I was cleaning the leaves of my plant by wiping them with a damp cloth. But my sister came and said that don't waste your time and let the plants be in natural state. So here is my question:

Why we clean the leaves of the plant? Is it just to make them look more green and fresh? Or is there a bigger picture I am not seeing?

Of course potted plants.

  • 1
    Your sister needs to understand a plant in a pot indoors is in no way natural. Plants in pots depend 100 percent on humans to know and provide for everything the plant needs. If we had factories that depended on light from solar panels for energy, we would conclude we'd better keep those panels free of dust. "The Martian" by Andy Weir is a great story that shows how important it is to clean the solar panels! I water my plants in the shower once per year or when they get dusty. Let them sit under the cold shower and get watered and cleaned. Better than dusting each leaf.
    – stormy
    Oct 13 '16 at 19:39
  • 1
    Is your sister older and bossy? Grins!! How are her indoor plants? You can now help HER get her plants in the shower, allow to drain and dry off a bit then replace to their original spot.
    – stormy
    Oct 13 '16 at 19:45
  • if I spray water on them, they still remain dirty. No matter how much water I spray. That's why I wipe them clean. Or is there another method to wash them clean? @stormy
    – 4-K
    Oct 15 '16 at 11:47

Cleaning of plant leaves is usually only done on houseplants, because they're inclined to accumulate a lot of dust over time. Outdoors, exposed to the elements, plants get 'cleaned' by moving air (wind, or a breeze) and rain, so its not usually necessary, unless something has been spilled over them, like maybe dust and dirt from nearby construction/building work, which may make a thick layer over the foliage of plants in the vicinity - this is best brushed or shaken off. A thick layer of dust or dirt, if left, will likely interfere with photosynthesis, because the layer blocks light.

That said, if your plants outside do look a bit mucky, there's nothing wrong with cleaning the leaves if you want to.

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