Special Care for Your Houseplants

Sometimes your houseplants may need a little special care to help them thrive.

Houseplants grow and look better if their leaves are kept free of dust and grime. All plants with hard-surfaced leaves can be cleaned and beautified using a product such as MiracleGro . Other plants, such as African violets, may be kept clean with a periodic shower of room-temperature water in a shower or kitchen sink. Be sure to let foliage dry completely before placing an African violet back in the sun. A periodic dusting with a feather duster will help too.

If the leaves of your houseplants become discolored or spotty, inspect closely for insects, which may be causing the damage. Aphids, white flies, mealybugs and other insects can burrow between leaves or hide under leaves and on stems. If your houseplants have insects, use a control product. Take the plant outdoors when applying a control product to avoid spraying it in the house. Bring the plant back inside after the product has dried. Keep in mind, you can carry tiny insects in your houseplants from outside gardens or even from plants at your local garden center, so always be suspicious if your plants stop thriving and show distress.