All the houseplants that we use to decorate our homes and offices are plants that grow in the wild somewhere in the world. In their natural environment, they are subject to wind and rain, which allows them to be cleaned regularly. In our homes, rainfall is rare and plants are subjected to various pollutants such as dust, cooking grease and pollen from other plants. These residues are deposited on the leaves and, as most plants breathe through the stomata found on the foliage, can suffocate the plant over time. It is therefore very important to clean your green and flowering plants from time to time, when the leaves are dusty for example. However, you must be careful. Not all plants can be cleaned in the same way. Some plants do not like to have water on their leaves at all or hate cleaning products. It is important to know the needs of your plant in order to meet them.
To the shower!
To simulate rain, you can put most of your plants in the shower and run the spray over and under the leaves to dislodge any pollutants in them. Be careful that the spray is not too powerful to avoid damaging the sometimes fragile leaves of some plants. If you have very large plants and it is not possible to carry them into the bathroom, cover the floor with a plastic sheet or towels and spray the leaves abundantly: you don’t want to just wet them, you want to clean them! The water must run off for the washing to be effective.
With a clean cloth
For large leaves, you can use a wet sponge or cloth and gently rub the top and bottom of the leaves to clean them. Be sure to go right up to the stem and rub – gently – the entire surface so that no hidden dirt remains in place.
With a brush
Some plants do not tolerate water on their downy leaves, like some cacti or African violets, for example. In this case, you can use a brush to remove the dirt. Gently brush over, under and between the delicate leaves to dislodge everything.
How often should I clean my houseplants?
That’s a multiple answer question that boils down to: as needed. Here’s a tip: run your finger over the leaves and if it leaves a trace, it’s time to clean. Many things can influence the time between cleanings, so pay attention to your plants so you can give them the care they need in a timely manner.