Washing Houseplants
More Than Just Cleanliness


In the dark days of midwinter when a little hands on gardening might be very therapeutic consider taking your houseplants to the spa.

Washing houseplant’s leaves, top and bottom makes them feel even better than we do. It removes the dust that has settled there since we dusted them last week. More importantly it also removes that layer of sticky dirt from furnaces, cooking, and all of the regular house activities that take place, at least in my house. That accumulation is reducing the amount of light that reaches the chlorophyll in those leaves. It also just looks dull and lifeless. The washed plant looks better and can grow better.

We use two sponges simultaneously so that we also wipe the underside of the leaves where most insect infestations develop. Another benefit of this washing process. Luke warm water with a little mild soap is the best solution. Keep the sponges or clothes fairly wet and sandwich the leaf between the two and gently wipe. Rinse the sponges regularly and you will find yourself cleaning a fairly large plant quite quickly. The smaller and more numerous the leaves the more difficult and time consuming the task.

Pothos, Epipremnum At some point I simply decide that it is all too much effort and I take the plant to the shower and give it a good spraying. This is much easier if you have one of those detachable shower heads so that you can get in around and up under that mass of leaves. Let it drip dry. Make sure that any excess water is drained from the container and then return it bright and sparkling to its regular location.

Both of these processes can be just a touch messy but your plants will certainly thank you by looking better and growing better.

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