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Give Your Plants Some TLC for National Houseplant Appreciation Day

Houseplants have long been a staple of interior décor, thanks to their ability to provide oxygen, aesthetic beauty, and even a fresh supply of nutrients for your dinner table. One 2015 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology even found that interaction with indoor plants can reduce stress levels in adults.

Of course, if you’ve never considered yourself to have a “green thumb,” taking care of some herbaceous housemates may feel like a serious housekeeping challenge. Since today is National Houseplant Appreciation Day, our cleaning experts at Merry Maids® are reviewing how to select, clean, and care for your indoor houseplants, as well as the spaces that house them.

Not sure of the best way to incorporate plants into your home? Check out our past blog post to get started!

Which Plants Work Best for My Home?

Depending on your schedule, floorplan, and geographical region, you may not be able to provide an ideal home for certain kinds of plants. Whether you’re eager to get started with chic desk succulents or tiny air plants, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind before you make your home a houseplant haven.

Here’s what you should consider when shopping for new leafy greens:

  • Climate and lighting. Plants can only thrive in an indoor environment that mirrors their original climate, whether that’s a desert or a jungle. They also need varying levels of light to survive. Take the time to research your preferred plants and see which types will work best for your location.
  • Level of maintenance. If you’re not an expert gardener, it can be hard to keep even a single high-maintenance houseplant alive. When you’re new to plant parenthood, try to find one that makes your life less hectic, starting with this great list from Better Homes & Gardens.
  • Pet-friendliness. Sometimes your furry friends just don’t mix with your plant pals. While some plant websites like The Sill will list pet-friendliness on every plant option, other sellers may not tell you that your canine could get violently ill. The ASPCA has an extensive list detailing which plants are toxic for animals, so be sure to check it before you buy anything!

How to Clean Your Houseplants: The Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s start with the obvious: Plants shouldn’t be cleaned like other objects in your house, as they’re living things. Most cleaning products (eco-friendly or not) can seriously harm houseplants, and even DIY home remedies to improve their shine may turn out to be deadly.

However, it’s still important to keep your houseplants neat, trim, and insect-free by cleaning them regularly. From clipping dead leaves to cleaning pots, you’ll need to know the “do’s and don’ts” of cleaning indoor houseplants to keep yours growing strong.

Cleaning Tips for Happy Houseplants

  • Commit to regular washing. Inside the home, plant leaves act as landing pads for dust mites and dirt. When this happens, gently spray your plant’s leaves with lukewarm water outside on the patio, or even in the shower. If any of your plants are too large to move, wipe the leaves down with a soft damp cloth.
  • Clean out the pots every few months. Whether they’re ornate or simple, your plant pots need to be cleaned to work effectively. At least once a season, temporarily relocate your plant friends and give their pots a good scrub with soap and water. Use a stiff toothbrush to remove any mineral and salt deposits left from watering.
  • Give plants a gentle trim. Do you notice yellowed leaves at the top of the soil? Are there any withered flowers on your plant? It’s important to clean out excess dead plant matter, so take a moment to collect any debris that comes off easily and throw it out.

Plant-Cleaning Faux Pas

  • Never use mayonnaise or oil to shine your plants. Although rubbing leaves with natural oils may sound like a recipe for shiny and healthy plants, it’s not worth it. Mayonnaise and other oil-based substances can block the “stomata” or pores on your plants and deprive them of vital oxygen.
  • Don’t forget about drainage! In the excitement to water your new plants, it’s easy to forget that all the excess water has to go somewhere. To avoid making a mess, don’t forget to use a drip tray under your pots that have drainage holes.
  • Be careful about your compost. Want to create your own plant compost? Composting is a great and sustainable way to give your potted plants extra nutrition, but be careful about how you do it: Using certain meats, fruits, and sugar alcohols can attract unwanted critters and insects to your compost.

Cleaning the Areas Around Your Plants

Whether you have pets, kids, or both, it’s often difficult to keep the areas around your plants clean and clear. Even when you live alone, plants can shed a lot of excess dirt, leaves, and dust throughout the day.

Here are a few tips for cleaning the areas around your plants:

  • Always make sure to move your plants first so that you can avoid accidentally spraying them with cleaning solutions.
  • Cluster your plants together whenever possible. This will make it easier to clean around them on a weekly basis.
  • For plants that need more light, consider keeping them on the patio. You’ll still get to enjoy their beauty, but you won’t have to clean the area quite as often!
  • Dust and wipe down window sills with plants at least once a week, or ask your Merry Maids team member to focus on cleaning the area around your plants.

Keeping Your Home Clean and Bright

Now that you’ve properly celebrated National Houseplant Appreciation Day, it’s time to think about other ways you can keep your home bright year-round. At Merry Maids®, we make it our mission to help take care of the cleaning, by providing regular and one-time cleaning services. No matter your particular needs, we’ll customize your cleaning service to ensure that your house is thoroughly cared for – and that your beloved houseplants always have a shining backdrop!

Call (888) 490-4227 to request an estimate on home cleaning services today.