8 Natural Zero-Waste Indoor Plant Fertilizers

Plants are more than just decorative additions to our homes and offices. They purify the air we breathe, boost our mood, and reduce stress. And when it comes to reducing waste in the kitchen, these natural and zero-waste plant fertilizers are here to help.

Mulch With Used Coffee Grounds

If you enjoy your morning cup of joe, chances are you have some leftover coffee grounds. Instead of throwing them away, why not give them to your plants? Coffee grounds act as mulch and add organic matter to the soil. Some houseplants, like philodendron, Christmas cactus, jade plants, African violets, and peace lilies, love the acidity of coffee.

How to use:

Apply a thin layer of coffee grounds over the soil in acid-loving plants or mix them into the soil when transplanting. Remember to use coffee grounds sparingly, as too much caffeine can stunt their growth.

Hydrate With Cooled Cooking Water

Did you know that the water you use to cook your food can actually benefit your plants? As you boil or steam your food, some of the nutrients end up in the cooking water. Instead of pouring it down the drain, let it cool completely and use it to water your plants.

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How to use:

Start by using water from cooking pasta, eggs, potatoes, or vegetables. Just make sure the water has cooled down before watering your plants to prevent any damage.

Fortify With Aquarium Water

If you have a freshwater fish tank, you have a ready source of nutrition for your indoor plants. The water from cleaning out your aquarium contains nitrogen, potassium, trace nutrients, and microorganisms from fish waste.

How to use:

Save the water when you clean your aquarium and use it to irrigate your indoor plants. However, avoid using water from saltwater aquariums, as it can be too salty for potted plants.

Augment Soil With Human Hair

Yes, you read that right! Human hair is a fantastic source of nitrogen for plants. After a haircut or cleaning your hairbrush, collect the hair and mix it into the potting soil.

How to use:

Cut the hair into smaller pieces before mixing it into the soil. However, keep in mind that hair takes time to release nutrients, so use it in combination with fast-acting fertilizers.

Provide Nitrogen With Green Tea

If you’re a fan of green tea, don’t throw away those used tea leaves just yet. They can be a valuable source of nutrients for your houseplants. Simply apply the used green tea leaves directly to the soil or use cooled green tea to water your plants.

How to use:

Allow the tea to cool completely before using it on your plants. Remove the spent leaves from the teabag before applying them to the soil. Be cautious not to use hot tea on your plants, as it can harm them.

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Revitalize Soils With Urine

Believe it or not, human urine can be an excellent fertilizer for houseplants. It contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

How to use:

Dilute fresh urine with 20 parts water before applying it to your plants. However, use diluted urine only occasionally, as it is potent and contains a lot of nutrients.

Enrich Potted Soil With Ground Eggshells

Calcium is essential for plant growth, and eggshells are a rich source of this mineral. Rinse and air dry the eggshells before grinding them into a fine powder. You can also use them in your garden to provide calcium or deter slugs.

How to use:

Mix the ground eggshells into the top layers of the soil. Avoid using large pieces of eggshells, as they may not release calcium effectively. Be mindful of the calcium content if you are using other fertilizers containing calcium.

Use Banana Peels as a Slow-release Fertilizer

Banana peels are packed with potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium—ideal nutrients for your plants.

How to use:

Cut the banana peels into small pieces and mix them into the top layers of the soil. Alternatively, you can blend the banana peels with water and pour the mixture onto the soil. Remember to cover the peels or mix them well, as they may attract fruit flies if left uncovered.

Feed Your Houseplants To Help Them Thrive

Spring is the perfect time to give your houseplants a boost. Transplant them into larger containers and provide them with the necessary nutrients. With the days growing longer, this is a season of exceptional growth for plants. By giving them enough space and nourishment, you can help them thrive!

Further reading:  10 Natural Fertilizers to Keep Your Houseplants Thriving

This article contains tips and suggestions to help you fertilize your indoor plants naturally. For more information and to find products for your gardening needs, visit Ames Farm Center.