The days get longer, the temperatures rise: spring has arrived. Even the plants in the apartment during the winter go through a period of semi vegetative rest; with increasing daily sunshine hours they start to develop again, producing new buds and floral buds.
The cells of the leaves of plants and trees are specialized to obtain from the sun the energy that the plants, as living beings, need to be able to grow, to develop, to produce flowers and fruits; such energy plants get it through chlorophyll photosynthesis: a set of chemical reactions implemented by chlorophyll, which reacts to sunlight.
So more are the hours of light in a day and more the chlorophyll contained in the green parts of the plants is involved in photosynthesis.
Although most houseplants are not grown directly exposed to sunlight, the reflected light they enjoy is sufficient to trigger this set of chemical reactions; through photosynthesis plants get glucose, which will turn into real energy, as happens with sugars used in human nutrition.
During the winter our plants could take advantage of photosynthesis, but in a reduced way, given the small number of hours of light present every day.
To favor the vegetative growth of our plants it is therefore good to place them in the best conditions to receive sunlight.
During the winter, due to domestic heating, poor ventilation or frequent steaming, it often happens that the foliage of our plants is covered with a thin layer of dust, dirt and smog; this patina partially prevents sunlight from reaching the leaves, preventing photosynthesis from taking place.
For this reason it is good, when spring comes, to proceed with a thorough cleaning of leaves and stems, so that this patina of dirt is removed as much as possible.
Spring jobs: How to proceed
The best way to clean up the plants is to use water and a soft cloth, possibly in microfibre: in this way most of the dust, which otherwise would remain attached to the foliage, is removed; where possible the ideal would be to spray the whole plant with a jet of water at room temperature and not calcareous, then pass each leaf with the cloth. For small plants we can use the jet of a sink or sink; for larger plants if possible we could put them in the shower, avoiding to subject them to an excessively vigorous jet.
If we cannot move our plants we proceed using a large basin of clean water and two cloths: with one we moisten the leaves, with the other we dry them; remembering to change the water often.
On the market it is possible to find multiple products for cleaning and polishing the leaves; in any case we advise you to preferably use water, as these products tend to apply a glossy patina on the foliage, which makes it more pleasant to the eye, but in fact does not clean it from impurities. Furthermore, most of the polishing products are sold in pressurized cans: the sprayed product that comes out of these cans has a very low temperature; if the vaporization is excessive or is practiced from a short distance, there is the risk of burning the foliage.
If we want, after cleaning with water, we can nebulize the plant with a mixture of water and white oil, using a manual nebulizer, not a pressure spray: in this way we will make the leaves shine and we will prevent the growth of the cochineal.