Making your own fertilizer for houseplants may sound like an intimidating science experiment, but it’s actually a super easy way to save money by using things you already have at home. Not only is it inexpensive, but it’s also an eco-friendly and natural way to provide your houseplants with essential nutrients. Here we show you how to make your own fertilizer for your houseplants, from home remedies.
Table of Contents
- Use crushed eggshells as nutrients
- Make houseplant fertilizer yourself from banana peels
- Used coffee grounds for houseplants
- Green tea improves the oxygen supply of the soil
- Molasses provides plants with important minerals
- Make your own houseplant fertilizer from Epsom salt
- Wood ash to increase alkalinity
- Gelatin powder as a nitrogen boost
- Giving used cooking water for micronutrients
- Use corn gluten meal as a homemade fertilizer
Use crushed eggshells as nutrients
Calcium is an extremely important nutrient for your plants ability to form new cells, and therefore for the overall growth of the plant. Eggshells contain a high concentration of calcium. They also contain trace amounts of elements such as nitrogen, zinc and phosphoric acid. Using eggshells as fertilizer is very easy as houseplant food. Be sure to rinse the shells before using or storing them to reduce the likelihood of mold growth. Once you have enough shells, you can simply crush them with a rolling pin in their freezer bag or use a coffee grinder to make shell powder. You can either mix the eggshells directly into the soil when potting your plant, or work them into the surface of an existing plant.
Make your own houseplant fertilizer from banana peels.
Bananas are not only a tasty snack for healthy people, but they can also provide a useful nutrient boost for your houseplants . Bananas provide the soil with a healthy amount of potassium, which is helpful for plants. There are several ways to use bananas to improve your soil. The first method is to make a sort of banana peel “tea”. If you keep old banana peels in a jar of water for a few days, the nutrients from the peels will be transferred to the water. This water can then be used to water your plants. A similar method to the above is to mash the banana peels in water and use it immediately. You can also cut banana peels into pieces and work them into the soil, though this method is more commonly used outdoors.
Used coffee grounds for houseplants
Used coffee grounds are an excellent nitrogen source that will help your houseplants grow strong foliage. You can easily make houseplant fertilizer yourself from coffee grounds by using them as a top dressing. It is recommended to let the coffee grounds dry before spreading them in a thin layer on the soil. This will help prevent mold growth. You can also make a liquid coffee grounds fertilizer by soaking the coffee grounds, similar to banana peels, in a glass of water for about a week. This will give you nitrogen-enriched water that you can use to feed your plants.
Green tea improves the oxygenation of the soil
Green tea bags or used green tea leaves are another great way to fertilize acid-loving plants. Green tea leaves contain tannic acid, which helps lower soil pH. They also contain a high concentration of nutrients and improve oxygenation of the soil so roots can thrive. You can give your plants an infusion of one bag of green tea per two liters of water about every four weeks to help them grow strong and healthy. Make sure the water cools before giving it to your plants. Used green tea leaves can also be composted or incorporated directly into the soil.
Molasses provides important minerals to plants
Molasses is a time-honored wonder food for providing plants with homemade fertilizer that has been hijacked by the commercial organic fertilizer industry. Everyone knows that these organic brand fertilizers are not cheap, but molasses is. So why not make your own houseplant fertilizer at home? Molasses provides plants with a rich source of carbon, potassium, calcium, manganese, potash, copper, magnesium, iron and other essential minerals. As an added bonus, molasses is also a food source for beneficial microorganisms living in the soil. Most commonly found in nutrient-rich compost teas, molasses gives the microorganisms brewing in the tea a sugary boost. This promotes rapid growth and a diverse ecosystem to feed your soil.
Make your own houseplant fertilizer from Epsom salt.
Epsom salt can be used as a specific fertilizer for plants that are deficient in magnesium or sulfur. Magnesium is one of the essential building blocks of the chlorophyll molecule. This means that magnesium is the reason for a plant’s healthy, bright green color. When magnesium is deficient, the green fades and yellowing occurs at the edges and between the veins of the leaves. It is important not to use Epsom salt in excess. If you add other composts or natural fertilizers, it is unlikely that there is a magnesium or sulfur deficiency and therefore Epsom salt is not needed.
Wood ash to increase alkalinity.
Adding ash from burned wood to your potting soil is an easy and safe way to increase pH, or alkalinity. Wood ash also provides a healthy dose of potassium, calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial to many plant species. Just like Epsom salt, adding wood ash to your soil is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It should only be used when necessary, or it could harm plants if alkalinity levels are already high enough. To find out if wood ash is a good addition to your potting soil, do a pH test to make sure the soil pH is below 6.5. If it’s above 6.5, wood ash could be harmful to plants. If you want to increase the alkalinity of your soil, you can simply sprinkle the ash on the surface of the soil and gently work it in. Water immediately afterward.
Gelatin powder as a nitrogen boost.
Nitrogen is absolutely essential for healthy plant growth. Gelatin powder is an easy source of a small nitrogen boost that will help your plant grow strong, healthy foliage. This is especially helpful for plants like elephant ears or monstera plants, which are known for their large, attractive leaves. The recommended dose of gelatin is to dissolve one 7 g packet of gelatin in one liter of water. Pour this solution directly onto the soil about once a month.
Give used cooking water for micronutrients
When foods such as pasta, vegetables or eggs are cooked, many of the important micronutrients that plants need are released into the water. These include nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium. Using cooking water to water your plants has a number of benefits. Not only is it a free source of nutrients that would otherwise just be poured down the drain, but it also promotes nutrient retention in the soil and the soil’s ability to hold water. This is helpful for plants like ferns or umbrella plants that prefer moist conditions.
Use corn gluten meal as a homemade fertilizer.
Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of processing corn using the wet milling method. It contains 10% nitrogen and this is beneficial, especially for plants with a lot of foliage. Apply a thin layer of corn gluten meal to the surface of the soil and scrape it in gently. However, corn gluten meal should be used only in moderation.