Have you ever seen a dusty office plant and thought “Oh, that’s fake” only to spot a few browning leaves that prove it to be alive? This is an office plant that no one is cleaning or properly caring for.
Taking care of office plants is something most people don’t know how to do, even though many offices have these large, leafy, living decorations around every corner. Many maintenance staff don’t consider themselves gardeners, while office staff don’t realise that no one is caring for the plants that make them smile and breathe a little easier each day.
How, exactly, do you clean an office plant? This step by step guide will help you wipe away the dust and spiders without damaging each plant’s tender growth.
1. Gently Wipe Shiny Leaves with a Damp Cloth
Office plants with big, shiny leaves are very popular in corporate environments, and are the easiest to clean. Take a clean, fresh cloth and damp it only with water. Then gently support each leaf with one hand while wiping from the stem to the leaf tip with the cloth. You can do this one large leaf at a time, or with clusters of smaller leaves resting on your hand as you wipe them down.
This will remove much of the dust, spiderwebs, and light dirt that has gathered on your smooth-leafed office plants.
2. Lightly Dust Fuzzy Leaves with a Soft Brush
What about office plants with fuzzy leaves? These are more common in small to medium sizes, but fuzzy-leafed plants can be found in any size of planter or pot in the office. For fuzzy leaves, use a paintbrush or other soft-bristled brush to gently remove dust from the tops of leaves and stems. You can also lightly dust flower blossoms that seem to have gotten dusty.
3. Trim Withered Blossoms and Brown Leaves
Keep an eye out for brown and withering parts if the plant. You can trim away flowers that are starting to wither or have fully withered. You can also pluck away leaves that have gone brown and curled up before they fall to the ground. This will actually help the plant to blossom further and produce healthy leaves.
4. Remove Dropped Leaves from the Potting Soil
Check the potting soil under each plant. Often, neglected office plants build up a thick layer of dropped leaves in the pot that can eventually start to choke the plant. Grab a trashcan and scoop all the old brown leaves and fallen blossoms off the top of each plant’s potting soil. Then gently turn the top few inches of soil and water until the soil is damp to give each cleared planter a boost.
Weird tip: Plants love pasta water. It’s like that packet of plant food you get with a flower bouquet. So if you just boiled some pasta, give the nearby potted plants a treat in their watering can.
5. Mist Small Plants with a Spray Bottle
Outdoor plants stay clean in heavy rains and the occasional gust of wind, which keeps their leaves free from dust buildup and regularly clears out spider webs. You can simulate that natural cleaning process safely with small, medium, and large plants.
Very small plants can be lifted and dunked leaves-first into a bowl of clean water, then set back into their pot. Medium to small plants can be washed with a heavy spray of water from a spray bottle.
6. Give Plants a Gentle Shower
For larger plants, you can give enormous snake plants, trees, and office shrubs a shower in an actual shower stall or with a garden hose out on the patio. Be sure to use a gentle spray setting on your hose sprayer attachment and give each plant a little cleansing rainstorm.
7. Set Plants in a Light Breeze
Finally, you can help your plants stay clean with less heavy-duty plant bathing in the future by placing them near a fan and watering with a mister. By recreating a little bit of natural weather disturbance, you keep those green leaves waving in a breeze where they will collect less dust and harbour fewer spiders in the following months.
Keeping plants healthy and clean is often a job that falls on office maintenance. Fortunately, office plants are easy to take care of and only take a few minutes a week to keep dust-free. For more pro commercial cleaning tips and London area services, contact us today.