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Monstera Care

How to Clean Monstera leaves and Why

by Plants for all Seasons 08 Apr 2022 0 Comments

The Monstera or ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’ is a tropical houseplant that relies on its leaves for more than just photosynthesis. It uses its leaves to absorb water from its surroundings and can take in more moisture through its leaves than the roots. Over time, Monstera leaves can get dusty and covered in dirt, and when this happens it can prevent your Monstera from growing properly. In this guide we will take you through the importance of cleaning your Monstera leaves and how to do it.

Why should you clean Monstera leaves?

Cleaning your Monstera leaves should become part of your plant care routine. Monstera use their leaves to capture and turn sunlight into energy and layers of dust and dirt can start blocking sunlight from reaching the leaf. Whenever your leaf starts to look dirty, it is time to give your Monstera leaves a clean to keep it looking great and growing healthily.

How to clean Monstera leaves?

The way you clean your Monstera will depend on how big your plant is. Smaller plants can be moved for easier cleaning in a shower or outdoor space whilst larger plants that cannot be moved need smaller scale and more manual cleaning.

The best time to clean your Monstera is in the early morning so it has a chance to dry before it gets cold at night. This will help to prevent fungal growth and prevent any burning of the leaves from sunlight.

Small Monstera cleaning - dunking method

Small Monstera plants are the easiest and quickest to clean. Cleaning small plants is as simple as being able to lift them up and turn them upside down. This advantages of this method of cleaning is that it’s quick, effective and doesn’t risk adding too much moisture to the soil.

Prepare a washing up bowl of tepid water and pick up your plant. Put your hand over the soil to stop the plant falling out of the pot and turn it over. Dunk the leaves into the water and gently move them about to remove any dust or grime that has built up on them. After a few minutes remove the plants from the water and leave to dry.

Medium Monstera cleaning - showering

This is the best method for cleaning medium sized Monstera. These are those plants that can be moved, but are too big to be turned upside down. To do this method of cleaning you simply need to put your Monstera in a lukewarm shower for a few minutes to wash the leaves.

You need to make sure that you get your shower to the right temperature before you put your plant in. Water that is too hot or too cold can end up damaging your plant and send it into shock. Use a low pressure setting on your showerhead when you wash the plant to avoid damaging any tender leaves.

Never try this method of cleaning your Monstera that is in a pot with bad drainage as all the extra water will build up and drown your plant’s roots, causing root rot and other issues with your Monstera. Make sure you leave your Monstera in the shower for a little bit to allow the excess water to drain and adjust your watering schedule.

Large Monstera cleaning - wipe down method

For larger Monstera plants that cannot be moved from their position, you will have to wipe down the leaves manually. This is a time consuming process, but is more thorough than other methods. Take a small bucket of lukewarm water and a microfibre cloth. Start at the top of the plant, dipping your cloth into the water and gently wiping down the leaves. Make sure you wring the excess water from the cloth so you don’t get the leaves too wet. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle to moisten the leaves.

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