Keeping your plants clean is essential to their survival and blooming, and ZZ plants are no different.
They’re not soggy plants, so you don’t find much grime on them, but they can still gather plenty of dust. So, if you want to know how to clean ZZ plant leaves, keep reading to learn the ins and outs of all you’ll need to do so.
I’ll tell you about the various ways that you can do it as well as how to handle them to keep yourself, and your plant, safe.
There are several ways that you can clean your ZZ plant leaves, and I’ll go through them in the following section.
The first, and most common, method is to simply wipe down the leaves. Dampen a piece of cloth or cotton, then, wipe the leaves gently with it.
You should do so in a straight motion, starting from the step and moving to the outermost part of the leaf.
Keep in mind that you should provide support to the leaves with the other hand to prevent them from cracking or bruising. Make sure to ring the cloth properly before you use it—ideally, it should be damp but not dripping.
Yet, wiping each leaf down can be a little time-consuming, but it’s a practical way for big plants that may be harder to move.
Showering your ZZ plant is the easiest way to clean its leaves. The only trick is that your plant has to be movable for it to work.
You can shower your ZZ plant in a sink or tub using a sprayer at low pressure. Avoid high-pressure sprays, as you might end up breaking the leaf.
It’s important to note that ZZ plants aren’t water-loving plants, so don’t let them sit in soggy soil. That’s why you should use a container with drainage holes to get rid of the water quickly. If you don’t have one of those, stick to the previous method.
Additionally, shower your plant with lukewarm water. Avoid shocking the plant with extreme changes in exterior conditions, as houseplants are sensitive to very hot or very cold temperatures.
You can opt for this unconventional yet quick and practical method to clean your ZZ plant’s leaves.
Take your plant and place your hands on the soil to keep it in place before flipping it upside down. Then, lower the leaves into a bucket filled with lukewarm water.
After that, move the plant gently back and forth to make the water ruffle through the leaves. However, don’t do it too fast, or you’ll risk snapping the stems.
If you’re worried about the soil falling off, you can water it before flipping it. That way, the soil will stick together and stay in place. Alternatively, use cling wrap to cover the base of the plant before you flip it like you would for a greenhouse effect.
As mentioned before, make sure your plant is in a container with drainage holes to make sure that it doesn’t stay soggy after dunking it.
Sometimes, the pot is what needs some cleaning, especially if the plant has been sitting in it for a long time.
The tell-tale sign is if you find a white layer on the rim of the pot, which means that too many minerals or salts have accumulated. In that case, cleaning the pot will give the final healthy look to your ZZ plant.
Remove the plant from the pot and keep it on the side or in another temporary pot. Then, use a diluted bleach solution to wipe the pot’s interior and exterior thoroughly. Use a ten parts water to one-part bleach solution.
Try using a brush to scrub the pot well, and rinse the container well before putting the ZZ plant back in its place.
Regular cleaning of your ZZ plant leaves regularly helps them stay shiny, but there are a couple of tricks to get them glimmering.
Add a drop of dishwashing detergent to a cloth before wiping the ZZ plant leaves down. Make sure to rinse the plant well after this process, as the detergent may leave marks upon drying on the leaf.
A microfiber cloth or cheesecloth works wonders for the leaves, but a dishrag would do.
It’s worth mentioning that commercial leaf shine products and common tricks like mayo aren’t your best bets.
Although mayonnaise can make your ZZ plant’s leaves look shinier, some can get stuck in the pores and clog them. Finally, this will hinder your plant’s ability to photosynthesize properly.
On the other hand, commercial products often come with chemicals that aren’t ideal for plants. It’s best to stick to natural remedies and, occasionally, water with some light dish soap.
The most important and apparent reason is that they accumulate dust and dirt over time. Since plant leaves are sometimes moist too, the dust can turn into grime. This hinders the growth of your plant.
Mainly, this is because plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide through the leaves when they prepare food during photosynthesis.
So, cleaning your ZZ plant leaves keeps them looking fresh and healthy and also enhances their growth.
There isn’t a time frame that you should follow when it comes to cleaning your plant leaves. The general rule is to do it whenever you find dust accumulating. Yet, giving your leaves a rub with a moist cloth now and then prevents the dust from piling up in the first place, so I highly recommend it.
If you want to follow a schedule, cleaning the leaves every two weeks is a safe place to start.
ZZ plant leaves are only poisonous if you ingest them, but simply touching them won’t put you at risk.
That’s why you should keep them in a place that’s out of reach of children and pets unless you know for a fact that they won’t eat them.
However, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t touch your face and eyes after handling your ZZ plant. What’s more, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to wear gloves before you touch your plant for cleaning.
The water temperature you use to clean your ZZ plant is key because using too hot or cold water might shock the root system. In that case, your plant might develop spots on its leaves and the damage can be long-lasting.
A ZZ plant’s natural habitat is tropical, which means they’re not used to extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. That’s why lukewarm water is best for keeping your ZZ plant clean.
While ZZ plants don’t need cleaning daily, it’s essential that you wash them now and then.
The dustier your place is, the more frequently you should remove the dust and grime off your leaves.
Ideally, you should do it every few weeks or once every one or two months.
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.