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House Plants

Can house plants be on the house cleaners to-do list? In today’s Vacation Rental Mailbag, we look at house plants as a #TurnoverService add on.

Your house cleaner (housekeeper, maid, cleaner) is going to be at the #Airbnb or vacation rental anyway. Angela Brown says watering house plants and plant care is a natural fit.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

Is the House Cleaner in Charge of the House Plants?

House Cleaner carries house plants outdoorsThe house cleaner is the person with the eyes on the property. They only come a couple of hours at a time to do the turnover service. So, when they come, they’re looking around to see what the guests have left or if there’s any damage. They will note anything that may need to be fixed.

So, it’s a great idea for them to be in charge of the house plants, so it’s clear who will take care of the plants.

You should only have one person doing the plants because the number one plant killer is overwatering. We don’t want to overwater the plants, but we don’t want to underwater them, either.

Did You Know This About House Plants?

House Plants, Wilted House PlantNow, plants are friendly. When they start to die and they need water, they kind of droop over, they look sad and they hang their leaves. They’re telling you, “Hey, feed me. I need some more water.”

But here’s the secret about plants. Plants drink from the roots, not from the top of the plant. So, imagine this.

Let’s imagine you’re thirsty and somebody comes in with a spray bottle and they spray the top of your hair. That is not going to quench your thirst any more than spraying the top of a plant will quench the plant’s thirst. So, it actually needs real water getting to the roots on a regular basis. A watering can or sprayer is a great way to get the water to the right place.

There’s a Right Way to Water a Plant

House Plants - Test soil with fingerDon’t overwater it, but water it deeply. You’ll want to water it so that the roots of the plant are completely soaked.

Now, how do you tell if the plant needs watering if it looks okay? If the leaves are droopy, it obviously needs water. But sometimes you can’t tell without feeling the soil.

The first thing that you want to do is use your finger to feel the soil. Your finger can tell if the soil is moist. So, you want to poke your finger down into the soil about an inch or two inches. If it’s dry, then you need lots of water.

Ways to Water House Plants

House Plants, Watering PlantTake the plant and put it in the kitchen sink, or put it in a bathtub, and completely drench it. Most plants have a drainage outlet which will be a little hole at the bottom. Sometimes, there will be a little tray where the water drips out.

So, you want to make sure that the water comes all the way out of the plant, then you want to water it again.

Do this three or four times until all the water has soaked through and it’s just starting to puddle. You don’t want it to puddle because you want it to evaporate. Now you’re good for a couple of weeks, and you don’t have to water it so often.

Know Your Plants

House Plants, Man Looking at Plant Tell Me More About YourselfThere are different kinds of house plants. The climate and temperature will determine how much water a plant needs, too. Is the air moist? Is there a lot of humidity in the air? Or is it dry outside?

Even different parts of the country at the same time of year will require different water for the plants. So, every plant is a little bit different.

If you are the housekeeper in charge of the plants, it would be useful to research the plants in the home and find out what they need. You can Google the type of plant and find out how much water it actually needs and other issues to look for.

You don’t want to kill the plant by overwatering or under watering it. But if you’re the only person in charge of watering the plants, it’s your duty to be sure they are healthy.

Here’s a Tip

House Plants, Scissor Trimming PlantIf you have a plant on a little plant stand and you have to move it to sweep and mop the floors, put that plant stand outside. You can water it right outside, and let it drain out there, so you have no risk of water getting on the floor.  Also, as far as dead leaves go, just pluck those leaves off.

If it’s overgrowing, you can just take a pair of scissors and chop off the plant a little bit. It’s like a little haircut so that it’s neat and trim and tidy. Then, it’s not growing all over the place like some plants that grow to the floor and just keep going.

While that might look kind of cool, it’s not safe to have plants trailing where someone could trip on them. That becomes a liability. So, you want to keep them short enough that they’re up off the ground and they’re not trailing on the floor.

So, yes, the house cleaner can take care of the plants. It’s not a free service because sometimes it will require a little more of the house cleaner’s time, especially if the plants need fertilizer or insecticides. If you’re the homeowner you’ll pay extra for your housekeeper to maintain your plants. Lots of house cleaners are capable of taking care of your plants and making them look great.

Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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Resources

Cool Watering Cans – https://amzn.to/2Fw9wqr

Plant Fertilizer – https://amzn.to/2ZxwTY4

Garden Feeder Sprayer – https://amzn.to/2ZxwTY4

Plant Fungus Killer – https://amzn.to/2Xneq31

Plant Insecticide – https://amzn.to/31H47pW

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