You’ve probably spotted a countless number of store-bought products that promise to make the leaves of your houseplants shine. The only issue? They might kill your plants, as the oil or wax on the ingredients list can clog the pores in their leaves, making it impossible for them to breathe.
While giving your plants’ leaves a waxy, artificial shine isn’t important, cleaning your plants’ leaves is: It removes the buildup of dirt and dust, improving the overall health of your plant. You just need to go about it the correct way, and Brad Canning, the plant expert behind Leafy Lane, is here to help.
If you’re wondering how to clean plant leaves the safe (and eco-friendly!) way, Canning recommends creating a simple DIY solution using water and lemon juice. Lemon juice acts as an acid, dissolving dust and buildup on the leaves. It also dissolves mineral deposits on the leaves, which occurs when hard water dries on them after watering.
And the best part of all? This isn’t something you need to do all the time. “I wouldn’t do this as part of my weekly routine—only do it when you need it,” Canning says. “But dust actually prevents the sunlight from being absorbed by the plant, so it’s super important.”
Using this plant shine once a month should do the trick at keeping dust buildup at bay. If your plants tend to get pests, you can swap lemon juice for a splash of vinegar, which is great at repelling pests. (Or, try these natural insecticides for houseplants.) Here’s how to clean plant leaves, step by step.
How to Clean Plant Leaves
What you’ll need:
16 ounces of water
Half a lemon
1. Squeeze half a lemon into the water and stir.
2. Dip your reusable cloth into the DIY leaf shine and wring it out.
3. Gently wipe the dust off your plants’ leaves.
4. Repeat once a month to keep your plants healthy and dust-free.
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