If you’ve been taking care of a fiddle leaf fig plant in your home for quite some time, you already know how amazing they are. These plants can grow to be quite tall, and they’re impressive to behold.
They’ve become very popular houseplants, and many people are starting to buy them due to how aesthetically pleasing they are. When you’re caring for these plants, it’s going to be important to keep them nice and clean.
Allowing dust and dirt to stay on the leaves will not be good for them. Thankfully, there are good methods that you can utilize to clean fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Keep reading to get all of the important details about cleaning the leaves of these houseplants. You’ll feel much more comfortable with the steps, and it’ll be easier to keep the plant looking nice and presentable.
Why Do You Need to Clean the Leaves?
Some of you might be wondering why you would need to bother to clean the leaves on a fiddle leaf fig. If you’re new to taking care of plants, you might not quite understand why it’s best for the leaves to remain clean.
Essentially, plants need to be able to absorb light so that they can keep on living. If plants are covered in a thick layer of dust or dirt, they aren’t going to be able to photosynthesize properly.
Granted, a little bit of dust isn’t likely going to keep a plant from doing what it needs to do, but accumulated dust and dirt will present a problem over time. This is why it’s good to regularly clean the leaves to keep them from getting too dirty.
Your plant is going to have a significantly easier time soaking up sunlight if it has clean leaves. It’s even going to be able to breathe easier, and you want to be able to do what you can to help the plant thrive.
This is an essential part of caring for just about any houseplant, and it’s crucial for fiddle leaf figs, too. Luckily, it doesn’t even take all that long to clean the leaves off.
There are a few methods that you can utilize to clean the leaves that will be good. Which one you decide to use is up to you, but it’ll be best to go through all of the options so that you can make an informed decision.
Wipe the Leaves with a Soft Cloth
Wiping the leaves down with a soft cloth is one of the most popular ways to clean them. It’s going to be pretty easy to just grab a soft cloth out of a drawer and take care of your fiddle leaf fig when necessary.
Depending on how much grime there is, it might be necessary to use a little water. Most fiddle leaf fig enthusiasts will have a spray bottle handy that they can utilize.
You’ll be able to gently mist the plant’s leaves with water so that you can wipe them down with the soft cloth. Eventually, you’ll be able to remove any dust, dirt, and grime that has accumulated on the leaves.
Remember that it’s best to not try to rush this process since you don’t want to be rough with the leaves. That does mean that wiping the leaves off can get a bit monotonous, but it shouldn’t be too onerous overall.
Be as gentle as you can be when handling the leaves and you’ll be able to enjoy good results. Try to do this for your plant every so often so that it can stay as healthy as can be.
Consider Giving the Plant a Shower
Giving the plant a shower is another option that might actually be a bit faster than wiping it down with a soft cloth. You’ll be transferring it to your bathtub or a sink so that you can take care of things.
If your fiddle leaf fig plant is exceptionally tall, it’s recommended to utilize a bathtub instead of a sink. Washing the leaves using this method is just about using your faucet or showerhead to wash the leaves.
You’ll be focusing on getting any dust, dirt, and grime off of the leaves just like you were when using a soft cloth. You might even still wish to use a cloth to help you wipe the leaves down here, but whether that’s necessary is up to you to decide.
This should speed up the process of cleaning the leaves quite a bit, but you do still need to be quite gentle. It’s also important to avoid watering the plant too much because too much water is bad for plants.
If you’re going to clean the leaves using this method, it might be good to do this when your plant needs to be watered. You could make it a regular thing where you will take the plant to the bathtub and water it while cleaning the leaves.
Allow the plant to drain before you carry it back to its original location. You want to make sure that it drains well before you put it back in a decorative pot or anything like that.
Use a Water Hose Outside
Using a water hose outside is an acceptable method so long as your hose has a gentle setting. Some water hoses will be far too harsh and will wind up harming your plant.
If you don’t have a very big bathtub or if you’re worried about making a mess, it might be easier to clean the leaves outside. You can take the fiddle leaf fig plant out on your porch so that you can hose it down.
The technique will be to gently hose the leaves so that you can get rid of the dust, dirt, and grime. Be sure to wipe the leaves down with a cloth because you shouldn’t leave them damp.
As with the method above, it’s going to be crucial to be mindful of whether the plant needs water. You should probably only do this if your plant needs to be watered since you don’t want the soil to get soggy.
If you think that your hose is too powerful to clean a plant like this, you should use one of the other methods. It isn’t worth risking it by blasting the plant with the hose and then harming it.
Of course, you could always go out and buy a better hose that has more nuanced settings. Buying most standard garden hoses will be fine since they should have settings that will allow you to mist things.
You can also purchase special attachments and heads for garden hoses. If you don’t have what you need to do this now, it would be easy enough to get it.
Consider Using a Leaf Shine Product
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want the leaves to look nice and presentable. Cleaning the leaves is about protecting the health of the plant, but it’s also about making the plant look its best.
This is why many people buy products known as “leaf shine” that can help the leaves to look as shiny as possible. You simply spray this product on the leaves and it helps you to clean things up nicely.
Once you’re done using the leaf shine, the leaves are going to look a lot shinier than they would if you had cleaned them using standard water. This is going to make your plant even prettier than normal, and it’s why so many people buy this stuff.
If you decide to do this, then you’ll want to buy a good type of leaf shine that won’t clog leaf pores. Most of the best sprays will also be odor-free.
It’s good to know that these sprays are relatively inexpensive as well. They might not be entirely necessary, but people do like them and they work to help clean the leaves nicely.
You can find leaf shine sprays at online retailers, but they should also have this in stock at local department stores and gardening supply centers. If you like the idea of helping your fiddle leaf fig to shine brilliantly, you should consider this option.
How Often Should You Clean the Leaves?
It’s tough to say exactly how often you should clean the leaves. The best answer is that you should clean them as often as they appear to need to be cleaned.
There might be various factors that can cause the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig to get dirtier faster. Some houses get dusty faster due to certain aspects of the environment.
One good idea is to just clean the leaves every time you need to water the plant. This helps you to prevent issues such as watering the plant too much.
A fiddle leaf fig plant will need to be water every seven to ten days on average. This means that you can try to clean the leaves every week or close to every week.
Whether the plant needs to be watered should be determined by the soil condition and not the amount of time that has passed between the last watering, though. You’re supposed to check the top two inches of the soil to see if things are still moist before watering.
If you reach your fingers down and feel that the soil is moist, you need to hold off on watering the plant. Watering too much can lead to root rot, and you definitely don’t want your plant to go through that.
Granted, you don’t need to water the plant every single time you clean its leaves. However, some of the cleaning methods will make it difficult not to get the soil a bit wet, and this is why it’s ideal to just clean the leaves when it needs to be watered.
What If You Accidentally Treated the Leaves Too Roughly?
Sometimes people will make mistakes when they’re cleaning the leaves of a fiddle leaf fig. If you aren’t used to doing something like this, you might have gotten a bit overzealous when wiping the leaves off.
Being too rough with the plant could cause you to damage the leaves. Some of the leaves could even snap off if you’re particularly rough, and this definitely isn’t good for the plant.
There isn’t really anything you can do to go back and fix a mistake that has already been made. If you notice that you harmed a leaf in some way, you should take a step back and try to make a concerted effort to be more gentle.
Practice wiping gently instead of wiping aggressively. If you’re impatient, then you’re going to be more likely to make mistakes like this.
You now know everything that you need to know about cleaning fiddle leaf fig leaves. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to keep the leaves clean now that you understand which methods can be utilized.
There isn’t any single method that is better than the others, and this means that you should just choose whichever one you like. Some people might find it easiest to just use a soft cloth and a spray bottle, but others might think that putting the plant in the tub is better.
The important thing is to be proactive about cleaning the plant so that it can stay healthy. You’ll be able to help the plant photosynthesize easier by keeping its leaves clean, and it’ll stay healthy for a long time so long as you’re caring for the plant properly.
Plus, keeping the plant clean makes it that much more presentable. You’ll be able to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of the plant that much more.
Just do your best to treat the fiddle leaf fig with care and you’ll be able to keep on enjoying it. These plants are a joy to own and care for, and you’re not going to find cleaning the leaves to be a hassle at all once you get used to the process.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.