April 15, 2013

Spring Clean Your House...Plants!

Close up of  Ficus Elastica Plant

Spring is here, and the world is brushing itself off to greet a new season of verdant growing. Your houseplants are no different! To make sure your favorite green pets are healthy and happy this spring, consider giving them a bath. Really. Dust and other household particles can easily settle on the tops and undersides of leaves, making it hard for plants to breathe.

For an easy clean-up of your house plants, follow these steps-

  • Into about a half-gallon of warm water (not too hot), drop in 2 or 3 drops of plant-based dish liquid, and about a lemon's worth of lemon juice.
Seventh Generation Dish Soap by Kitchen sink
  • Take a clean cotton cloth, and swish it around in the solution.
  • After wringing out the cloth, clean the under-and-over sides of each leaf, making sure that you gently get into any nooks and crannies.
  • Once the leaves have been washed, take another cloth with plain warm water, and wipe away any soap residue that might remain (OR - even quicker - pop the pots into the shower and give them a quick indoor rainstorm!)

Plant-based dish liquid is also great for washing away aphids, mealy bugs, and soft scale. Just put a few drops of dish soap, a few shakes of chili powder, and a pinch of ground cinnamon into a spray bottle. For plants with suspected pests, spray down once or twice a week, wiping away the residue (and any bugs!) each time.