Did you know that eggshells can be reused as fertilizer for your houseplants? Bananas and coffee grounds can be reused as fertilizer, too! Yep! Today I am going to share 3 ways you can make your own fertilizer.
Using natural fertilizer is an excellent way to add needed nutrients to your houseplants. You get the benefits of saving money and the good feeling of recycling some of the waste from the kitchen. My top three favorite DIY fertilizers are products you mostly like already have in your kitchen and use daily.
Recently, with the help of houseplant lovers that I’ve connected with on Club House, I’ve been very interested in what small ways I can be more conscious about reducing waste when it comes to owning, caring for, and collecting houseplants. Making my own homemade fertilizer is just one small step I am taking to reduce waste.
My top three favorite DIY fertilizers are eggshells, leftover coffee, and banana peels. These food waste items contain some of the essential nutrients your plants need to keep growing and living their best lives.
As these natural and organic materials are broken down into the soil, they will slowly release the nutrients and boost your plant’s resources for continuing growth.
While there certainly are other organic items that can be used for a houseplant fertilizer to add nutrients to your plants, these three are easy to use, readily accessible. They will be a good supplement for your plant’s health.
Making Fertilizer Out of Egg Shells
Eggshells are rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are important for plant growth. The shells also work to reduce the acidity in the soil.
Before using the eggshells, you will want to wash them and allow them to dry overnight. Placing them in the sunlight for a few hours is ideal. The following day you can crush the shells and mix them right into the topsoil or mix throughout the soil when potting a new plant.
Using a coffee grinder can be a good way to pulverize the shells into a nice powder fully.
You can also soak eggshells in hot water for 24 hours and then water your plants with this liquid all-natural fertilizer. Make sure to soak the eggshells in the amount of water you wish to water with to keep the concentration levels of nutrients higher. Using this method for a liquid fertilizer will deliver the nutrients sooner than the slow-release method of mixing into the soil.
Leftover Coffee & Coffee Grounds for Fertilizer
I’ve got good news for all you coffee addicts out there. You can use those spent coffee grounds AND the leftover drip coffee in your coffee pot to fertilize your plant babies. It’s high in nitrogen which is good for foliage plants such as roses and ferns!
Leftover Drip Coffee: I do NOT use coffee grounds for my houseplants. Instead, I use diluted coffee. I do not use coffee grounds as fertilizer for my houseplants because the grounds retain too much moisture and often grow mold. ? ??? But! Leftover coffee is my jam! I started watering my houseplants with diluted leftover coffee a few years ago, and they went from happy to absolutely thriving! ??? I am so happy that I discovered this inexpensive natural fertilizer!? ??I have a whole post all about using leftover coffee for houseplant fertilizer HERE.
Coffee Grounds: I like to use coffee grounds for my OUTSIDE plants and I use diluted drip coffee for my indoor plants. If you want to use coffee grounds indoors, PLEASE be sure to let the coffee grounds completely dry out before adding to the soil will break down and release the nutrients faster AND it won’t cause mold. You can mix a big scoop of the spent coffee grounds into your soil when planting a new plant or mixing water and pouring over your houseplants. You can also mix it into the topsoil of the plant before watering.
Keep in mind that coffee grounds will make your soil more acidic. Combining with the eggshells can be a good move to balance out the soil’s pH levels.
Making Fertilizer Out of Banana Peels
Banana peels contain a large amount of potassium and a smaller amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium. All of which are essential plant nutrients.
The laziest way to use a banana peel as DIY fertilizer is to place it on top of your potting soil and cover it with a bit of dirt.
The best way is to dry the banana peels in the oven before cutting or blending them up. Lay the peels out on a baking sheet with some tin foil and bake at 180-200 degrees F. Keep an eye on them and pull them out once they turn black and become brittle.
You can also dry them in the sun for a few hours.
Once they are dry, cut the banana peel up with some kitchen scissors or blend it up in a blender. You can add this mixture to the soil when potting or propagating a new plant. This makes for excellent slow-release fertilizer.
Another great option for using banana peels as an all-natural fertilizer is to throw them in a blender and mix them with water. You now have a natural liquid fertilizer you can water your plants with for faster disbursement of nutrients.
Mixing Multiple Things
Of course, to get the most nutrients out of your DIY fertilizers, you can mix the eggshells, coffee grounds, and banana peels. The key here is to get all three ingredients as dry and as ground up as possible.
Remember that some plants have different nutrient requirements, so google each one before mixing your DIY fertilizer. Mixing your ingredients allows you to customize ingredients’ ratios to suit each plant’s requirements better.
I talk a bit more extensively about fertilizing your plants and why it’s important in this article.
How Often to Add Fertilizer
While all of these DIY fertilizers can add essential nutrients to your soil, they probably won’t contain the full spectrum of nutrients needed for your plant over the long term.
Using a store-bought fertilizer as described here can be another good way to fulfill your plant’s needs completely.
You don’t want to overdo it with fertilizer, as this can harm your plants. During the winter, your plant requires fewer nutrients because it slows down its growth as the days get shorter.
Spring and summertime are when your plant uses the most nutrients to grow and flower. You can add these organic DIY fertilizers to your soil every 2-3 weeks during these high growth times.
You can also mix them up throughout the soil every time you are planting a new plant, whether inside or outside, for an added boost of nutrients.