Did you know it’s important to clean the leaves on your indoor plants?  Dust accumulation on the leaves can actually impede photosynthesis and decrease plant respiration causing slow to no growth and even the possibility of killing off your plant.

This article was written by Mandy Jordan, a content specialist for GIY Plants, specifically for 100Things2Do readers (US!!) If you have a green thumb, or aspire to have one, GIY Plants is a great resource of information.  

(I was not provided with product or payment for this article – I approached a content specialist for a topic I was interested in learning more about…. mostly because my plants are filthy 😂)

Having an indoor plant is a great way to bring nature into your home, but it can be difficult to keep them looking their best. Keeping your plants healthy and vibrant requires proper care and attention, including regular cleaning. One of the most important tasks for keeping your indoor plants looking great is shining their leaves.

Cleaning the leaves of your houseplants helps remove dust and debris that can accumulate on them over time, which can block light from reaching the leaves and reduce photosynthesis. It also makes them look much more attractive!

Let’s see how you can clean the leaves of any type of indoor plant with ease.

What Causes Dull Leaves On Indoor Plants

There are a few different possible causes for dull leaves on indoor plants. 

Cleaning Plant Leaves, cleaning the leaves on plants

One common cause is too little light. Most houseplants need at least some direct sunlight each day in order to stay healthy and produce vibrant foliage.  If your home doesn’t get much natural light, you may need to invest in supplemental lighting such as artificial grow lights or fluorescent bulbs.

Another common cause for dull foliage is too little water or too much water. When soil gets overly dry, the leaves may start to wilt and lose their shine. 

On the other hand, if you’re providing your plants with too much water all at once, the excess moisture can actually rob the plant of essential nutrients, leaving it with faded, discoloured leaves.

Certain insects or diseases can also cause dull foliage on indoor plants. Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and other pests can feed off of plant sap and weaken the health of your plants.  In these cases, it may be necessary to enlist the help of an exterminator or use one of the different types of pest control products available. This will ensure that your plants stay healthy and happy for many years to come.

How to clean the leaves and restore the shine to your indoor houseplants 

Over time, the leaves of your indoor plants might start to look dull and lifeless. An important step you can take as an indoor plant owner is to ensure that your plants’ leaves are healthy and shining. Not only will it make them look nicer, but it will also improve their overall health too! 

Here are some tips on how to get your plants’ foliage looking healthy again: 

Use A Soft Cloth

Using a soft cloth, preferably one that has been cleaned of dust, wipe the leaves of your plant to remove dust particles and bring out the shine in them. To ensure that all dirt and debris are removed, use circular motions when wiping each leaf.

Cleaning Plant Leaves, cleaning the leaves on plants

Use Natural Oils

Certain natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and tea tree oil can be used to clean the leaves.  Simply mix a few drops of oil with a cup of warm water and then use a soft cloth to gently massage it into each leaf. 

This will not only help to shine the leaves but it will also help to nourish them as well.

Use A Leaf Polish 

Leaf polishes are specifically designed to bring out the shine in your plants’ leaves. These products contain natural waxes that will not only make the leaf surfaces become glossy, but they will also protect the leaves from any additional damage such as the sun or wind.

Mist The Leaves With Water 

Misting your plants’ leaves with a fine spray of water on a regular basis can help clean the leaves and bring out their natural shine. Be sure not to spray too hard and also avoid spraying in direct sunlight as this could cause damage to your plant’s leaves.

Cleaning Plant Leaves, cleaning the leaves on plants

Common Mistakes When Cleaning Plant Leaves 

When it comes to shining plant leaves, many indoor plant owners make the wrong decisions. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid:

Using The Wrong Cleaning Products

Many people think they can just use any type of cleaner or soap on their plants’ leaves, but this is not a good idea. You should only use gentle and natural cleaners, such as water and vinegar or a mild soap.

Not Wiping Off Excess Moisture

After cleaning your plant’s leaves, be sure to lightly wipe them down with a clean cloth in order to remove any remaining moisture. If you don’t do this, the moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause your plant to suffer.

Not Using A Protective Spray

After cleaning and drying the leaves of your plant, it’s important to use a protective spray in order to keep them looking shiny and healthy for longer. Look for one specifically designed for indoor plants; this will ensure that your plant is getting the right type of protection.

Not Cleaning Regularly

In order to keep your plant’s leaves looking shiny, you should clean them regularly. This doesn’t have to be a full-on cleaning every time; just wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth or using some diluted water and soap will do the trick.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to keep your plant looking great and healthy for longer.

Cleaning Plant Leaves, cleaning the leaves on plants

Additional Tips For Keeping Houseplant Foliage Shiny And Healthy

If you want your plants to look their best and stay healthy, you should provide them with proper care. 

Keeping houseplant foliage shiny and healthy is not as difficult as it may seem; with some simple tips and tricks, you can keep your green friends looking vibrant all year round.

Don’t Forget To Mist! 

Plant leaves should be misted regularly with water, as this helps keep their foliage clean and glossy. Taking a few minutes each day for misting can help prevent dust buildup that can lead to dull looking foliage.

Provide Proper Humidity 

Proper humidity is key in helping maintain the natural shine of houseplant foliage. If your home is too dry for some of the plants you’re growing, consider using a humidifier to increase the humidity levels in their vicinity.

Check For Pests Or Disease

If dull patches are appearing on the leaves, it could be due to pest infestations or fungal infections. Regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests or disease, and take steps to treat them as necessary.

Feed Your Plants

Feeding your houseplants with a balanced liquid fertilizer can help boost their nutrition, which in turn can help keep their foliage healthy and shiny. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying any fertilizers.

Prune Regularly

Regular pruning can help encourage new growth and keep plants looking their best. For woody plants, prune during the growing season; for leafy plants, prune when they start to look leggy or sparse.

Final Word

Cleaning your plants’ leaves can be a great way to bring life and luster back into them. Not only will it make the plant look healthier, but you may also find that its growth improves as well. To keep your indoor plants looking their best, remember to dust off their leaves on a regular basis using either water or oil-based solutions. 

If you encounter any issues such as wet spots or sticky residue, simply use rubbing alcohol for quick and easy cleanup. 

With these tips in mind, you should have no problem keeping your houseplants shining brightly all year round!

Cleaning Plant Leaves, cleaning the leaves on plants

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