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How to Clean African Violet Leaves (Using 3 Easy Methods)

How to Clean African Violet Leaves (Using 3 Easy Methods)

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It can be challenging to clean African violet leaves. The plant is quite sensitive to water and to handling. So, how can you clean African violet leaves?

You can easily clean African violet leaves without using any water or harming the plant. You can use a microfiber cloth, cotton pads, or a soft-bristled brush to dust off the leaves.

Moreover, if the plant requires deep cleaning, you can also safely wash it. You only need to allow it to dry.

Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ve explained in-depth how to clean African violet leaves, so your plant will remain vibrant and healthy.

Can You Clean African Violet Leaves?

A typical African violet has gorgeous glossy, dark green leaves. Naturally, to keep the leaves that way, you’ll need to clean them regularly.

Additionally, cleaning African violet leaves is crucial for the plant to remain healthy. That’s because its leaves have numerous pores that are responsible for photosynthesis and gas exchange.

This means any particles, such as dust, oil, or even water, can clog up those pores, causing the plant to get less air.

Furthermore, dirt provides the perfect environment for parasites. This means if you let your plant get dirty enough, it won’t only be displeasing to look at, but it’ll also become infested!

How to Clean African Violet Leaves

There are many ways to clean African violet leaves including:

First Method: Brushing the Leaves

Using a soft brush, preferably a toothbrush, you should gently brush away any dust from your leaves. However, avoid using a wet toothbrush so as not to damage the leaves.

Not only does brushing the leaves remove the dust laying on the leaves, but the brush can also get between the trichomes of leaves, cleaning any stuck dust.

Since you have to be extra gentle when brushing the leaves, this method requires plenty of time and patience. Yet, it’ll leave your African violet healthy with shiny, emerald leaves.

If you don’t have a soft enough toothbrush, any soft-bristled brush will do! You can use a small painting brush or even a makeup brush to clean African violet leaves.

Second Method: Cotton Pad

You can use dry cotton pads to clean your African violet leaves. Gently wipe each leaf to remove any dust or debris.

Though this method is quick, it isn’t as effective. That’s because it can be hard to remove any stuck dirt using dry cotton pads.

So, it’s best to wipe African violet leaves with cotton pads regularly. This way, you’ll clean the dust regularly, so it won’t have a chance to accumulate on your leaves!

Third Method: Microfiber Cloth

This is by far the best dry method to clean African violet leaves. It combines the best of both worlds.

That’s because microfiber cloth is as gentle as cotton pads, yet as effective as a toothbrush.

Gently prob up the leaf with your finger, then dust the top part with the cloth.

Washing African Violet Leaves

Generally, you should avoid getting any water on your African violet. Still, your plant might be too dirty to clean using conventional methods, so you’ll need to wash it!

Don’t worry though, if you’re careful enough, you can wash African violets without harming them. Follow the instructions:

  1. Using tepid water, preferably at 70 – 90°F, spray the leaves of the African violet for a couple of seconds only.
  2. Avoid wetting the center crown or the flowers as this can cause irreversible rot.
  3. Then, immediately wipe away any excess water that may have touched the plant itself.
  4. Using a cotton pad, dry the top of each leaf.
  5. Place your plant in a dry, warm spot to dry, preferably in the indirect sun, so as not to allow the growth of fungus.

Tips for Cleaning African Violet Leaves

African violets can be sensitive plants. That’s why you should keep some things in mind when cleaning their leaves. Here are some tips to help you out:

Avoid Touching the Leaves

Though African violet leaves are incredibly fluffy, which might tempt you to feel their velvety texture, you should avoid touching the plant.

That’s because studies show that when you handle African violets, their size decreases, and their quality declines!

Simply put, the more you touch African violets, the less healthy they become.

Don’t Use Water When Cleaning the Leaves

You should be careful when cleaning African violet leaves. The reason is that African violet leaves are quite fuzzy.

The problem with fuzzy or hairy leaves is that they can rapidly collect water, leading to rot.

Particularly, excess moisture can make the plant susceptible to pathogens such as crown rot and Pythium.

Furthermore, the water may lead to brown spots all over the leaves. Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove these unsightly spots, so you’ll have to completely cut the damaged leaves.

Regularly Clean the Leaves

Regardless of the method you use when cleaning African violets, it’s best to regularly remove all the dust.

You want to avoid washing African violets as much as possible. So, routinely cleaning the leaves ensures that no dirt will get stuck on the leaves.

Though you don’t want to touch the plant often, consistent gentle dusting is better than a thorough cleanse.

Prune the Plant

After you’ve cleaned your African violet leaves, make sure to also prune the plant. Since African violets are sensitive to handling, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone!

Removing dead and damaged leaves and flowers is extremely important. This allows the nutrients to reach other parts of the plant, leaving your African violet in good shape.

How Often Should You Clean African Violet Leaves?

On the one hand, you want to avoid handling and washing African violets. On the other hand, you don’t want the dust to pile up on the plant to avoid washing it.

Well, moderation is key. African violets are indoor plants, which means the leaves can go for quite some time before getting dusty.

Cleaning the leaves every 1 – 2 months should be enough. Yet, you shouldn’t wash the plant more than once a year.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial that you know how to clean African violet leaves. This plant doesn’t do well with water or touch, so you’ll need to take extra precautions when cleaning the leaves.

You can clean African violets using cotton pads, soft-bristled brushes, or microfiber cloths.

If your plant goes for an extended period without cleaning, you may gently wash it, Yet, you’ll need to immediately dry it to avoid fungus and other pathogens.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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