Cleaning indoor plants from dust and dirt
Hygiene for indoor plants is one of the main conditions for their health and attractive appearance. Dust and dirt not only spoil the pleasure of contemplating green pets, but also disrupt metabolic processes and create an ideal environment for the spread of pests. To clean plants from dust is necessary not from time to time, but regularly. After all, even in the matter of plant hygiene, an individual approach to them is needed.
Ornamental deciduous plants are indispensable both as an interior decoration and in creating a healthy living environment. Being excellent filters that cope with toxins, harmful substances and allergens, they heal the air and help create a comfortable living environment. But for plants to fully fulfill their function of a living filter, they must be in a clean state. After all, the leaves of plants attract dust, soot and dirt, clogging the stomata and preventing their normal breathing. Hygiene is important for the process of photosynthesis - the main process of plant life - and to prevent the spread of pests or diseases. So the question of maintaining cleanliness is by no means only aesthetic. But it is precisely in ornamental-deciduous crops that hygiene is far from easy.
Attractive leaves usually mean the presence of an edge, a special structure or surface texture. Only a few decorative leaf stars have glossy leaves. A living velvet or velor, felt or satin on them automatically means that the leaves of these plants do not like contacts. Along with the inability to increase the humidity of the air by spraying, these plants do not tolerate sloppy watering or droplets of water falling on the leaves, not to mention stifling. The ban also applies to cleaning such leaves: where on smooth leathery sheets you can do a very simple procedure for wiping with a wet sponge, other methods will have to be used for pubescent plants.
First of all, when studying the individual characteristics of a plant, it is worth checking whether it tolerates contact with the surface of the leaves, spraying and fragrance, are there recommended methods for maintaining hygiene for it. If there is no such information, it is worthwhile to follow the instructions for spraying: the cultures for which they are prohibited do not like rubbing or washing the leaves.
General rules for cleaning indoor plants:
- Dust must be cleaned regularly. Dust accumulates on the leaves, even in those rooms where special traps are installed. Depending on the intensity with which the dust is collected, it is necessary to establish a mandatory cleaning procedure and carry out it regularly. It is best to observe the plant, but the standard frequency of hygiene procedures is 1 time per week or slightly less.
- Rubbing is necessary not only on the outer, “upper” side of the leaves, but also on the reverse side. Despite the fact that dust and dirt are usually seen on one side of the sheet, thorough cleaning should be carried out on both sides.
- In addition to regular procedures, plan in your schedule periodic “general cleanings” - scrubbing or washing for plants on which they can be carried out, and similar thorough cleaning for crops that cannot tolerate getting wet. They are combined with cleaning the top of the substrate from pollution and cleaning the pallets and the outside of the containers in which the green pets grow. Such procedures are also carried out urgently, if it is noticeable that the plant is heavily contaminated, so much dust accumulates that the work of the respiratory stomata is disturbed and a stunted growth is observed.
- Do not wait until a thick layer of dust and dirt appears on the leaves. As soon as you see that the dust becomes visible on the leaves not only from a very close distance, immediately take action. The less polluted the plant, the better.
- With any type of wet cleaning on plants, they need to be protected not only from direct sunlight, but also from a cold environment, air flows, drafts. Drying of the leaves is carried out in a warm place with diffused partial shade lighting.
The easiest option is a smooth surface.
For crops that love spraying and have a smooth leaf surface, the cleaning process is much simpler than for crops whose leaves are afraid of any contact with water. But even among this category of decorative-deciduous houseplants there is a division: large-leaved plants are very easy to clean, but small-leaved plants manually wipe too troublesome.
If the plant has large leaves that are not afraid of contacts, then cleaning and washing is a very simple task:
- The leaves are wiped with a soft cloth or sponge, choosing wipes or cuts of fabric so that they do not leave a pile and do not injure the surface of the sheet.
- It is enough to moisten the selected fabric or sponge in warm water, squeeze it carefully (strong wetting will lead to the appearance of stains on the leaves, instead of removing dust, you will just “wash” it over the leaves).
- Using a sponge or cloth, gently, holding the sheet with your hand, gently, with quick movements remove dirt. You need to move from the petiole to the tip of the leaf plate. It is not advisable to rub the leaves strongly even on persistent stains of dirt: the procedure is carried out without damaging the protective layer on the leaves and without pressure on the surface.
- Young, growing, unfolding leaves do not rub and do not clean, because the process of their development can be disrupted by delicate intervention.
Small-leaved or curly-green crops can be manually wiped, but such a procedure takes a lot of time and is too troublesome for regular procedures, therefore, most often for ordinary ficus Benjamin, ferns, dracaena and Co. use ordinary scenting or washing with water.
Washing and showering
All indoor plants that are not afraid of getting wet like periodic showering. Large-leaf crops that can be wiped by hand, just one such procedure per month, or at least washing during general cleaning. Small-leaved plants should be touched or washed much more often, since it replaces manual cleaning with it.
The most difficult thing in any bathing procedure for indoor plants is to protect the soil from getting wet and pollution. Even if they do not plan to use soap solutions, dirt and dust along with water will fall into the soil and in the future may become an additional factor in the emergence of problems in the development of plants. It is impossible to fully protect the soil, especially in plants with dense bushes or sods. But as much as possible to block the open ground and minimize the damage from getting it wet enough easily. To do this, it is enough to close the entire soil around the perimeter of the pot with a plastic film or bag, bringing the film as close as possible to the plant itself. For small containers and compact plants, you can simply cover the soil with your hand.
Take care of the water temperature in advance. Most indoor plants of decorative foliage type do not like not only watering, but also spraying with water, the temperature of which is lower than the temperature in the room. But if only selected capricious species prefer watering with warm water, then it is obligatory for all plants to suffuse. It is better not to overdo it with heating: washing is carried out with water, the temperature of which is 5-10 degrees higher than room indicators. The maximum temperature for planting is usually limited to 30 degrees.
For severe contamination, soap solutions are used. Using cosmetic soap for indoor plants is not the best option. Liquid soap without additives or ordinary household, baby soap and baby shampoo remain the best means.
For showering or washing, it is better to put the plant not just in the sink or bathroom, but in a large bowl or basin. For plants that are not afraid of contact with the leaves and strong enough, you can hold a shower with a shower. But for indoor plants it is always better to carry out this procedure carefully, manually, from a watering can or strictly control the pressure of water, making it the weakest.
The washing procedure itself is quite simple:
- Plants are watered with warm water, gently wiping the leaves with a soft cloth or sponge, paying special attention to places with severe pollution and directing water flows to where they are needed.
- If it is necessary to treat heavily contaminated leaves with soapy water, the plant is gently tilted so that not a single drop of water falls on the polyethylene covering the substrate. Soap or shampoo is foamed and gently applied to contaminated leaves with a sponge, trying to minimize contact time with detergents.
- If soap solutions were used, they must be washed off with a large amount of warm water (not individual leaves, but always the entire plant are rinsed).
- Particular attention when washing should be given to the lower leaves: it is better to rinse them additionally or to make sure they are clean, additionally spraying the surface from the spray bottle.
After removing dust for decorative leafy plants with glossy leaves, you can take additional measures to bring shine - apply special polishes, use home remedies to make the leaves look shiny and healthy, but make sure that this procedure is acceptable for the plant before using shine .
Edge and vibrant velvet on the leaves
Plants with beautiful leaf texture are afraid of even the smallest drops of water. And rubbing, and especially washing, for them is unacceptable. The purity of greenery of such decorative-deciduous, and flowering crops, is supported by completely different means.
The main method of removing dirt from pubescent leaves is accurate manual cleaning with a soft velvet flap, soft brush or special brushes with a delicate natural pile.
In emergency situations, for example, when plants suffered from irregular care in the kitchen, their leaves became greasy, were in the room during repair, even on pubescent leaves, it was necessary to wash. True, it is not a question of stifling: with the help of soap suds and delicate washing, the dirt is removed, and then the plants are thoroughly dried, protecting from bright light and low temperatures. Such washing is always very serious stress and rarely ends with the return of decorativeness of old leaves to the original. Before washing pubescent leaves, you always need to carry out the usual dry cleaning from dust and dirt, and only then conduct a gentle wash.
Cacti and other indoor plants with thorns or spikes, including heavily pubescent decorative leafy begonias, are cleaned of accumulated dust not with ordinary rubbing, but with brushes and brushes.
For cacti, in the cleaning process, you can use stiffer brushes (for example, toothbrushes), but it is always better to use a brush with an elastic thick pile, which allows you to work without the slightest injury even for very thin bristles and on hardy, and on much more delicate plants.