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Indoor Plant Leaf Cleansing

When was the last time you cleaned the leaves of your indoor plants? We asked this recently on our Instagram, 33% of the respondents were proud to say that they have a leaf cleaning routine, well done! The remaining majority, 67% had the courage to admit that it has been a while. I guess we have all been there, but there are several reasons why it is good to clean the leaves of your indoor plants regularly. 

Why should I clean the leaves of my plants?

Like any other piece of decor or furniture, plants collect dirt and especially dust. This can cause health issues for the plant. Plant leaves that are clean from dirt and dust have better conditions for photosynthesis as it blocks the sunlight and reduces plant’s ability to photosynthesise. Photosynthesis is important because it is how plants convert energy. If it doesn’t happen, it deteriorates the health of the plant, resulting in slower growth of the plant, and making it more prone to diseases and pests.

Another big benefit of regularly cleaning plant leaves is pest control. When you get close to your plant and its leaves regularly and check also the bottom side of the leaf, you can spot any pest infestation from early on, before the bugs have managed to cause much damage. The earlier you see the pests the earlier you can treat the issue!

Clean plant leaves also look better than dusty and dull ones. As plants are there to make the space more cozy and beautiful, this is an important point that should motivate everyone to wipe the leaves regularly.

How can you clean the leaves of the plants?

Showering the plants is usually an effective way to clean the leaves. Also, wiping them with a wet cloth, or even a dry one, removes the dust and dirt sufficiently.

Sometimes, when the dirt is more persistent, soapy water is more effective in cleaning the plants. Important is that the soap is natural, and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that can harm the foliage. This houseplant leaf cleanser is 100% natural product, made out of olive oil based liquid soap. It is diluted with water and then sprayed on both sides of the leaves with a spray bottle and then wiped off with a cloth or a paper towel. Soapy water removes not only dust and dirt, but also pests, such as spider mites.

houseplant leaf cleanser soap
Houseplant leaf cleanser is made out of olive oil based soap.

When it comes to pests, neem oil is a popular, natural way of fighting and preventing these uninvited creatures.  Neem oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the Azadirachta indica tree. It is as an insecticide and natural insect repellent to fight, for example, mealybugs, thrips, spider mites, whiteflies and fungus gnats. This Neem oil houseplant leaf protector is made of 100% Neem oil.

neem oil leaf protector and plant food
Neem oil leaf protector (on the right) is used to prevent and fight pests on houseplants.

Neem oil is also used mixed with water, but in this case the mild leaf cleanser soap is crucial, as it is used as an emulsifier. It allows the neem oil to distribute in the water evenly, so when applied on the leaves, the oil is functioning properly. Uneven distribution isn’t effective and can even damage the leaves or cause burns.

How often should you clean the leaves of your plants?

There’s no exact answer to this, but it is good to do it when your plants look dusty or dirty, or especially when you see pests. In this case, the Neem oil treatment, using the neem oil leaf protector mixed with water and the leaf cleanser should be done two days in a row and then weekly until you no longer see bugs.

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