Is there anything prettier than clean and shiny plant foliage? Not for me there isn’t! We often forget to clean the leaves of our plants, probably because we are sick and tired of cleaning in general.
All jokes aside, remember that plants are living beings, so they’ll benefit from cleaning not only because it makes them prettier, but because their health can be adversely affected by dust or other dirt.
Monsteras come in all different shapes and sizes, and some species, such as the Monstera deliciosa, have large leaves that look very unattractive if they aren’t clean.
In this article, I’ll show you how to clean Monstera leaves and make them shiny, discuss the benefits of cleaning leaves in detail, and what you should avoid using for cleaning.
Let’s get started!
How To Clean Monstera Leaves
Believe it or not, the solution for dirty and dusty Monstera leaves is very simple and inexpensive.
You’ll need only WATER in most cases. Of course, if you want the leaves to shine bright like diamonds, you can add some extra ingredients to the water.
Let’s learn more.
Shower Your Monstera
We aren’t the only ones that enjoy a nice shower.
The first thing to understand is that you can’t shower every Monstera plant. I mean, imagine taking your 3-feet tall adult Monstera deliciosa into the bathroom (since it definitely won’t fit into the sink).
This method is excellent for juvenile plants and some smaller specimens such as the Monstera dubia. Pay close attention to water temperature; you should use room temperature water to avoid temperature shock.
Also, make sure the water stream isn’t too strong because the leaves are sensitive and could break.
Using your hand, run through the foliage to allow water to reach the surface and underside of each leaf.
Don’t shower your Monstera for long; a few minutes will suffice.
Once you’re done, leave your Monstera to drain well. Remember that the soil is very wet at this point, so you need to get rid of the excess water to prevent overwatering.
Wipe Down The Leaves
If you have a large Monstera species or you don’t want to use a sink or shower, wiping down the foliage will do the job.
Again, water is the best option. You’ll need a soft sponge or small bucket filled with water. Dip the sponge/cloth in the water and squeeze it a little bit to avoid getting water all over the plant and desk/floor (you don’t need more cleaning in your life).
When wiping down a monstera, please be gentle. I tore up the leaves once; you know that Monstera leaves have fenestrations and, from my experience, it’s pretty easy to damage the leaves when cleaning.
If you’re a little clumsy, you can use a spray bottle; don’t forget to spray and wipe down the undersides of the leaves.
How To Make Monstera Foliage Shiny
If the leaves are clean but not shiny enough, don’t worry because I have a solution to that too. There are many ways to make plant foliage shiny, for example, you can make a leaf shine spray for your prized Monstera yourself.
Here are some of the methods for making the leaves of your Monstera plant shiny.
The leaves of your Monstera will be shiny if you add a couple of drops of dish soap to the water in your spray bottle.
Bear in mind that some dish soaps include chemicals, so you should only use this method if you have an all-natural product.
I’ve noticed that dish soap works great as a pest-repellent, so I often use it if I notice any spider mites or mealybugs.
A few drops of vinegar added to water will do wonders for Monstera leaves. I’m not into the smell of vinegar, but since it helps my plants, I frequently use it.
Just like dish soap, a vinegar solution works great for pests, so your Monstera will be clean, shiny, and pest-free!
Many plant parents (including me) are against oils when it comes to cleaning plant leaves. For instance, many growers use olive oil for cleaning leaves, but I would avoid it if I were you.
The reason is simple; olive oil will clog the pores of the Monstera leaves.
Neem oil is a completely different story. If used in the correct doses and applied according to the recommended schedule, this oil will not only keep the leaves shiny, but also protect them from pest infestation.
Lemon pie and lemonade aren’t the only good things that are made from lemons! Lemon juice and water is an excellent cleaning and polishing agent for Monstera leaves. Unlike vinegar, lemon solution smells great; 1-0 to lemon juice!
But lemon juice doesn’t deter pests, so you can’t use it for this purpose (lemon juice vs vinegar 1-1).
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to water, dip a soft sponge in the solution, and massage the Monstera leaves; don’t forget the undersides!
Store-bought Leaf Shine?
I’m sure you’ve seen numerous leaf shine products in plant stores or online. Yes, they look pretty attractive and may seem like they’ll solve all your problems with cleaning plant leaves.
However, I am against leaf clean and shine products for cleaning Monstera leaves for one simple reason: they contain chemicals!
OK, another reason is the price, because one product costs way more than a spray bottle filled with water alone.
Why Your Monstera Deliciosa Leaves Aren’t Shiny
Monstera leaves may look dull and have residue even if the plant is completely healthy.
One of the most frequent reasons for dull Monstera leaves is dust. We’ve seen how to clean Monstera leaves, which fixes the dust problem.
If the leaves of your Monstera deliciosa or any other Monstera plant have a whitish surface, you may have been using the wrong type of water for cleaning.
I’m sure you know that tap water can contain minerals such as magnesium and calcium, and if your Monstera has a white residue on the foliage, a build up of these minerals from tap water is likely the culprit.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to use other types of water, such as filtered or rainwater. The best would be if you could use rainwater, not only for cleaning your Monstera, but also for watering it.
If you have been rubbing your plant leaves often and weren’t very gentle, the leaves may look damaged and even dirtier than before.
Plants are fragile creatures, so you should never use force no matter if you’re cleaning, repotting, or inspecting your plant.
The Monstera plant care guide is pretty simple, so if you have a healthy plant, don’t destroy it when cleaning.
The Benefits Of Cleaning Monstera Leaves
As we mentioned, the point of cleaning Monstera leaves isn’t only to make them prettier.
Any residue on Monstera foliage can close the pores that are essential for photosynthesis and respiration.
Your Monstera can get into serious trouble if photosynthesis is disrupted.
When cleaning the leaves of your Monstera plant, you can remove and repel pests, especially if using dish soap, neem oil, or vinegar solution.
A pest-free Monstera is a happy Monstera!
What NOT To Use To Clean Monstera Foliage
We’ve seen all methods of cleaning and making Monstera leaves shiny, so let’s now sum up what you should never use as a cleaning agent.
1. Store-bought products: As mentioned above, these products contain chemicals that can clog leaf pores.
2. Hard water: Chemical buildup on the foliage can result in clogging of the stomata, so use distilled or rainwater instead.
3. Mayonnaise and oils: We’ve seen why olive oil isn’t good for plant leaves, and the same goes for other types of cooking oils. As for mayonnaise, is there really a need for an explanation? It will close the pores, create a thick layer of residue on the foliage, and smell terrible!
There are many different ways to make your Monstera plant prettier; for instance, planting it in a lovely pot, pruning it to desired shape, or training it to climb.
Don’t forget the benefits of cleaning the leaves, which will make the plant prettier and also prevent mineral buildup that would otherwise clog the pores on the leaf surfaces.
Now that you know how to clean Monstera leaves, there’s no need to skip this part of plant care. Your Monstera will appreciate it!
Until next time!