Why I vacuumed my plants today!
I am a pretty big fan of the low maintenance approach to plant care. In fact, as just another busy person who also loves plants, I definitely admit to looking for ways to ignore my houseplants' needs as much as possible. My potted plants get the wonderfully simple, every three months Jobe's Organic Spikes and I prefer plants that thrive on water once per week or less. But I also find huge satisfaction in those little chores that allow me a good visit with my plants, and also yield a real sense of "refresh". Vacuuming is just one of those tasks!
Taking a step back, it is important to remember that fall is a real time of transition for houseplants... just as it is outdoors. Many houseplants, particularly those that spend summer outdoors, tend to go through a slow down and shedding is a normal part of this process (for many, at least). As we head through November and close in on the lowest-light days of December, it can be anticipated that plants can use a good tidying. And as it turns out the vacuum is one of the easiest ways to get things looking awesome in a hurry.
Aside from lifting any fallen leaves that take away from the good-looks of your houseplants, there are additional benefits to a pass with the vacuum. Fallen leaf debris can harbour pests and other pathogens, and the vacuum is a very complete way to remove these - especially handy if you happen to have lots of plants to tend to. The process of getting in with the vacuum also creates a nice opportunity to check-up on houseplants; while tidying up the plant area look for any signs of stress (stickiness on the leaves, soil too dry or too wet etc) and attend to these. This is also a good time to double check on the basics: Have I fertilized lately? Does my plant need repotting? How is the watering going?
So, as goofy as it it may seem, vacuuming in and around my houseplants serves a few great purposes, does not take much time, and keeps me checking-in on my plants' well-being at least every so often. I highly recommend it!
PS. I usually use a small shop vac, and try to get in and around the soil, under the pots (in the saucers), and around the plants. A second little step is to give the area around the plants a quick wipe down with warm soapy water - excellent for keeping plant areas looking awesome and eliminating potential pests.