Cleaning & Repotting House Plants

Lunch on Friday was wonderful. My granddaughter was there. I asked her which subject in school she likes best and she said reading. Well, we certainly have that in common.

And at the beginning of the summer her other grandmother helped her make a quilt.

She is so grown up and well-spoken for 11 years old. I would love to take her to the bookstore and spend more time with her. So I’m hoping that will happen.

Yesterday I spent repotting house plants out at my potting bench on the patio. At one point I had to go to Southwoods for another bag of potting soil.

I’ve also been cleaning the dust off the leaves.

When you have a layer of dust on the leaves the dust will block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Photosynthesis is how the plant feeds itself.

This will also rid your plant of insects that might be hiding out under the layer of dust.

You can put larger plants in the shower.

Cleaning The Leaves

There are polishes you can buy to clean the leaves and make them shiny, but I’ve heard they can block pores and then the plant has a hard time breathing. So I just use lukewarm water.

I like to use a moist cloth and gently clean the leaf while supporting it with my other hand to keep it from getting bruised or broken.

Removing Dust

I read that you should remove dust from African violets and other fuzzy-leafed plants with a soft-bristle paintbrush. Or use a soft toothbrush, pipe cleaner, or discarded fuzzy leaf.

Stroke from the base of the leaf to the tip to dislodge dust and other debris.

I ordered something to hopefully help the sciatica in my back. It’s always been an issue, but after taking Ivy to the vet it became much worse.

I ordered this back stretcher as well as something to help alleviate pain in my neck. The back stretcher was $23.79.

Here is the neck relaxer.

My neck has been doing better. I think that’s partly due to my recliner, where I can push a button and it raises the cushion underneath my neck and supports it.

The neck relaxer was $12.99.

Sure hope the one for the sciatica works because there’s no getting around lifting Charlie and bending down to do things like change their water and feed them.


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  1. I’ve been out of town and just catching up on your blogs. I wanted to suggest that when repotting or trimming plants I often root these throw-a-ways in used cans or chipped cups or bowls and then donate them to a thrift store for them to sell.

  2. Your plants looks awesome and I am sure appreciate bigger pots and some fussing over them. So sweet that you share the love of reading with your granddaughter and maybe some day can begin to share that love together at times. Have a very Merry Christms Brenda. Glad you could get together with you other daughter and granddaughter.

  3. Brenda, this is so wonderful! I am so excited that you were able to see your granddaughter, what a fabulous surprise! I do not know anything about indoor plants, thank you for the information about dusting them so they can photosynthesize. I had no idea.

  4. I never mind buying books for my grandkids or kids. I wish they would ask for more of them for gifts! I went to Barnes and Nobles with a couple of books one grandchild wanted and it was the most pleasant holiday shopping! The clerk was so helpful and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they treated me and found the book I wanted for her. Ours has the cafe in it so what a pleasure to sit down with a cup of coffee and people watch as I was so pleased to have purchased some books.

  5. So happy that you’ve reconnected with your granddaughter. I hope you will be able to spend time with her and get to know all her wonderful qualities.

    You mentioned using a small paint brush to clean African Violet leaves. I have been growing AF’s for many years and I just hold the plant at an angle under lukewarm water from the tap and gently stroke the dust off with my fingers. As long as the water is warm it will not hurt the leaves at all. Water only damages or spots the leaves if it is too cool or cold. The leaves get nice and clean this way and really you only need to concentrate on the leaves in the outer two or three rows, depending on the size of the plant, because the newer leaves are usually still pretty clean. Just a bit of info for those AF aficionados in the group.

    The new back stretcher and neck stretcher both look interesting. Especially the back stretcher as I also have sciatic issues from time to time. Will be interested in knowing how they work out for you.

  6. Hi Brenda – been following you for a few years – just wanted to say Happy Christmas and Good Wishes to you and your doggies!! The New Year will bring surprises

  7. Happy that you had a good lunch date with your daughter and granddaughter. She sounds like a nice young lady.
    I know that I should clean my plants too. When you the large plants in the shower, how do you keep the potting soil from washing out of the pot? I have a small palm that needs a good shower, but wondered about soil all over the shower floor.
    Have a good holiday with your little ones, Ivy and Charlie. Hope the sciatica gets better.

    1. Maybe put an old cloth or towel around and under the plant while you’re washing the plant in the shower to keep the dirt in?

  8. I bought a special cushion for the car seat that supports my neck because I’m so short that if I had to stop quickly, I’d break my neck with gap between the headrest that is so tall and the car seat. It’s also very supportive and comforting. Love it.

    Good news about your luncheon.

  9. Books, books, and more books. The only thing I love more, is the Book Store. We have a book store here in town, that sells second hand books. It is awesome, with a fire place, and a sofa in front of it, where you are invited to look through a book before you buy it. You can bring in books, for them to sell, and you get coupons for more books, instead of $$, for them. It’s a win, win!!! Oh…they also have a cat in the store. I love that so much. Sometimes it will follow a shopper around, or just race around, before taking a nap. I bet a store like this would really appeal to a young girl of 11, as much as it does to adults. We had our Christmas Party for our boys and the grand kids yesterday, here at home. I always get books for Christmas, and yesterday I received 3. Doing the happy dance…Merry Christmas to you Brenda, and to Ivy and Charlie too. Wishing you good health for all three of you, in 2020. Hugs from white WI.

  10. Let us know how that back stretcher works. My back is a constant pain and it’s so frustrating. Merry Christmas ?

  11. I am so happy about your Friday lunch! I prayed all weekend for you!!!!
    I desperately need to clean the leaves on my huge fiddle leaf tree. I’d like to put it up for adoption, but my daughter gave it to me for Christmas last year. I’m glad to get some tips. Have a wonderful week!

  12. I’m so glad that you finally saw your granddaughter! Kids that age love clothes shopping even online or going out to eat to get a hamburger or get chicken with fries of course or a pizza.

    You could also help her by picking out material and buy for her next quilt. I’ll bet she’d be interested in seeing all your beautiful quilts! Reading is also great but it sounds like she doesn’t like school right now. I know bc one of the twins doesn’t like school but the other one does! Lol.
    They’re identical and they like to try to fool me, but I’m always listening and watching their expressions, so they can’t. Lol.

    It’s getting easier bc Tay loves to bake and cook like me and she wants me to teach her to bake better. Ady just wants me to bake cookies to eat, just like her 2 brothers do. Lexi my oldest granddaughter has been baking with me b4 she was two! So she comes home from college with her friends and bakes over my house bc I have alot of fun baking essentials.

    I taught my daughter and my son to cook and bake b4 they left the house. My daughter can bake even though she says she can’t, she doesn’t like to measure everything, but loves to cook. My son loves to cook and bake and his wife can’t so he does it all.

    Interesting facts about cleaning your plants and it makes since, just like cleaning the house so no bugs can stay. I hate bugs! Yuck!

    Stay warm and cuddle with your fur babies Brenda!

  13. I’ve been thinking about doing some cleaning and repotting of my plants, but will probably wait until after the holidays for most of it. It is too dry and hot in my apartment and so I have a new cool mist vaporizer on the way. I’m hoping it will help both me and the plants. so happy you had a good time with your granddaughter. xo Laura

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