Just like everything else in your home, houseplants accumulate dust. These particles may be microscopic, but, over time, they form a layer of dirt that prevents light from reaching the leaves. Plants need light to photosynthesize, meaning that this build-up needs to be removed. Fortunately, cleaning a plant is an easy process, and is one that will reward you with a healthier plant in the long run.
How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Plant?
Some people need to clean their plants every week, while others can leave it for a month or two. It all depends on how much dust there is in your air. If you live by a dirt road or are exposed to high amounts of wind, your plants will probably need to be cleaned more often.
It’s easy to check if your plant needs to be cleaned - just give the leaves a light rub with your fingers. If you can feel or see any dust, it’s time to get cleaning.
How Do You Clean a Plant?
You have a few different options when it comes to cleaning your plant, but one of the easiest is to simply give your plant a quick shower. This is usually the method of choice for plants with lots of leaves, such as the Parlor Palm, since cleaning those leaves individually would be very time-consuming! Be gentle when showering your plant, and make sure that you use lukewarm water, leaving your plant to drip dry before placing it back in its original location.
If your plant is too big to easily move, or isn’t too dusty, using a soft brush on the leaves will remove any grime. This is also a useful method for plants with fuzzy leaves. Heavier dirt can be cleaned with a cloth and some tepid distilled water - just make sure that the material you choose is soft, as you don’t want to end up scratching at the surface of the leaves.
While the dust on the surface of your plant’s leaves might be most visible, dirt accumulates on other parts of a plant too. Make sure that you also clean:
- The undersides of the leaves
- The stalks
- The stems
- The pot
Cleaning your plants is also a good opportunity to give them a quick once-over to check on their health. Use this time to gently remove dead or yellowing leaves, while also examining for any diseases or signs of stress. Remember - a healthy plant is a clean plant, making this something worth spending a little time on.