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How to clean houseplant leaves

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The leaves of houseplants naturally collect dust and get dirty. Cleaning them makes them more attractive and helps them absorb more energy from the sun! Here’s how to clean houseplant leaves.

Leaves get dirty. It’s just a fact. Especially plants with giant, flat leaves – like my fiddle leaf fig. The leaves are always dusty!

And, you might not even realize how dusty the leaves are until you clean them and see a side by side.

Plants might also get water spots on them. I have noticed this a lot on the plants that I tend to spray with a spritz bottle – little white dried dots on the leaves.

How to clean houseplant leaves

Why should you clean plant leaves?

Plants have feelings too! Ok, maybe not. But, that doesn’t mean that they want to be dusty.

Plants absorb sunlight and oxygen through their leaves. Dusty leaves are like clogged pores – they can’t absorb as easily so they will likely be less healthy compared to clean shiny leaves.

Outdoor plants don’t need to be cleaned, usually. They have rain and wind keeping their leaves fresh.

How to clean houseplant leaves

Cleaning the leaves of a houseplant is very easy to do!

Materials needed:

Steps:

  1. Identify your dirty leaves
  2. Wet your cloth, but wring out any excess water
  3. Wipe the leaf gently. You might need several wipes to get all of the dirt and dust off
  4. Admire your handiwork!
How to clean houseplant leaves

How do I clean small plants with small leaves?

That process is all fine and good for my big palm or mostera leaves, but what about plants with tons of teeny tiny leaves? This is not such a quick fix if you have to wipe 200 1/4″ long leaves!

Small plants, for me, it’s easiest to just rinse them off. Put them in your kitchen sink, shower, or even under your hose. Use lukewarm water and give them a good old fashioned bath.

Be sure that your planter has good drainage so you don’t flood your soil!

How to clean houseplant leaves

What do you clean indoor plant leaves with?

I just use warm water to wipe my leaves. If your plant has pests, you can use soapy water. Just use a clean damp rag or paper towel to wipe off the soap afterwards.

Want to show your houseplants some love?!
–> How to clean plant leaves
–> How to propagate a plant (free eBook!)
–> When to repot a plant
–> Rotating houseplants
–> When to cut leaves off of plants

How often should I clean my houseplants?

This is up to you. Definitely try to do it at least twice a year – remember when you change your HVAC air filters to wipe of your leaves, too!

To be honest, I just wipe off the leaves as I notice that they are dirty. It’s not a perfect system – but it works for me!

How to clean houseplant leaves

How do I clean my pots?

When you are wiping down your plant is a good time to give your pots a cleaning, too. I just use a soapy sponge to clean any mineral build up, dirt, or mess off of my terracotta and ceramic pots.

Can you oil plant leaves?

I know some people wipe a little oil (like, olive oil or similar) on their leaves to make them shine.

If you google how to make your plants shine you will see suggestions to use mayonnaise or milk or even butter. Whaaaat? No.

I don’t do this. I try to keep my plants natural and there’s no olive oil rain in the fiddle leaf fig jungle.

Trimming brown spots off a fiddle leaf fig house plant

Trimming leaves

When you are cleaning your plant, you might notice loose, dead, or yellowed leaves. This is a great time to trim them off and add them to your compost pile!

How to clean houseplant leaves

Any more questions about how to clean houseplant leaves?

 
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