Indoor plants need more than sun and water: They also need to be cleaned regularly. Dusty, grimy layers on leaves cut down on the amount of light they receive from the sun, while also leaving them open to pest attacks and disease. Cleaning your indoor plants will keep them happy and healthy (and you know, easy, breezy, beautiful).
How often you should clean your indoor plants depends on how dusty your home usually is. Lucky for you, these 7 ways to clean them are super easy:
1. Wash your indoor plants with lukewarm water. (Cold water leaves spots and can shock the roots. Don’t forget, most indoor plants are tropical and are used to warmer rainfalls.) Wash small plants in a sink and larger houseplants in the shower. Let them drip-dry before putting them in the sun.
2. For large indoor plants, wipe the leaves with a moist cloth. Cradle each leaf with the other hand to avoid cracking them.
3. When dealing with small indoor plants, fill your sink with lukewarm water. Support them and the soil with your fingers, turn them upside down and gently swish their leaves in the water.
4. Dust is tricky to remove from fuzzy leaves, but easier than you’d think. Simply use a soft-bristled paintbrush to dislodge the dust, working your way from the base to the tip of each leaf. Avoid using water on them, as it can leave spots.
5. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your indoor plants, don’t fret. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of dish detergent in four cups of water. Spray the plant, then rinse it off. Set them on a stool so you can easily turn them for a thorough cleaning.
6. For cacti, a can of compressed air works wonders! Like your fuzzy-leaved friends, avoid using water on them.
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7. Finally, spruce up each plant by removing withered blossoms and pick up any flowers and leaves that fall on the soil to prevent mold.
This is also the perfect opportunity to inspect each plant and make sure their only problem is dust:
- Inspect the soil. If there’s mold, gently scrape it away and don’t water your plants as often.
- Check out the stems. Are they strong and the color they’re supposed to be?
- Check for webbing where the leaves attach to the stems, as this could be a sign of spider mites.
- Turn over a new leaf – literally, to look for bugs and discolored areas. These could be a sign of disease.
How do you keep your indoor plants clean and healthy?
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Image: F.D. Richards