Weekend Projects

One Thing You Might be Forgetting to Dust

published Sep 17, 2021
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Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

Plants make people happy. They’re such a unique and lovely part of any home. Plants are decor, living things under your care, and even (to an extent) your companions all at once. Their unfurling leaves thrill you, their response to your care makes you feel needed, and putzing around taking care of them is a soothing ritual.

Just this past week, I added — well, I won’t tell you how many plant friends to our home, but it was more than three and they came with delightful names like eyelash fern and ficus altissima. I tucked them into corners and on glass shelves in pots I’d stashed away. I gave them water and admired them. Pretty sure my heart rate slowed, my face softened, and my jaw unclenched.

As the seasons begin to change, it’s time to make some special rounds of your verdant buddies and teachers. Before summer’s abundant light wanes much more, you’re going to make sure your plants’ leaves aren’t shrouded in dust. Cleaning them gives them the best chance to continue soaking in the light and doing their beautiful thing. This weekend, you’re going to dust your plants.

This Weekend: Dust your plants.

Let’s keep it simple. Grab a microfiber cloth, maybe one that’s slightly damp, or put on a dusting mitt or gloves and dust each leaf of your plants. You’ll find that some gather more dust than others and that their different surfaces cling to dirt more or less than others.

While you’re dusting, inspect your plants. Look all over the leaves, including their undersides, for pests. Examine them for signs of distress like pale, yellowing, dry, or browning leaves, or a wilted or soggy appearance. See if your plants are showing signs that they need to be repotted, such as roots showing above the soil line. Note where you may need to cut off dead portions of your plant or where you might want to prune or propagate.

Caring for your plants tenderly is such a nice way to honor everything they do for us. All life responds to care, and our at-home vegetation is no different.

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Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.