Dusty Leaves? Why You Shouldn't Forget To Dust Your Plants

Dusty Leaves? Why You Shouldn't Forget To Dust Your Plants
We've all been there, just got a new plant online and when you receive it, you find spots like these all over your leaves!
You're standing there like:
"WHAT what is this white-ish blue stuff on my plant? Why do the leaves look so dull?..."
Now, to stop you from being Will Ferrell any longer, sitting there stressing yourself out, there is good news! The dull leaves and spots are due to a build-up of dust and pesticide residue! Luckily, there is an easy fix to help out those ugly leaves!

Clean = Healthy

Why are we wiping the plants? They don't have animals wiping them down in nature so why should I have to wipe them in my house?

Well, they're HOUSEplants, the fact that you're in a house in the first place is majority of the reason that the dust is so easily collecting on the plants leaves. With poor air filtration, and no wind/rain, dust can easily accumulate in a short amount of time.

Dust is a collection of dirt, skin cells, fabric fibers, pet dander, pollen, smoke, exhaust, sand, and many other small things that are a product of us and our environment. Mold, bacteria, and dust mites are all likely to inhabit and often multiply in dust, making the collection of dust on leaves of plants extremely unhealthy, especially over time. 

Another reason it is harmful to have dusty plants is because the dust will block sunlight from reaching the leaves, thus reducing the plants ability to photosynthesize. This will limit the amount of energy the plant will have to function, stunting its growth. 


Wipe Me Down!

Now, not all plants' leaves are made equal. Some plants have very delicate, small leaves. Some plants have big, broad leaves, and some plants have fuzzy, slender leaves, like the Calathea Rufibarba a.k.a the Fuzzy Feathers Plant. All of the different types call for different ways to clean them. We don't need to accidentally rip off all the leaves when trying to clean, so it is recommended to use the correct medium when wiping! Also, be sure to keep your non-dominant hand underneath the leaves and wipe CAREFULLY so you don't end up hating yourself when you end up breaking a leaf from applying too much pressure. 
For plants with big, broad leaves (the easiest to wipe down) spraying them with water and wiping them down with a microfiber cloth or paper towel is the best way to go. 
For plants with smaller leaves, using a microfiber cloth or a paper towel is fine, but a smaller, soft-bristled brush is a better way to go. Especially when there are a million little leaves, this makes it much quicker.
For a fuzzy-leaved plant such as the Rufibarba or some pileas, use a soft brush such as a mushroom brush to very gently remove the dust. You may be better off not wetting the paintbrush so it doesn't stick to the plant and actually removes the dust/dirt.

Shower With Me!

One of the best options for both cleaning the plant and watering the plant is to stick it in the shower for about 5 minutes, let the plant get cleaned/watered, then wipe down the leaves with a microfiber cloth or a paper towel. This is probably the best way to clean your plants, unless they have sensitive leaves, then the shower may not be the best option and one of the above options is optimal!
 Given this information, don't forget to dust your plants more often so they can thrive and look/feel their best! If you want more information about plants, we have it! Click this link to find more information!! 

Reading next

Everything you need to know about Calatheas- the mysterious moving plant
Immortal Snake Plants 101: Everything You Need To Know

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.