Top 3 Ways to Clean Your Plants (and Why!)
Just like any other surface in our homes, our houseplants accumulate dust and should be kept clean. Cleaning your plants has THREE great benefits:
- Improved plant appearance
- Improved plant health
- Pest management
Here are THREE easy ways to keep your houseplants clean:
Clean your plants the same place you clean yourself – in the shower! Bringing your plants to the shower and gently rinsing them off with lukewarm water is a great way to quickly and easily get them squeaky clean. Tropical plants will also appreciate the humidity boost that a quick shower provides! Just be sure not to oversaturate the soil, especially if your plant is in a pot without drainage.
For larger plants that can’t easily be moved to the shower, a clean, damp washcloth or paper towel is also effective. Gently wipe the leaves from the stem to the tip of the leaf getting both the top and underside. As you clean, you can also inspect the undersides of leaves and the stems for signs of pests, allowing you to catch them before they become a big problem. Clean plants are also better able to photosynthesize, since they don’t have a layer of dust blocking the sunlight and air circulation from the leaves.
Some plants, such as cactus, succulents, and plants with fuzzy leaves (like African Violets) aren’t as appreciative of water on their leaves as other, more tropical plants. Trying to wipe a cactus with a damp cloth might not end well for the cloth, or your hands, but a small paintbrush can be used to dust between the spines. Many pests, including mealy bugs and spider mites thrive in dry and dusty environments. Brushing off your plants can reduce the dust on leaf surfaces that could encourage pests to target the plant.