Houseplants need to be cleaned regularly to keep it free from insects, bacteria, mold and it will look beautiful. Plants that grow outdoors usually do not need to be cleaned because they are washed regularly by rain, dew, and feather dusted by the wind.

Why should you clean your houseplants?

Houseplants need to be cleaned because dust, grease, oil, and other airborne particles settle on leaves, inhibiting their ability to absorb sunlight. It is important to keep houseplants clean because if they aren’t able to absorb adequate amounts of sunlight, their ability to carryout photosynthesis is lessened.

Photosynthesis is a process in which the leaves absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide to make their food. When a plant’s leaves are coated with dust, grease, and oil, the openings through which they exhale oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide, become blocked and they have a difficult time carrying out photosynthesis.

A clean houseplant will be better able to growth and fight off disease from insects, bacteria, mold and other pests.

Houseplant cleaning tips

  • clean your houseplants once a month
    • if you live in a dusty area, do it more often
  • clean your houseplants with a soft sponge or cloth
    • avoid coarse, rough sponges like loofas and some commercial varieties
  • wash plants in lukewarm water to rid them of dust and insects
    • Don’t use cold water because it may add spots to leaves
  • let plants drip-dry before placing them in the sun
  • when cleaning the leaves, support them with one hand to avoid bruising or cracking them
  • do not use oils or polishes to make leaves shine
    • oils and polishes will block the leaves’ pores
  • to clean plants with fuzzy leaves, use a syringe full of clear, room-temperature water

How to take care of freshly cut flowers

Cut your flowers properly

Flowers stay fresh longer when they are cut with a sharp knife and plunged immediately into water. Cut the stem at a slant because a slanted cut exposes more stem surface area. Remove leaves that will be under water in the arrangement. Do not remove thorns from roses because it will shorten their life.

Tips to keep cut flowers fresh longer

  • Use plain, lukewarm water for most cut flowers. (Distilled water is best, but tap water is OK if it is lukewarm)
  • Use cold water for bulb flowers, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips.
  • Change the water every 2 days.
  • Keep flowers out of direct sunlight
  • Move your flowers to a cool place at night.
  • Give daffodils their own vase. (Daffodil stems give off a compound that is toxic to other flowers)
  • Keep cut flowers away from fruit. Fruit releases a gas that causes flowers to age faster.
  • If your flowers did not come with a food packet, add a little sugar to water.

Why flowers wilt so quickly

  • Excessive warm or dry storage conditions
  • Air bubbles in the water. (Prevent air bubbles by cutting the stem of the flower while it is in the vase)
  • Bacteria in the water (Prevent bacteria buildup by changing the water every 2 days).

Flower food packets If you have a food packet for your flowers, use it. Food packets contain chemicals to kill bacteria, sugar, and an acidifier. Acid is needed to help water move up the stem. Sugar serves as the plant’s food.