7 tips on how to clean plants

Many people think of houseplant care as limited to watering, feeding and transplanting. Well, this is enough to provide the necessary conditions for development, but taking care of hygiene will achieve much better results. And here’s why.

How often do you wipe dust off shelves or the TV? Have you ever thought that the same amount of dust settles on the leaves of houseplants? The term “photosynthesis” is familiar to everyone since childhood – but under a layer of dust, this vital process is very difficult for plants!

However, keeping plants in such conditions not only slows their development, but also greatly increases the risk of parasite infestation. It is in the winter months, when the air in apartments is particularly dry, mites feel perfectly well – at first unnoticed, but very dangerous, creatures that can destroy all life on their way, if the owner does not catch on in time. It is possible to get rid of ticks, but you hardly like breathing chemicals for uninvited guests.

The conclusion is obvious: the more you take care of plant hygiene, the less headache you’ll end up with.

How to clean flowers

Before using water procedures, assess the care requirements of the plants. Some species strongly dislike contact with water during flowering, while others are not allowed to accumulate water in their leaf axils.

1. Remove dried leaves and flowers if not already done. It is better to remove them at once, because a potential source of mold in the pot does not bode well.

Spraying is an easy way to keep flowers clean all the time and for most flowers it’s like a long-awaited dessert after semolina. To avoid unsightly lime stains on the leaves and trunks from tap water after this procedure, use boiled or settled water for a day. However, from the stains on the windows, you are unlikely to help, so spray the flowers better in the bathroom – unless, of course, you are an ardent fan of washing windows.

3. A damp sponge or rag is a favorite tool of all generations in cleaning flowers from dust. To be honest, I am not a supporter of this method – only to spread dirt. At the general cleanings at school it was like that. But if this is more convenient for you, try to act carefully so as not to inadvertently damage the leaves, and do not forget to rinse the instrument of washing as often as possible. Long, narrow leaves, like the chlorophytum, are conveniently cleaned by dipping them in a glass of water.

4. Showering allows you to deal with the dust quickly and efficiently. I prefer to have one bath day for everyone, taking turns washing the plants in the tub. Many people recommend covering the ground with a bag, so as not to flood, but in my century of showers so far has not led to such consequences.

5. Dry brushing is an alternative for those who can’t shower, and a pre-wash procedure for those who can. Flowers with tufted or embossed leaves are convenient to clean with a toothbrush or brush, this is especially true after transplanting – I just can’t get the soil off the leaves of violets any other way.

By the way, the question of whether violets can be washed under the shower turned out to be controversial: all my life I have heard the opinion that you can not, and just recently on one thematic forum I read the opposite. Soap, after repairing the brush did not help – the main thing to take precautions (point 7).

6. Additional products from soap solution to special formulas from stores often supplement the process of washing houseplants. Soap is still the subject of debate. I was even advised to use soap against the scale on lemons – I did not know what killed it: the scale, which kept showing up again and again, or the regular, though unintentional, contact with the soap foam in the ground.

Specialized flower washes promise not only effective cleaning and shine of the leaves, but also increased protection against parasites. I can’t judge whether this is really useful or a marketing ploy. I don’t use them as a matter of principle, because I believe that the leaves should breathe on their own – which means that no “protective” compounds should be on them.

7. Precautions. Each species has its own dormancy period, when less watering is required – at this time it is better to exclude the specimen from the queue for water procedures or to limit the plant to dry brushing. Examples are cacti, which in conditions of dry wintering are not watered from November to March – a shower will only do them harm.

There is another nuance of washing plants – drafts. So, if you put a violet with wet leaves in a draught, it will certainly get ugly spots, you can not get rid of them. So after showering it is better to gently blot the leaves of the plants with paper towels and close the vents for a couple of hours.