How to clean your houseplants?
Dust can quickly accumulate in various places in our home. It can be found on our furniture, on our decorative objects and even… on our plants! Getting rid of this dust is essential for healthy houseplants. Be careful though, not all plants can be cleaned in the same way!
Why clean your houseplants?
On the one hand, dust clogs the tiny holes on the surface of the leaves called stomata, which prevents them from breathing properly. On the other hand, dust prevents light from reaching the surface of the leaves where photosynthesis takes place, which reduces the plant’s ability to produce its own nutrients. Just like watering or regular fertilization, cleaning is therefore an essential part of keeping your plants in top shape.
How often should I clean the leaves?
It is recommended to clean your houseplants once a month, but the frequency of cleaning actually depends on the amount of dust and other impurities present in the air. Several factors can affect the amount of dust in the air: a dirt road, a busy road or factory nearby; an old house; a construction site in progress; etc…
But then, how to know if your plant needs to be cleaned? Just run your finger over its leaves: if it leaves a mark, it’s time to get out your rags! We also advise you to take advantage of the fall or spring cleaning to do a big cleaning of your indoor plants.
Natural tips to clean your indoor plants
Plants with smooth leaves
To shine your smooth-leaved houseplants, such as philodendrons, yuccas or caladiums, get a clean, soft cloth or sponge and some clear water. You can also use soapy water, but don’t use a soap that is too rich, such as olive oil soap, which can leave a greasy film on the leaves. Instead, use a mild soap, such as hand soap or dish soap. Then simply buff your plants gently with the moistened cloth over the leaves above and below.
It is also possible to shower your plants, but there are a few guidelines to follow! The shower jet should be fine and of low power. The water should always be at room temperature or lukewarm to eliminate dust. Also note that this tip is best for plants with small leaves, such as spider plants, schlefferas or ferns.
Plants with downy or thorny leaves
Succulents, plants with downy leaves, such as African violets, and plants with thorny leaves, such as cacti, cannot be cleaned with a cloth and water, as this can damage them. Therefore, a brush or toothbrush with soft bristles should be used and gently passed between the folds of the leaves or the thorns.
The use of a hair dryer can also be a solution to dislodge the dust, but only for plants that are not very fragile. In this case, the appliance should be set to the minimum power setting and blowing cold air.
What to avoid !
We often read that to make the foliage of your house plants shine, you should clean them with beer, baking soda, milk or olive oil. It is best to avoid these methods, as they can damage plants in the long run. Fatty substances are sure to clog the pores of plants, preventing them from breathing properly.
Cleaning, watering, fertilizing, pruning, it is essential to take care of your plants so that they continue to brighten up your home every day! A good maintenance of your indoor plants also includes repotting. Find out our tips and advice for repotting your houseplants!