7 Secrets to Supercharge Your House Plants Without Spending a Dime

For years, I’ve had house plants that I’ve simply watered every now and then, keeping them alive but not thriving. Lately, I’ve wanted my small plants to grow bigger and better. However, buying ready-grown plants can be expensive. So, I decided to explore a more cost-effective and eco-friendly approach to plant care. I’ve been experimenting with making my own fertilizers using everyday items I already have at home, and the results have been stunning!

You don’t need to spend money on commercial fertilizers or synthetic materials to help your plants grow. By tapping into the nutrients found in your kitchen, you can nourish your house plants for free while reducing waste. Nature always provides us with the best solutions, and it’s time to uncover these secrets to supercharge your house plants without breaking the bank.

Unleash the Power of Nature with these Free and Natural Fertilizers:

1. Egg Shells: Strong Cellular Structure

Egg shells are packed with calcium, which is great for building strong cellular structures in plants. Instead of tossing them into the compost, you can directly use the water you boiled your eggs in to water your plants. Let the water cool before using it. For even more nutrients, crush clean eggshells, pour boiling water over them, and let the mixture sit for 24 hours before using the water on your house plants. Remember to use it promptly as the water can turn foul if left sitting.

Further reading:  Finding the Perfect Fertilizer: Unlocking the Secret to a Thriving Garden

Alternatively, you can crush your egg shells finely and add them to the potting soil when repotting your house plants. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any membranes that could cause unpleasant odors.

2. Banana Peel: Natural Potassium Boost

Banana peels contain potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium. These nutrients are excellent for fertilizing house plants. Simply place the banana peels in a jar, cover them with water, and let the mixture sit for two weeks. Drain the water and use it to feed your plants. This natural fertilizer is especially beneficial for flowering house plants. However, be cautious as it may attract fruit flies, so it’s best to avoid using it during hotter months.

3. Leftover Coffee: A Wake-Up Call for Plants

Did you know that leftover coffee can be a fantastic fertilizer for certain house plants? While coffee grounds are commonly used in compost bins, black coffee can also be directly used to nourish plants. However, not all plants will appreciate the caffeine. Plants like Devil’s Ivy, Peace Lilies, Christmas Cacti, Money Plants, and Philodendron will thrive with a monthly dose of half coffee mixed with half water. Remember not to overdo it—once a month is enough to keep your plants happy.

4. Aquarium Water: Liquid Gold for House Plants

If you have a fish tank at home, the old water from it can be highly beneficial for your house plants. Aquarium water contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and ammonia, along with beneficial microorganisms that process these materials. As long as the water is filtered or regularly changed, you can use it directly on your house plants. If the water is not filtered, dilute it before watering your plants.

Further reading:  Secrets to Creating the Perfect Homemade Fertilizer for Your Flowering Plants

5. Bokashi Composting Juice: The Waste Warrior

If you’re passionate about waste reduction and gardening, consider investing in a Bokashi Bin. This unique homemade fertilizer might require a small upfront investment, but it’s worth it. Bokashi composting is a fast and efficient way to compost, originally developed in Japan. With a Bokashi Bin, you can add all your kitchen waste, including meat, bones, fish, and carbs. The secret lies in adding Bokashi Bran, which helps ferment the food waste and breaks it down in just a few weeks.

The drainage from the Bokashi Bin, known as Bokashi juice or Bokashi tea, is a highly concentrated liquid packed with nutrients. Dilute one part of Bokashi juice with 100 parts of water and use it to water your plants. Your house plants will thrive on this nutrient-rich elixir.

6. Used Green Tea Bags: A Cup of Boost

If you’re like me and remove the tea bag while you drink your green tea, here’s a secret for you. Green tea contains tannic acid, making it ideal for plants that thrive in acidic soil. It improves soil nutrients and oxygenation, helping your house plants flourish. Plants like African Violets, Ferns, Jade Plants, and Christmas Cacti appreciate the acidity. Simply soak a used green tea bag in hot water, let it cool, and water your plants with it. You can also use the tea leaves as a mulch for your house plant soil. As a bonus, your room will be left with a delightful scent after watering—a free air freshener!

7. Pasta, Rice, or Vegetable Water: Liquid Gold from the Kitchen

The water you use to cook pasta, vegetables, or wash rice contains valuable nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and calcium. Instead of pouring it down the sink, let it cool and give it to your house plants. By using this water, not only will you nourish your plants but also conserve water. If you wash your rice before cooking, you can also use the milky-colored, starchy water as a fertilizer. Rice contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the roots of your plants. Additionally, rice water is known to repel pests such as fruit flies, plant lice, and aphids.

Further reading:  The Best Fertilizer for Your Garden Revealed: A Surprising Experiment


Now that you’re armed with these green secrets, it’s time to unleash the power of natural fertilizers and watch your house plants thrive. Remember, you don’t need to spend a fortune on commercial products to make your plants happy. By utilizing items you already have in your kitchen, you can provide your house plants with the nutrients they need, all while reducing waste and saving money. So, go ahead and give it a try—your plants will thank you! And for more gardening tips and inspiration, visit Ames Farm Center.