Cleaning the Plants...

United States
June 29, 2011 1:32pm CST
No, this isn't some expression like "Skeletons in the closet." While I was cleaning the first floor yesterday (and supposed to be cleaning the 2nd floor today, although I have yet to get started!) I noticed the leaves on my two houseplants looked pretty neglected and dusty. I decided to wipe them down with a wet paper towel. Now they're nice and bright and shiny, and they look so clean and much happier! Do you think I am crazy? I know people clean their plastic plants and whatnot, but is it normal to dust your live plants?? LOL Let me know if I am the only one -- maybe I AM koo-koo!
3 people like this
15 responses
@allen0187 (28042)
• Philippines
30 Jun 11
then that makes two of us koo-koo bethany! i've always 'cleaned' my live plants as well. i wipe off dust in the leaves and make sure that they are all shiny for everyone to see. never liked plastic plants... it just pales in comparison to the live ones. now, the ones that are contented with plastic plants, those are the kooky ones. lol!
@allen0187 (28042)
• Philippines
2 Jul 11
thanks for the best response bethany! now, let me get back to cleaning my plants. cheers!!!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92390)
• Marion, Kansas
2 Jul 11
One book I read said that artificial plants spoke of artificial ideas. Real growing things were indicative of real growing people. I hope others that read this do not take it as a put down, it just is what the book said.
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
30 Jun 11
NO, you're NOT the ONLY one!!! When I was growing up, it was VERY normal to clean the leaves of our houseplants. Not only did we clean them, but we also bought a polish that made them nice & shiny & easier to clean the next time!!! I don't remember the name of the polish, but it was in a bottle & had an applicator much like the old shoe polish. We would sit & wipe the leaves down with a wet cloth & let them sit to air dry & then we'd go back & apply the polish to each leaf top side. Once dry, our plants were BEAUTIFUL!!! I don't think they still make the polish...who knows, maybe they do. I don't keep houseplants because I kill them too easy!!! I have a lot of outdoor plants, but I don't clean their leaves as they will just be dirty in a day or two from the pollution!!!
@GardenGerty (92390)
• Marion, Kansas
30 Jun 11
Fuzzy leaf plants like African Violets you dust with a soft sable paint brush.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92390)
• Marion, Kansas
30 Jun 11
Your first responder was pretty thorough. They also used to sell a leaf wax--I think by Miracle Gro. I am a lot older than you and I remember people rubbing cooking oil, or mayonnaise or even milk on the leaves. Those "solutions" really are not that healthy for the plant, but when we all used to stay at home everything had to be all shiny.
@allen0187 (28042)
• Philippines
2 Jul 11
hi gardengerty. just basing off your handlename, i would say that you got the green thumb yourself. never really thought that they had leaf wax to make those leaves shiny. agree that rubbing cooking oil, mayonnaise, or even milk does more harm than good to plants. a quick wipe with a clean damp cloth is enough to keep the leaves dust-free. when i was younger, 'dusting off' leaves was a favorite chore of mine.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92390)
• Marion, Kansas
2 Jul 11
Actually Garden Gerty was the name I used when I performed as a Christian Clown. I liked her personality that developed as a clown and I hoped I could be just as nice a person here on MyLot as she was. Does that make any sense? Yes, I do know quite a bit about growing things, as well, long lines of plant lovers on both sides of my family "tree".
• Canada
29 Jun 11
My mom wiped off her house plants about once a month. The leavesof some plants actually need it because if they are to dusty they can't absorb the sunlight. So you are not craxy at all. Mom also bathed her plants once a year she would take the bottom tray off the pot and put the small pots in a few inches of water in the kitchen sink. The bigger plants she would put in the bathtub and the hanging ones she would hang up in the shower stall and turn on the shower.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jun 11
Thanks for the information. Never thought about dust keeping the plants from absorbing the sunlight! My mom also puts her plants in the tub or sink every 3-6 months and gives them a nice long watering and lets them sit there for a few hours.
@ozarkcat (43)
• United States
30 Jun 11
Nope! I hadn't actually thought about it until I started doing the Flylady cleaning system - mainly because most of my plants didn't get watered and so didn't last long enough to get dusty (hey, I have cats & a small child, they don't last that long anyways, right?) - which is really sad for someone going for a MS in plant science ;) Anyways, I seem to recall that she put them in the shower & run it for a little bit (like 15-20 seconds), let them drain & then move them back again. Hope that helps!
@jaiho2009 (39034)
• Philippines
29 Jun 11
hello Bethany, My mother in law always put a live plants inside her receiving area and she did wipe the leaves regularly. She even add egg whites to water,mixed thoroughly and then use a tissue to wipe the leaves. I asked her why..and she tells me to make the leaves looks livelier and shiny too. And,yes,I can see it looks much better
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
29 Jun 11
well, it is a good thing to clean the dust off of them. Have you ever heard of wiping mayo on them...yes you read that right. That's what a woman I know does. I have done it a few times myself. It leaves them nice and shiny and so pretty.
1 person likes this
@louievill (16650)
• Philippines
29 Jun 11
nope I do not think you are crazy at all, like the other post, cleaning would help leaves absorb sunlight which is necessary for the process of photosynthesis to take place, we use to keep a lot of indoor plants like palms and ferns and those we could carry, we wash in the sink or the bathroom, the heavier plants we just wipe, but after an outbreak of dengue in Metro Manila, people were ill advised to keep indoor plants since they could become breeding grounds (water plants) and hiding places of the deadly mosquito, so we brought them all out to the garden where less tending is required.
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
6 Jul 11
Well they don't have any rain to clean them like they would if they were outside, so why not?
• India
6 Jul 11
Hello my friend Bethany1202 Ji, Well, everyone does for plastic plants, but I remember, we had a big creeper of Beans, it had started flowering as well and we expected beans at any time, then we noticed lot many worms had assualted whole creeper, so my hubby took advise from a horticulturist and he told my hubby to trow cowden ash and wash it properly, so in fact, we cleaned leaves as well, but normally, no one does nature rakes care. Thanks. May God bless You and have a great time.
@aeiou78 (3457)
• Malaysia
4 Jul 11
Many people do often clean the leaves of their indoor plants to ensure their homes are better and fresh. At my place, there is a special wet tissue which we can buy for mopping the leaves of the indoor plants so that, those leaves are shining all the while. For me, I shall not be so patient to mop the leaves of the plants one by one. The most easier way to clean the leaves of the plants is by placing those plants at outdoor and slowly flush them with water. ha! ha! I were really saved a lot of works.
@Chevee (5915)
• United States
2 Jul 11
Hi Bethany 1202, yes it is normal to clean live plant leaves they even make a polish that will make your leaves shiner. I have done this before. It was those big leaves on my Lilly plants I don't have them any more.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
30 Jun 11
For me it is nice to hear about it in you both keep up the good work.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
30 Jun 11
For me it is nice to hear both of you kep up the good work it is good exercise.
@lacieice (2065)
• United States
29 Jun 11
Absolutely the right thing to do. I don't have any house plants right now, 'cause my cat eats them, but my mom used to have them, and she cleaned the leaves with milk.