Gardeners' World: How to care for houseplants

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Houseplants are extremely popular in the UK, with several varieties requiring low maintenance to keep alive. However, it is important that gardeners clean their plant leaves as this is an excellent way to keep them healthy and ensure that their plant lasts for longer. Houseplant experts at The Stem have shared how to clean leaves in the best way without damaging the plant.

According to the experts, plant owners must avoid “scrubbing” their leaves.

They said: “Most plants won’t take kindly to being handled too roughly. 

“Don’t risk damaging the plant leaves by scrubbing them too hard.”

If gardeners do, they might snap or break the leaves, so always clean cautiously and slowly for the best results.

The experts added: “Taking it back to the basics when you are looking into how to clean plant leaves is dusting. 

“Using a feather duster to keep dust at bay is another quick and easy solution to keep your plant leaves healthy.”

Although, for houseplant with more delicate leaves, try using a soft makeup brush instead.

For those who are after a less “time-consuming” way to clean their houseplants, giving them a “shower” might be their best option.

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The plant experts said: “A less time-consuming and still effective cleaning option that’s particularly good to consider when researching how to clean plant leaves is to stick them under the shower. 

“Lukewarm water is ideal. 

“While under the shower, you can carefully rub your hands over the leaves to ensure the water gets into all the nooks and crannies.

“You can also tip your plant at different angles to help with this too.”

However, make sure to turn the shower on slowly – a sudden blast of water might knock the soil out, leaving owners with a big mess and blocked pipes and wishing they hadn’t started to begin with.

The experts also noted how houseplant owners can try lemon juice or white vinegar for stubborn dirt buildup on leaves.

They said: “If your leaves have a buildup of residue that’s hard to wipe off, then mixing water with either lemon juice or vinegar can be a great solution. 

“The key here is to keep it pretty weak as you don’t want to damage your plant’s leaves. 

“A quarter teaspoon of vinegar or half a lemon can be mixed with a pint of water and sprayed on the leaves. 

“Vinegar is also a pest deterrent.”

The acid in both lemon juice and vinegar is acidic and can dissolve mineral salt deposits that can dry on leaves if the water in a particular area is hard. 

However, too much acid can damage the leaves, so use sparingly.

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