Philodendron plants are fairly easy to take care of. They are known as the ultimate houseplants.
If you’re a new philodendron owner, you won’t have to worry too much about the upkeep of this plant. It’s an adaptable plant that won’t need too much maintenance.
Philodendron leaves, in particular, tend to accumulate dust. This is why it’s beneficial to clean them every month, or as needed.
If you’re not totally sure about how to clean philodendron leaves, this guide is for you!
Philodendrons and Their Types
Philodendrons are typically known as indoor plants. However, some time outside won’t hurt your philodendron.
This type of plant isn’t sensitive at all. They experience little to no stress when transferred outdoors.
When the weather is good, you can take it out and clean its leaves outside. When dealing with philodendrons, you might encounter two major types:
1 – Vining Philodendrons
This is the most common philodendron variety. As the name implies, this type has aerial roots.
You can expect this philodendron to climb on nearby vertical areas such as poles. Pruning keeps them under control.
2 – Non-climbing Philodendrons
Non-climbing Philodendrons grow upright. Some varieties can grow up to 1 meter or more.
They also tend to look like trees when fully mature.
When to Clean Philodendron Leaves
A good rule of thumb is to clean your philodendron leaves at least once a month. However, your cleaning schedule might vary depending on the dust and wind level in your home.
It’s ideal to check your philodendron regularly. Look at the plant and feel the leaves to check for collected dust.
This will give you an idea of when to clean it. You might also want to include your philodendron leaves when you do your weekly dusting.
Lightly going over the leaves with a feather duster will help keep the leaves clean.
How to Clean Philodendron Leaves in 4 Easy Steps
The key to glossy and healthy philodendron leaves is gentle cleaning. Make sure to use water that’s not too cold or too hot.
Follow these simple steps:
1 – Wipe on Both Sides
Two damp wipes, sponges, or pieces of cloth will come in handy for this step. Put one wipe, sponge, or piece of cloth on top of the leaf and another on the bottom.
Start from the stem of the leaf and wipe all the way to the tip. Make sure to use lukewarm water in dampening your chosen cleaning tool.
Other alternatives to this step are as follows:
- If your plant is small, you can use a spray bottle to mist both sides with lukewarm water.
- For a medium-sized plant, you can put it in the sink and use your hose to wet the leaves.
- For a large-sized plant, you can put the plant in the shower and turn it on.
2 – Soap the Leaves
Dip your sponge, cloth, or soft brush in soapy water. Gently soap the leaves.
Another way is to spray the soapy water mixture onto the leaves. To make your soap solution, use 1/4 tbsp. of dish soap and mix with 1 quart of water.
This step is especially applicable to philodendron leaves with stubborn dirt that won’t wash away with just water.
3 – Rinse Thoroughly
Use the same washing method that you did in step 1. Rinse the soapy leaves well using lukewarm water.
4 – Dry Gently
If you don’t like seeing water spots on your philodendrons, this last step is for you. Dry the leaves gently with a clean cloth.
Wipe the top and the bottom part of the leaf at the same time.
How to Make Philodendron Leaves Shiny
It might sound easier to forego cleaning your plant and just use Leaf Shine products. However, you should be careful.
Some products might do your philodendron more harm than good. Commercial substances can clog tiny plant pores. They can also cause more dust to stick to the leaves.
If you want shiny philodendron leaves, safe and natural options are available. The first is timely and regular cleaning to keep the leaves bright and healthy.
You can also use a mixture of 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 gallon of water to get rid of any mineral buildup on the leaves. Swap the lemon juice with vinegar of the same amount for an effective leaf cleaner that doubles as a pest repellant. Nice!
Philodendrons are well-known classics in the world of houseplants. They are often used in interior spaces.
As such, they are prone to accumulating dust. If you’re new to plant parenthood, you might benefit from the steps we mentioned on how to clean philodendron leaves.
The appropriate time to clean them is also worth knowing. Last but not least, make sure to remember the philodendron types and how to make their leaves shiny, the natural way.
In no time, you’ll find yourself with a philodendron that’s so clean and shiny. It’ll be hard to be-leaf!
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.