Not only will a layer of dust on the leaves of your monstera cause it to lose its shine, but it will also have an effect on the plant’s ability to grow. The accumulated dust will cast a shadow on the plant, reducing its exposure to light and, as a consequence, its capacity to produce food through photosynthesis. As a result, it is essential to give the leaves of your monstera plant a good cleaning. However, what is the best way to clear the leaves? What kind of cleaner may I use on the leaves? Let’s find out, shall we?
One of the most effective methods for cleaning the leaves of your monstera plant includes spraying the foliage with a cleaning solution, wiping the leaves with a cleaning cloth, or showering your monstera plant. You should not use any leaf cleansers that include chemicals because doing so may cause damage to your monstera’s leaves.
You need to make sure that you clean the leaves of your monstera plant carefully because the foliage is often harmed by hard handling. In addition to this, it is essential to use the proper cleaning solution and water at the correct temperature.
Therefore, in this article, we will explore everything there is to know about cleaning your monstera leaves, as well as some important considerations to bear in mind while doing so.
Please be aware that Simplify Plants is supported by its users. There are affiliate links embedded throughout the post, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of those links, I will receive a commission.
Why you should clean monstera leaves?
Photosynthesis is the process that the vast majority of plants, including monstera, use to create their own sustenance. During this process, the plant will exchange carbon dioxide and sunlight from its leaves in order to make oxygen and sugar, which it will use as its source of energy. This process is known as photosynthesis.
The plant’s ability to produce new cells through photosynthesis is severely hindered when a covering of dust accumulates on its leaf surfaces.Because of this, progress may be sluggish.
The majority of houseplants already have restrictions placed on the ideal cultural environment; the accumulation of dust will only make these restrictions more difficult to meet.
Even though the accumulation of dirt and grime won’t kill your monstera any time soon, it will most certainly slow down the rate at which they grow.
Plants with large, broad leaves are especially prone to collecting dust, which can cause various problems. Cleaning your Monstera’s leaves is an essential part of keeping it happy and healthy.
- Health: Keeping your plant clean allows it to photosynthesize and breathe, which it can’t do if layers of dust are choking the leaves.
- Pests: Regularly cleaning gives you a chance to look for pests and, if necessary, remove them before they can do any damage.
- Appearance: Removing dust and other debris makes your plant feel good and look good. It will grow more quickly, and leaves will be lusher.
Besides offering a multitude of benefits for your plant, cleaning is also good for you!
Plants improve our mood and lend our homes a natural beauty. And when your plant is at its best, it’s also cleaning the air and removing toxins!
A good rule of thumb is to clean your Monstera plant at least once per week. However, how often you’ll need to clean your Monstera plant will also depend on several factors, such as where it’s placed and the conditions in your home.
For example, dust will gather less quickly on plants that are in well-aerated spots. Look at other objects and furniture in your home to get a quick idea of which areas are the dustiest.
Once you have your Monstera, examine it during the weekly cleanings and judge whether it needs more or less frequent cleaning, such as twice per week or every other week.
This regular cleaning and maintenance will keep the leaves in top condition. And if there’s anything negatively affecting your plants, such as too much light or pests, you’ll be able to catch it early.
The Best Ways To Clean Your Monstera Leaves
We’ve pushed ‘foliage cleaning‘ before on this blog, but the Monstera – with its large, fenestrated leaves – deserves its own post. Larger leaves naturally gather more dust, which not only effects the aesthetics of the plant but also its health. To keep them thriving, regular cleaning is required.
Good thing is it’s not hard. There are a few different ways to keep your Monstera’s leaves dusty-free and vibrant. The simplest way is to simply take a damp cloth and wipe down the foliage while supporting the underside with your other hand.
The following blog should answer all your monstera-leaf-cleaning-related questions, but as always if anything is still up in the air, drop a comment or shoot us an email.
THE BENEFITS OF CLEANING YOUR MONSTERA’S LEAVES
There are a number of key reasons as to why you should clean your Monstera’s (or any!) foliage on a regular basis. The most common reason is just because it looks better. Why go to the trouble of cleaning your home but leaving the foliage looking like a cellared bottle of wine?
The second reason is plant health. As mentioned above and in an earlier blog post, keeping the foliage clean and dust free allows the plant to photosynthesize better as there is no layer making it more difficult for the light to get through. Keeping dust away also allows the plant to breathe – plants have tiny pores on their leaves called ‘Stomata’, and if left alone in our homes they can be blocked with dust and dirt. A dust-free monstera is a healthy monstera, and a healthy monstera will reward you with faster growth and larger foliage.
Finally, regular cleaning is an opportunity to check for any pests and diseases, and to deal with them before they get out of hand.
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer here. Cleaning will depend on you, your home and the health of your Monstera. We suggest cleaning your plants foliage on a weekly basis…but in practice I’m more of a once-a-month kinda guy. Everyone’s home is different, and the more people in it will make a difference as to how often cleaning is required. Children and pets create even more dust, as do windy areas, nearby construction sites and open fireplaces. Weekly cleaning will mean your Monstera is always happy, but don’t stress too much if that seems excessive. Just add wiping down your plants foliage to part of your regular cleaning routine – however ‘regular’ that may be.
1. Shower: If you’re looking to replicate real jungle cleaning, then shower is you’re best bet. In nature, plants stay dust-free as they have the wind and rain doing all the hard work. Bringing your Monstera into the shower is an easy way to get any dirt and dust off the foliage, and give it a drink at the same time (Hot Tip: for efficiency, try getting the whole plant fam in the shower together and save yourself a tonne of work). If you do go this cleaning route, make sure the water is luke warm. Not too hot, not too cold – juuuuuust rigght. And if you’re someone who likes to clean themselves while they clean their plants, make sure you keep your soaps away from the plants (or use a Neem Soap!)
2. Spray & Wipe: The classic. Spray, then wipe. It couldn’t get much simpler. Unless you’re using a damp cloth, in which case its just ‘wipe’. Always support the back of the foliage with one hand and be extra careful around the fenestrations (holes) so they don’t tear!
3. Duster: Seems obvious right? Just give the foliage a dust down as you would the rest of the house. Its not as effective as the above two methods, but a great option if you’re short on time.
It should be said, that even before you pull out the elbow grease, there are a few things you can do to ensure your Monstera outshines the others.
Proper plant care will help your Monstera look great year round.
Monsteras love bright, indirect light, so make sure they’re in a position that provides it. Keep slightly moist over Summer and allow the top few centimetres of potting media to dry out over winter.
Make sure they’re in a quality potting mix full of large chunk orchid bark, perlite, horticultural charcoal, compost and peat (yeah yeah we’re talking Aroid Mix).
And fertilise! Monstera’s will benefit from a high nitrogen liquid fertiliser, applied on a regular basis while actively growing.
If after all that, you still want a little something to really give it that glow, then Neem Oil is unbeatable. An all natural, organic product that won’t block your plants pores, it leaves a brilliant shine on the foliage after wiping. When using, avoid spraying if the sun is directly on the leaves, or will be in the next few hours.
The neem can be applied by spraying directly onto the foliage, but for less mess consider spraying onto a damp cloth and then wiping directly onto to leaves.
Shower your monstera plant
Showering your monstera plant is one of the quickest ways to clean them. While it can be time-consuming to clean every single leaf one by one using a cloth, showering them could be an option for you.
You can carry your monstera to a sink or shower, depending upon the size of your monstera. If you have a pretty large size monstera, this might not be an option for you. But for most beginners, this is a viable option.
Take your monstera to shower or sink, and then use the sprayer at low pressure to wash off the leaves gently. This is similar to what rain does in nature.
The flowing water takes away all the dust and grime buildup, leaving behind lustrous and shiny leaves.
However, it is not that straightforward and easy as it might have sounded. There are a few hazards you need to be aware of.
- High-pressure water can damage the leaves. Thus use a low-pressure sprayer only.
- The water temperature should not be too warm or icy cold. Lukewarm water is the preferred choice as extreme water temperature can shock the plant and permanently damage them.
- Always use a container with a drainage hole in it. If your monstera sits in water for too long, then it might do more harm to the plant.
Clean your monstera’s pot
Cleaning the pot of your monstera plant is also crucial to maintain the decor of your home. While you need not do it every time, you clean your monstera, doing it would do the trick once in a while.
Cleaning the pot helps to get rid of excess salt buildup at the edges of your container. It also helps keep the pests at bay.
Here are a few steps you need to follow:
- Use a spare container and gently remove your monstera from the current pot without disturning its root ball.
- Take the pot to the sink, use a diluted bleach mix(1:10) and scrub the inside out of the pot.
- You may need to brush the white salt buildup to clean it up.
- Rinse the pot thoroughly before putting your monstera back in.
Please note that you should not use any harsh chemicals to clean the pot to impact your monstera plant’s growth.
Can I use commercial products (chemicals) to clean Monstera leaves?
There are limited products and chemicals you can use to clean Monstera leaves. Generally, it’s best to stay away from harsh and synthetic chemicals, and choose organic ingredients instead.
Lemon juice and vinegar are safe to use on the leaves. Make sure to rinse the leaves once you’re finished. Wipe down the leaves with filtered water to make sure they’re clear of leftover residue.
If you’re struggling with pests and other problems, organic pesticides (also called insecticides) are also available. They’re usually made with natural ingredients that won’t harm your plants, like neem oil. These are available in aerosol and liquid forms.
Before using any commercial product, chemical or natural, make sure to read the instructions carefully.
Is leaf shine good for Monstera?
Leaf shine products are not suitable for Monstera plants, or any houseplant for that matter! These products clog up stomata, the small pores on your plant’s leaves that it uses to breathe.
Oil, wax, and other shining agents get stuck in these pores and can cause your Monstera to suffocate.
These products also attract dust and cause clumps, meaning you’ll need to put more effort into upkeep and care.
If you regularly clean and maintain your plant using the tips we’ve discussed above, it will shine all on its own!