Taking care of potted plants unfortunately can’t be limited to watering only.
Struggling with dust
As the plants we grow at home are very often part of the interior decoration, to impress our guests they should always look impeccable. And this is dust that makes them look rather clumsy instead.
Why is cleaning leaves so important?
Leaves can collect dust and some water, too. They can block the stomas, limiting the plants’ ability to carry out the process of photosynthesis. Moreover, dirty leaves are not that effective when it comes to absorbing toxic substances present in the air. As a result, they also release less oxygen.
How to clean leaves
The plants which have matt or mossy surface (gerbera, African violet, stork’s bills) need to be cleaned with a brush with soft hair or feathers. A paintbrush will do, too.
Plants with shiny and large leaves (monster, potted fig tree, spath, rubber fig) should be wiped with a dump cloth. It is important that the cloth be soaked in fresh soft water. That will help you effectively remove the dust instead of just spreading it all over the leaves.
A shower can be good for plants with small leaves (for example ferns, citruses, weeping fig) as cleaning them with a cloth would be really time-consuming. The stream of water should be gentle and lukewarm to avoid damaging delicate plants.
Huge plants, such as palm trees or banana trees, can be sprinkled with a spray bottle. It is important to use room temperature water.
In the summer the plants should be put outside during a rain. Of course it can’t be torrential downpour – a gentle shower will be perfect. Of course wait until they go dry before you carry them back inside.
What about cacti?
The ones without spikes can be cleaned with a brush or a cloth. When we have got to do with the spiky ones, you can spray them with water and then remove the dust using a hairdryer. The air should be cold or lukewarm.
Controversial leaf shine agents
There are plenty of artificial leaf shine agents. They contain a lot of chemical substances and in fact several plants do not tolerate them (the leaves go yellowish or stained).
Moreover, you should never use them for plants with hairy or mossy leaves. If you are really desperate to have shiny leaves, you can use tissues soaked with natural substances (bee wax, olive oil or honey).