How to clean African violet leaves so as not to harm the plant? This question is asked by almost all owners of these beautiful flowers. While this procedure may seem daunting at first glance, it’s much easier than you might think. But first, let’s figure out why this is done and in what cases it is necessary.
Why Clean the African Violet Plants?
As with any indoor plant, over time, the dust begins to settle on the African violet. Some gardeners do not pay enough attention to this, and this is completely wrong. This accumulated layer of dust on the leaves negatively affects the growth and development of the plant, as it blocks the entry of sunlight/light, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the plant. Another signal that it is time to clean the African violet is the appearance of dried water spots. If you regularly spray the plant with neem oil or use various sprays as fertilizers, then an additional layer may also begin to accumulate on the leaves.
If this is not done on time, the air exchange process would be disrupted, since such oil or fertilizers begin to block the pores of the leaves. We also strongly recommend that you resort to cleaning the plant if it has recently been exposed to parasites.
The fact is that even when you remove them, wax residues of pests often remain on the leaves. After all, a clean and tidy plant always looks more aesthetically pleasing.
How to Clean African Violet Leaves from Dust and Dirt?
Many tools are suitable for this procedure, depending on the size of the leaves. It is best to have dedicated tools for this rather than using the first thing you come across at home. But if you have not yet acquired them, then here is a list of what you can use:
- A small piece of damp microfiber cloth, similar to the one used to clean glasses. You can also use a velvet piece of fabric.
- Fluffy and soft makeup brush with natural bristles. You can purchase one with two different sized tassels at each end. This way, you can use the smaller end to clean the smaller leaves and crown, and the larger end to clean the larger ones.
- A soft toothbrush for children, but use it very carefully.
- Wet sponge.
How to Proceed?
You can use both dry and wet tools, depending on what you want to remove.
The cleaning process is quite simple: carefully hold the leaf with your fingers and gently remove the dirt with a tool so as not to injure the plant. Yes, this may take a lot of strength and patience, but the result would please you. Although some find this procedure even relaxing.
How to Wash an African Violet Using Water?
With a Tap Water
- Bring the tap water to room temperature.
- Adjust the water pressure to a low jet.
- Bring the plant at an angle under a stream of water and, while slowly rotating the plant, carefully let the water flow over the leaves, avoiding hitting the crown.
- Gently rub the leaves and crown of the violet with your fingers.
Never leave the violet under running water for a long time, as this may only harm the plant.
Use a Kitchen Sink Sprinkler
Bring the water to room temperature and lower the faucet handle into a low-pressure jet. Hold the plant at an angle to the sprayer and clean the leaves with your fingers.
Use a Spray Bottle
Fill a spray bottle with room temperature water and sprinkle it on the leaves, rubbing them with your fingers along the way. You can also use some liquid soap in this case. To do this, mix water with a weak solution of liquid soap and gently spray the resulting liquid onto the plant, avoiding it from getting on the crown. Then leave the plant for 2-3 minutes and wash off the soap residue using the above methods.
Remember that whichever method you choose, such procedures can be carried out only with adult and fully grown African Violet plants.
How to Dry Violets?
After you have washed the violet in any of the above ways, you need to remove the remaining water. To do this, you can use a lint-free cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Remove excess water carefully by the blotting method. Make sure no water gets to the top of the plant.
Until your African violet is completely dry, keep it away from bright light, otherwise, the appearance of dark spots on the plant cannot be avoided. For the same reasons, avoid a sudden drop in temperature. You can return the violet to its original place only when it is completely dry.
As you can see, these procedures are quite simple. The most important thing is to do it carefully and not let water get on the crown. You can wipe the dust with dry tools regularly, but it is recommended to wash the plants no more than once a year. We wish you beautiful and healthy plants!
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