should keep your plant friends’ leaves clean is because dirty, dusty leaves can lead to health problems for your plants.

Plant leaves actually have pores on them, a lot like your skin. Plants also use their leaves to make energy from sunlight, and a lot of a plant’s respiration occurs through the leaves (though a fair bit of it also occurs in the roots and soil!).

Dust and debris on the leaves can actually clog the pores on the plant’s leaves, which can interfere with photosynthesis and respiration. This means that dirty leaves can actually cause your plant to starve and suffocate at the same time.

Not good!

Aesthetics aside, clean plant leaves are crucial for plant health. Shiny leaves also just look better, and it’s okay to want gorgeous, shiny plant leaves! Large-leafed plants like fiddle leaf figs look absolutely stunning when their leaves are nice and glossy.

Now that you know why clean leaves are important, let’s talk about how to get clean, shiny leaves without harming your plant.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

When to clean leaves on houseplants

Cleaning your plant leaves is so straightforward and can be added to your weekly (or biweekly) house cleaning schedule. If you have a lot of plants and that seems like a longer task or if your plate is already maxed out on cleaning day, then just dedicate one plant per day to clean. For instance, take a look at the leaves during your watering routine, and just clean one plant at a time after watering. That way, you only add a couple of extra minutes to your routine.

Plus it’s a bonus for your home too and not just your plant! Some plant leaves actually attract dust, so cleaning them further sanitizes your home, ridding of unwanted dust, dander, and dirt. It’s a win-win for all!

How to clean the leaves of houseplants ?

There are a number of methods you can use to clean your houseplant leaves. If you’re only cleaning dust and soil particles—things that are likely only resting on the surface and don’t require more vigorous treatment—you can use a damp cloth, a feather duster or other form of gentle duster, or give your plant a shower.

How to clean houseplant leaves: First, Wash

The best way to completely clean off a plant’s leaves is to set it in the shower, in the sink, on outside and just rinse or hose it off. This is typically the best way to handle cleaning off larger plants with smaller leaves, like trailing pothos plants. Sure, you could clean off every individual leaf, but that would be time-consuming. A good shower will also flush the soil out, so make sure your pot has a drainage hole for this step.

If you can’t wash out your plant because it doesn’t have a drainage hole or it’s too large to move, you can heavily mist the leaves to imitate a shower. Make sure to protect the flooring around your plant so it doesn’t get wet. Then, in the spring, repot your plant into fresh soil since you can’t flush the soil.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

Wipe the Leaves

For plants that are too large to move, you can simply wipe the leaves off with a damp cloth. This method also works well with plants that have just a few leaves, like young snake plants or banana plants. After the initial cleaning, you can help keep dust from building up on the leaves by using a soft duster on them whenever you dust your furniture or floors.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

Dunk The Plant In Water

Now we get into the methods that use water. Smaller plants or those with lots of leaves can benefit from giving them a quick dunk in a bath of tepid water. To remove a light coating of dust start by filling a sink or wash basin with lukewarm water. Invert the containers carefully, using one hand to hold the plant and soil inside the pot, and gently dunk/swish the leaves in the tepid water.

After you have swirled the plant around in the tepid water, flip it back so it is right-side up and allow it to drip dry before moving it back to its original location. If there is a lot of water on the leaves you can gently blot them dry with paper towels or a soft cloth/rag. Drying the leaves like this helps prevent water spots from forming on the leaf surface, and requiring you to clean them again.

If you’re worried about making a mess when you invert containers, there are a couple of tricks to make it easier. To keep the soil from spilling everywhere when you invert containers you can either water the soil well beforehand to bind it together somewhat in the container or wrap the top of the pot in plastic wrap to act as a barrier, holding the soil in.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

Use a Soft Brush

Some plants have sticky or fuzzy leaves that just don’t lend themselves to easy cleaning. And in the case of plants such as African violets that don’t like getting their leaves wet, neither spraying nor wiping is the answer. For fuzzy-leaved plants, use a soft brush such as a mushroom brush to very gently coax the dust from the leaves.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

Trim Dead Leaves from Plants

When you clean your plants, you might notice dead leaves (surefire signs are wilting and discoloration—usually, dead leaves are yellow or brown). Trimming these off doesn’t just improve the look of a plant; it allows more nutrients to reach the surviving leaves. You can easily remove dead or dying leaves by hand if they’re loose. Or, you can grab a pair of scissors or pruning shears, cutting the leave as close to the stem as possible.

how to clean houseplants leaves

how to clean houseplants leaves

Don’ts when it comes to clean leaves on houseplants

Don’t put your plants in hot sun to dry after you clean them. They could burn.

Don’t use commercial cleaners with leaf shine. They clog the pores of the leaves which need to respire. Plus, all that shine can make them look fake.

I’ve heard of people using coconut oil, olive oil, mayonnaise, &/or milk to clean & shine their indoor plants. I have no experience with this. I’d say easy does it if you want to use any of those. Test it on a leaf 1st to see how it reacts over the long haul.

Don’t use this spray on plants with fuzzy leaves. Most that I know of, like African Violets, don’t like to be sprayed with cleaners. Dusting is best.

Don’t clean your plants too late at night. A key component of the respiration process happens after dark & they prefer to not be disturbed.

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