Cleaning Plants is Calming and Much Needed At This Time of Year

by | Dec 21, 2016 | 2 comments

Cleaning Plants

Cleaning plants is calming and much needed at this time of year. As this last week before the New Year is winding down, it occurs to me that I need some “plant therapy”. I know that sounds weird, but this month is crazy busy and it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

Plus, with the short days of winter, the dwindling light hasn’t helped my mood any.  I find working with my plants calming and restful. Cleaning and dusting the leaves, washing them, watering, and turning them to allow light to fall on all sides.

These things make me feel calm, but imagine how good the plant feels. It is clean and groomed.

Dusty haworthia needs cleaning
This haworthia needs dusting

Cleaning Dusty Plants

Often our plants can become dirty and dusty. Kitchen plants get grimy. The heaters here in the frozen north have been working overtime this month. The dust they kick up settles on our plants.

Crown of thorns needs cleaning
This crown of thorns needs serious grooming

Blocking photosynthesis

The dust and grime covers the leaves, and even a thin layer can block the rays of the sun. This hinders their food production.

Remember the only way plants can get food is to make it themselves. Add the days we’ve been having without sun at all, and our plants suffer.

Aloe with dead leaves
Dead leaves on the bottom of this plant need to be removed
Dead leaves that need to be removed
Dead leaves that need to be removed

Cleaning your plants

Wipe down the leaves or give them a nice shower, either in the sink or bathtub. Remove dead leaves so disease and pests have no place to take up residence.

You need a few basic supplies. A sponge to wipe the leaves and a small paintbrush for fuzzy leaves and cacti. I use long tweezers to get leaves out of spiny succulents or pet hair from cacti and snips to trim leaves.

A tray of plant cleaning tools
A tray of useful grooming tools

Clean off the pet hair

I have two kitties and believe me when I say, cat hair is everywhere. It especially loves to catch on my cacti. This is when tweezers and the paintbrush come in handy.

Pet hair on plants
Cat hair is easily caught on cacti spikes
Kitty fur caught on a begonia
Kitty fur caught on my begonia

Give you plants some love

During this hectic time, we need to pamper not only ourselves, but also our green friends. During this hectic month with limited hours of light, added dust, and neglect they need love.

A sink shower cleans this fern and waters it, too
A sink shower cleans this fern and waters it, too

This week though, the days start getting longer and before we know it, spring will be here! Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!


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  1. Julia Hofley

    Good advice Houseplant Guru! My plants looked horrible until I cleaned and groomed them this week!
    I feel better too!


      Thanks, Julia! It is so calming, especially in this busy season! Merry Christmas!


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