How to Properly Clean Plant Leaves

How to Properly Clean Plant Leaves

Having plants is popular amongst homeowners for a variety of reasons. It can brighten up a space, freshen indoor air, or be a relaxing hobby. For your plant to keep this up, you need to clean houseplant leaves, stems, and more. Here are some of the best ways to clean your plant leaves!


How Frequently Do Plants Get Dusty and Dirty?

Believe it or not, there are many dust and germ particles in the air. Over time, the dust particles land and settle on the indoor plant leaves. Luckily, cleaning your plant is simple, and most methods don’t take up much time.


If its environment has a lot of dust or dirt in the air, then expect some build-up on your plants- this is more important for indoor houseplants. If you can’t rub its leaves, check if its color has dulled or if the plant has been wilting. The dull coloring is because many build-ups can affect photosynthesis and reduce color and strength.


Cleaning Your Plants with a Feather Duster

cleaning your plants with a feather duster

A popular, dry method of cleaning your plant is to use a feather duster. Feather dusters will get a broader layer of dust since the fibers can reach more surface areas. The best kind of feathers for your plants are ostrich feathers. These black feathers can pull more dust off without hurting your plant.


Understand that this method doesn’t provide the deepest clean. However, this method, used frequently, can help your plant stay healthy. Also, don’t forget to brush the undersides- it still helps the plant absorb more sunlight.


Wiping Down Your Plant

wiping down your plant

A simple method can be to wipe the dust from your plant.


  1. Take a soft cloth, microfiber rag, or damp cloth. Don’t use anything abrasive like a paper towel. Abrasion can cause more harm if you’re not careful.
  2. Use lukewarm water.
  3. Wipe down the plant from top to bottom to remove any potential clogs thoroughly.


Can you Spray the Plant Down?

can you spray the plant down

If your plants have a considerable amount of grime, take a spray bottle and fill it with warm water and dish soap. Make the soapy water with a 1/4 tsp of soap per quart of water. Mist the plant down and let it sit in a kitchen sink or anywhere where water can drain.


When finished, spray the plan with lukewarm water. Let it air dry or gently pat it down with something soft like a microfiber cloth.


Dunking Your Plant

If your plant has small leaves and wiping each leaf doesn’t appeal to you, consider rinsing or submerging your plant. Doing this removes a light coating. Of course, you will have to do it more frequently, but at least it’s quick.


To dunk your plant, slowly invert and support its pot and soil. Wrap the soil and pot in plastic wrap if you have loose soil. Ensure that your water is at room temperature, or you might agitate the plant.


When dunking, make sure that only the plant itself is in the water. Slowly swirl the plant in the water. After a few seconds, take the plant out of the water. Let the water drain and pat the leaves dry with a soft cloth. Any water spots left on the plant can affect photosynthesis. Place the plant back home when dry.


Rinsing the Plant

rinsing the plant

If your plants are too big but still have small leaves, rinse your plant. Put the shower on at room temperature and at low pressure. Any extra force or heat can damage the plant.


Instead, spray from a few inches away and use long sweeping motions. After that, let them air dry and drain any excess water. Before taking them back home, blot their leaves to reduce water spots.


Cleaning Plants with Sticky or Fuzzy Leaves

cleaning plants with sticky or fuzzy leaves

A paintbrush or something similar might be the best option for plants with sticky or fuzzy leaves to clean. Houseplants like African violets don’t like getting their leaves wet, so that a dry brush method would be best. The bristles coax the dust particles off the plant leaves.


Start by brushing from the base and move toward the leaf tips. Next, clean out the bristles by shaking them clean and blowing gently on your plant to remove extra debris. If you need more abrasion, gently wipe the plant with a paper towel to remove any residue.


Using Compressed Air for Waxy Plants

If you have cacti or succulents, you have waxy plants. Compressed air works best because water on the wax will remove that waxy, protective layer. Know that the wax on the plant protects these desert plants from dust and holds moisture in drought environments. Here are the two steps to take for using air on waxy plants.


  1. Space the canister at least 12 inches away from the houseplant to clean with compressed air.
  2. Use short, sweeping bursts of air. For extended periods, don’t do this because the cold air can damage plant leaves.


Photosynthesis And Why You Need to Clean Your Plants

Photosynthesis And Why You Need to Clean Your Plants

Photosynthesis is an essential life cycle that your plant can do in its lifetime. This process takes carbon dioxide into the air and uses water to turn it into fresh oxygen. Along with fresh oxygen, plants produce glucose, sugars that insects can consume, and help keep plants rigid.


If your plant can’t consume sunlight because its leaves are dusty, photosynthesis will slow. Oxygen from the plant won’t be as much, and with less glucose, your plant can’t fight diseases and pests. Instead, you’ll see holes and signs of discoloration.


Additional Plant Care Cleaning Suggestions

Think about the weather conditions and environment that the plant is in before you clean the plant. For example, consider how dusty, windy, or humid the plant would be if the plant is outside. On the other hand, if the plant is based indoors, consider the levels of cleanliness, humidity, and indoor air quality.


When cleaning your plant, plan if you’re using water, soap, or a dry method. Some plants dislike water, some have sensitive wax, and others need water. If you’re using water, try to use distilled water. Tap water can contain minerals like calcium, fluoride, and magnesium.


Conclusion: How to Clean Plant Leaves

In summary, cleaning your plant leaves is more than just for looks. Taking off dust and grime can help the plants grow and live a long and happy life. Also, dusting off plant leaves helps limit bugs like spider mites and mealybugs from latching on to your plant, which you don’t want.


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