How do leaves function?
Plants produce sugars in their leaves that makes them grow fast and stay strong. These sugars are produced from a chemical reaction caused by electrons in sunlight. It’s a process called photosynthesis, and it happens in the ‘lungs’ of the plant – tiny little pores in the leaves called stomates. These ‘lungs’ inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen - lucky for us!
Why is dust is a big no-no when it comes to plant health?
When dust coats the surface of the leaves, it blocks the little pores, depriving them of the sunlight they need to create the food to make the plant grow. Just like if a human were to stop eating, your plant will become frail and susceptible to disease.
But the ‘eek’ doesn’t stop there. Our everyday dust can be packed full of lots of nasties (from dead skin cells, to microplastics, to heavy metals!). Is your plant kept on a balcony? It’s likely exposed to exhaust fumes and other chemical components. Over time, these nasties can damage leaves and stunt leaf growth.
How to remove dust from the leaves of your houseplants.
Give it a good ol’ dust when periodically. Every season is great, but every month is better!
STEP 1: Rather than brushing it off with a dry cloth or feather duster, use a damp cloth or a microfibre cloth to catch the particles so you’re not just flicking them back into the air, where they find a home back on your plant.
STEP 2: Apply a spray like We the Wild’s Protect formula on the top and bottom of the leaves. Not only does it strengthen your plant with gentle feeding, but it provides a protective layer of shine to the leaves that keeps them dust free for longer. Many customers tell us that they use Protect for a variety of different houseplant pest issues!
STEP 3: After misting, allow the spray to soak in naturally, and don’t worry if some of that good stuff drips into the soil or over other parts of the plant…it’ll love it.
Another way is to spray our Protect Spray on the leaves, and wipe off directly with a dry, microfibre cloth, like in the video below.
How rain-water can help your leaves
Rainwater is brilliant when it comes to washing the dust from the leaves of your green babes. So next time it’s showering, place your plants outside and let them have their own ‘Notebook moment’. Just make sure the weather isn’t too cold, or too wild… you don’t want to shock them!
Once the leaves have naturally dried, give them a spray with Protect as above!