How To Care for and Clean House Plants

Taking care of houseplants is not just about watering and giving them some sun once in awhile.  You also need to clean your house plants so that they can grow healthy and provide lush greenery indoors.

Light and Location

The location of your houseplant depends on the type of plant you own.  Flowering plants should be placed in an area where they can receive some light.  Ferns thrive better in darker areas of the house.  A cactus favors a bright area of the room.  Plants with plain green foliage do not require as much light compared to plants with variegated foliage as well as some carnivorous plants and succulents.   Orchids need to be in an area with indirect bright light.  Don’t forget to rotate your houseplants every so often.


One of the main reasons why most houseplants die is because of improper watering.

  1. Too much water will kill your houseplants.  Make sure that the compost is moist rather than wet.  Before watering again, the compost should be almost dry.  Use your finger to test the level of moisture at the bottom of the soil.
  2. Houseplants generally need less water during the winter as compared to the spring and summer months.  During winter, plants tend to me dormant.  While in summer, houseplants are actively growing and need more water.
  3. Use regular tap water unless specified otherwise. 
  4. Place a saucer beneath the plant’s container to catch the excess water.
  5. Some houseplants like orchids, bromeliads and other tropical varieties need an occasional misting.  Use a hand-held spray for this purpose.


Fertilizers and plant feeds help houseplants grow and thrive.  Use the correct fertilizer and feed for the type of houseplants you own.  Flowering plants normally need feeding for them to bloom and grow. Over feeding your houseplants can cause them to die out.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek advice from plant growers or horticulturalists.


Some houseplants need constant pruning while others need minimal pruning.  Owning a good pair of secateurs is a must if you want to prune your houseplants regularly.  Otherwise, simply pinch off dying or damaged leaves and flowers when necessary.


It is important to clean houseplants because clogged up pores make it difficult for them to breathe.  When this happens, plants cannot grow properly.  Light can enter the leaves of clean houseplants better compared to dust covered ones. Wipe off any dust and dirt that accumulates on the leaves of your houseplants.  Use a clean, moist cloth to do the job.  Wipe both the top and bottom portions of the leaf.  As soon as the cleaning cloth becomes dirty use a new clean cloth to wipe the other leaves.

Pest control

Houseplants are also prone to pests just like outdoor plants.  Mealy bugs, woolly aphids and tiny bugs tend to suck out the sap from the stems and leaves of certain houseplants.  You can rub off these pests with a soft cloth or use an organic spray to remove them.  If you find any sign of tiny spider mites cut off the areas affected by these burrowing pests.

Your houseplants can thrive and grow beautifully indoors if you take care of them and clean them periodically.  It is important to understand the needs of your houseplants depending on their variety.  Some houseplants require less maintenance than others.  In choosing houseplants, buy only those which you can maintain properly.


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