Clean Your Plants in Three Steps

A little dusting can go a long way!

It goes without saying that lighting and water are key to caring for houseplants. However, there's a third element that's just important: Cleaning. A layer of dust not only dulls your houseplant's leaves, it also stifles important plant processes, like photosynthesis and respiration. Outdoor plants can rely on rain and wind to remove dust, but indoor plants need a little help from their human friends.

Here are the tips and tools your need to keep your houseplants primped and polished.

Step 1: Remove Dead Leaves

First, get rid of all the dead or dying leaves on your plant. If you haven’t already, invest in a pair of sharp, high-quality pruning shears to get cleaner cuts. Cutting with dull shears can tear rather than cut the stem, and make new growth more difficult. Pro tip: Sterilize your shears with rubbing alcohol between each use to make sure you’re not transferring any diseases between plants.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Leaves

Now that you’re left with healthy leaves, it’s time to wipe off the dust. This is important for more than just aesthetic purposes. Dust blocks out light and air, making it difficult for your plants to photosynthesize and maintain a flow of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Use a plant mister to lightly mist the leaves, then take a dusting cloth and gently wipe the mist and dust off the foliage. Dusting cloths help reduce waste, but they have another benefit, too: Organic cotton is soft enough not to damage any leaves in the process. For plants with fuzzy leaves, such as African violets, you can use a soft bristled brush to lightly remove dirt and dust.

Step 3: Clean the Surrounding Area

As leaves fall from your plants, the pot and surrounding area can get messy. Use a Soil Broom to sweep away dirt, dead leaves, and dust. We use real horsehair in our handcrafted Soil Broom because the bristles are especially thin and soft, enabling them to pick up fine dust and soil. The handles are made with varying solid wood types—walnut, cherry, and ash—which offer rustic beauty and long-lasting quality.

With this simple technique, you’ll notice that your plants really do look happier in your space. Which is good, because when your plants are happy, your whole home lights up with a lush, vibrant glow. Perform this cleansing routine as your houseplants grow, and a deeper connection with your plants is sure to grow in kind.