We all have our post-travel nonnegotiables. Maybe you’re someone who needs to unpack the minute you walk in the door, or you might be more of a shower-right-away type. Whatever your routine looks like, you’ll want to make sure it includes your houseplants, too.

According to Sonam Aditya, the founder of Plant Shoppe in San Antonio, you should always greet your greenery with a good spray after returning home, for a few reasons. Here’s how to show them some love after all that time away.

Why you should spray your plants after spending time away from home.

It might seem intuitive to give your plants a drink after a vacation, but we’re not talking about a typical watering. Instead of just watering your plants at soil level as usual, Aditya suggests actually spraying down their leaves too. The best way to do this is to take your plants to the sink or shower/bath and use a spray nozzle to give them a good shower, making sure to get both their leaves and their soil wet.

“This is a good way to keep your plants clean so there’s no dust on their leaves and they’re able to perform photosynthesis,” Aditya tells mbg.

Beyond clearing off the dust that settled while you were away, this will give dry soil a much-needed soak. “If you forget to water for a while and your soil is really hard and cakey, putting it in the shower is a great way to rehydrate it,” Rebecca Bullene, the founder of biophilic design shop Greenery NYC, previously told mbg.

Bullene likens dry soil to a dehydrated dry sponge: It needs to soak up some serious moisture before it can even think about doing its job again.

As always, you’ll want to hose your plants down with room temperature water, as anything too hot or cold will shock them.

The one caveat is that not every plant will appreciate getting its leaves wet. If you have any drought-resistant succulents or finicky calathea, you’ll want to just water them at root level as usual.

Otherwise, spray away. And while you’re up close and personal with your greenery, look over its foliage for signs of pests like leaf holes and webbing. Then, let your plants dry off, and place them back in a sunny spot.

After a long trip, watering plants in the sink or shower will provide moisture for their soil and clear dust and debris off their leaves. Even if you took all the precautions to prep your plants for your trip, this is a soak they’re bound to appreciate. Reunited and it feels so good.

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