· By Hannah Wolloch
5 Handy Tips for Cleaner Houseplants
Your hands and your houseplants deserve a deep, revitalizing clean.
Dust loves to live on plant leaves. It might not look like much, but when these particles band together, they block sunlight and inhibit photosynthesis. According to Alice Vincent, Telegraph journalist and author of How To Grow Stuff, it’s important to remove dust buildup regularly. She recommends “cleaning the [leaves] every month or so using a damp cloth.”
BONUS: If you miss a month or two and need a deeper clean, add a bit of diluted hand soap to your cleaning cloth. “If it’s safe for your hands, it’s safe for your plants” is a good rule of thumb. Since Gelo Hand Soap uses plant-based ingredients, it’s gentle enough for both.
Rinse or Spritz
Hand-wiping large, lush plants might take a while. In that case, a quick rinse works well too -- if you water your plant by placing the pot in the sink, run some tap water over the leaves while you’re there. For daintier plants, a reusable spray bottle will provide a fine, plant-safe mist. A few spritzes on the leaf’s surface keeps your greenery fresh, fed, and dust-free.
Don’t Forget about the Pot
When salt and minerals accumulate around your planter, they may produce a white, chalky residue. First-time plant-parents might worry, but they shouldn’t. It’s easily removable; de-pot your plant and scrub away with a water-heavy homemade solution (water + vinegar, or water + bleach).
This powdery substance is non-toxic, as it consists mostly of calcium found in mineral-rich ground and tap water. It can block plant pores if it accumulates on leaves, though, so it’s best to take care of the issue when you notice it.
If you see a few leaves turning brown, it’s time to give your plant the salon-quality cut it deserves. Decaying leaves can restrict airflow and growth, so trimming those dead-ends is essential to your plant’s health. If the leaf appears loosely attached, a slight tug will be enough to remove it. Otherwise, use a scissor or pruning tool to safely remove stubborn fronds.
Get Your Hands Dirty
If your fear of growing houseplants is mess-related, you’ll love this news: houseplants only require a soil change every 12-18 months. If your indoor fauna is small and slow-growing, you may even be able to avoid repotting for years! A semi-regular soil replenish can increase plant health, but it’s not entirely necessary.
While you can grow healthy houseplants without cleansing regularly, these quick tricks will promote growth and ensure the long-term health of your plant.