There are cat people and there are dog people… and there are also plant people!
As the weather gets chilly and gray across Chicagoland, plenty of people start to look for ways to continue flexing their green thumbs, like starting an indoor garden. Cultivating an indoor garden can help bring a pop of color and life to your space, perfect for a pick-me-up on a dreary Chicago day. Even better, growing plants indoors has been shown to have health and environmental benefits. Certain houseplants can help you purify the air in your household; research has also shown that being around nature can help improve your mental well-being and productivity.
So, whether you’re hoping to grow some fresh basil for this weekend’s spaghetti dinner, or beautify your living room with an array of stunning succulents, there’s no time like the present to start the indoor garden of your dreams. Of course, turning your home into a greenhouse also comes with its own share of cleaning challenges.
Ready to enjoy all the amazing, refreshing benefits of growing plants indoors – with none of the mess? Here are a few cleaning and care tips to keep in mind as you start planning your indoor garden:
Get Rid of Dirt and Debris
Even the healthiest houseplants can produce a little bit of mess. Just like your beloved pets may leave fur or paw prints around the house, plants, flowers, herbs, and produce can lead to some unique messes of their own – from dried leaves, to water leakage, to piles of dirt.
Be proactive about dealing with dirt and debris! First, when you care for your plants, it may help to do so in a designated space. For example, if you need to re-pot a large plant, do it in the garage or out on the back deck, to avoid the cascade of dirt that is sure to get everywhere.
On the day-to-day, keep an eye out for dirt, debris, and dried leaves. After you water or fertilize your plants, follow up by cleaning up the growing area. Wipe down surfaces with a microfiber rag, and keep a vacuum with attachments or dustpan and broom handy, for sweeping up dirt and fallen leaves. Be careful when you water to avoid spills – and if you do accidentally make a mess, mop up quickly to prevent stains, mold, and mildew.
Finally, remember that healthier plants will likely be cleaner and easier to care for! When you first start picking your plants and setting up your garden, be sure to carefully look up the best ways to care for your chosen plants, paying attention to things like watering, fertilizing, lighting, and grooming. The better you treat your herbs, flowers, and houseplants, the better they’ll behave – by growing more, and shedding less.
Regularly Clean Your Tools and Gardening Gear
From handy spritzers, to watering cans, to trowels, to grow lights – there is no shortage of equipment that goes into keeping your indoor plants looking and feeling their best. Whether you’ve adopted the latest and greatest in gardening gear, or you prefer a more old school approach, it’s important to keep all of your tools clean and organized.
After using shovels, scissors, and other hand tools, soak them in warm water to remove built-up dirt and debris. Find a convenient, out-of-the-way location to store your gardening equipment, and keep things organized with storage containers, labels, and any of the other clutter-preventing methods you love.
To prevent dirty clothes, try wearing an apron or smock. Regularly clean your gardening clothes to help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. If you notice dirt and mud stains on your garments – or other household fabrics, such as carpets or curtains – don’t panic! Let the mud dry fully, and then scrape off as much residue as you can before treating the stain with warm water and a fabric cleanser, such as dish soap.
Deal With the Dust
Even if you’re devoted to regularly dusting your bookcases and shelves, it’s easy to overlook your houseplants. While it may be easy to pass them by, houseplants can actually accumulate quite a bit of dust.
It’s important to regularly treat your houseplants’ leaves for dust and debris. If you don’t, dust can accumulate, blocking out the nourishing light that your plants need to thrive!
You can check for dusty plants by gently rubbing your fingers on the leaves to feel how much has accumulated. A quick visual inspection may also help reveal a thin layer of dust. For leafy plants, you can gently wipe down leaves with a soft rag, to brush away that meddlesome dust. For larger plants, it may help to give the whole thing a shower in the sink or tub. When in doubt, look it up! Different varieties of plants need to be cared for in different ways. We have a general guide to cleaning household plants available here; for more specific instructions, look up how to properly clean your unique species plant online or in a guidebook.
Keep Pests Under Control
When you bring something green and beautiful into your space, there are bound to be some unwanted creepy-crawlies that come with it. Keep a close eye out for pests that can harm the health of your garden, like mealybugs or spider mites. Even if you think you’ve checked out your plants and found no pests lurking around, some can lay dormant and appear at a later date. Eek!
Be sure to regularly check your plants for signs of an infestation, like browning, holes forming in leaves, and sticky residue (which is often the byproduct of inspects who have been feasting on your foliage).
If you notice damage or signs of an infestation, be sure to treat the contaminated plant to protect against the rest of your garden. You may even need to remove it and quarantine the impacted plant, to help prevent the spread. To deal with pesky pests, it may help to give the plant a thorough bath in a bucket of cold water, then let it drain and dry thoroughly. If you can’t remove or treat a plant individually, try a natural insecticide for prevention or treatment. Options range from garlic to essential oils.
How Sweeping Dimensions Can Help You Focus on Your Passions
This fall is the perfect time to spend more time on your favorite activities – while keeping your home clean at every step of the way! Whether you want to flex your green thumb, start a new hobby, or plan the trip of a lifetime, scheduling a cleaning with Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service can help give you back time for what matters most.
We’re here to sweat the small stuff and keep your home looking and feeling its best, all year long. With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We can bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
Ready to get started truly enjoying all that autumn in Chicago has to offer? Get in touch today for your free service estimate!