Caring for plants is a fun hobby and there are a host of reasons why people love to share their homes with nature. Houseplants can improve air quality, brighten up your space, and reduce stress. However, despite all the benefits, caring for houseplants can sometimes be a lot of work, especially if your home is a plant-filled haven. From light requirements and watering to pruning and re-potting, the tasks of the gardener may seem never-ending. Dusting your plants may be the last thing on your mind, but here are six solid reasons to dust your houseplants, along with easy tips and tricks to make this chore is a breeze.
1. Increase Photosynthesis
When dust settles on your houseplants, it reduces the amount of light absorbed by the leaves. This decreases the process of photosynthesis and can lead to stunted growth. Dusting your plants regularly ensures dust doesn’t build up to a point where it impacts plant health and ability to make food. This chore is necessary every week or every few weeks, depending on the season, the plant, and your schedule.
If you have a lot of plants, adopt a rotation schedule to spread out the task. Every time you water, check on your plants and clean them as needed. Regular dusting can stimulate growth, helping your plants look their very best.
2. Cleaner Air
Many houseplants, such as snake plants, palms, and Dracaena, are fantastic at improving air quality by releasing oxygen into the air and absorbing dust, toxins, and mold. However, dust sitting on the leaves of your plants inhibits the release of oxygen, thus decreasing their ability to breathe and clean the air. Some plants, such as spider plants and rubber plants collect more dust than others, so it’s important to dust them more often.
3. Increase Aesthetics
Dust in your home dulls the appearance of your stunning home accessories, and your plants are no exception. When you’re dusting your home, don’t forget about your green friends. Designate a separate cleaning cloth, microfiber is ideal, for cleaning your plants. Don’t be afraid to give them a spray down with water once in a while but ensure to wipe off the excess as not to invite disease.
Plants that are easier to move can be placed in the sink or shower and spray them down gently with lukewarm water for an easy and efficient way to remove dust. You can also efficiently water multiple plants at once!
African violets and fuzzy-leaved plants do not like water on their leaves. Instead, for these plants, only use a damp cloth or soft-bristled brush. Once you dust your plants, it may surprise you how sparkling clean they look.
4. Deter Pests
One of the best reasons to dust your houseplants is to deter pests. Spider mites, in particular, thrive in dry and dusty environments. Homes accumulate dust the most during the dry months of summer, as well as during the cold winter months when furnaces are running. Mites are almost impossible to spot until they get out of control and can come in from windows or from adding new plants to your collection. If there are any plants you have been neglecting to dust, nearby spider mites will soon make a home out of them.
Pests are unfortunately a reality of caring for houseplants. However, thoroughly dusting your plants and even washing them occasionally, decreases the chance of pest outbreaks. Staying on top of pests saves you time and money in the long run as well as saving you the stress of potentially losing one of your beloved plants.
For large-leaved plants, mix a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent into a spray bottle with lukewarm water. Then spray and wipe your plants with a soft cloth. You can also opt to use neem oil to clean the leaves, which is a popular repellent that many gardeners use to treat and prevent pests. However, avoid the use of leaf-shine products as they clog the pores of the plant, making it difficult for them to breathe and negatively affecting their overall health.
5. Be in Tune With Your Plants
Dusting your plants is an opportunity to get up and close and personal with your plants. Talk to them, hum a tune, or dance while you clean their leaves, but most importantly expect to be more in tune with your plant’s needs. When you take the time to tediously dust each leaf, nook and cranny, you’ll notice yellowing or dead leaves, and more easily spot pests and disease.
Take the time to prune and clean up your plants while you’re dusting for a two-in-one chore that your plants will love you for.
6. Improve Allergies
Once you clean your plants, it may surprise you how much dust they hold. If you have pets, their hair will also stick to your plant’s leaves and flower petals. Not only is a regular dusting of your plants good for their health, but it’s also good for your. Dusting your plants reduces the number of allergens in the air and allows the leaves to collect more from their surroundings, making your house an easier place to breathe.
Dust Those Houseplants
Dusting your houseplants may seem like a dull task, but it has huge health benefits for both you and your plants. You’ll love the improved air quality, reduced allergens, and the aesthetically-appealing look of clean plants. Not to mention your plants will flourish from the increased sunlight and reduced chance of pests. Once you develop a system or schedule, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start dusting your plants sooner.
How often do you dust your houseplants? Share in the comments!