Homemade plant food is something many gardening enthusiasts are turning to as a budget-friendly way to care for their indoor and outdoor plants. In this post, we’ll explore ten easy homemade plant food recipes you can make using ingredients from your kitchen. From classic coffee grounds to banana peels, we’ll share what everyday household items your favorite houseplants will love.

Informative Article On Homemade Plant Foods for Your Favorite Houseplants Plant America

In addition, we’ll share simple to stir-up plant foods that cost no more than a little trip to your pantry. Whether you grow flowers on your patio or herbs on your windowsill, some TLC from these homemade mixtures will have all your green babies thriving.

Homemade Plant Foods Your Houseplants Will Adore

1. Coffee Grounds

Coffee Grounds Out Of a Cup Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Coffee grounds, Cinnamon sticks, Banana peels
  • Best Plants: Spider plants, Pothos, Philodendron
  • Nutritional Value: Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus
  • Application Methods: Top dressing, Compost tea

Coffee grounds add a boost of nutrients your houseplants love. Just be sure to let dried grounds fully brew before feeding your greens. Sprinkle a layer of pothosor philodendron on top of the soil around your spider plant to nourish them with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The grounds provide balanced nutrition to keep your plants healthy and thriving.

You can also brew the coffee grounds in water overnight, with some cinnamon sticks, banana peels, and crushed eggshells for added nutrients. Eggshells provide calcium, which aids plant growth and provides defense against diseases.

The resulting compost tea is rich in minerals and has natural, slow-release properties that are helpful for indoor plants. Use the brewed tea as a liquid fertilizer by watering your plants or bottom watering your ornamental plants like peace lilies, which prefer moist soil.

The tea naturally feeds your indoor plants. Be sure only to use small amounts first, as homemade plant food is more concentrated than store-bought varieties.

The eggshells and banana peels also add phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, promoting solid stems and leaves. Crush the eggshells to expose more surface area for faster breakdown. Try feeding your plants every few weeks, alternating between compost tea, top dressing, or direct liquid fertilizer to keep them happily fed throughout the year.

2. Banana Peels

Banana Peels On a White Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Banana peels : Apple cores, Orange peels
  • Best Plants: Spider plants : Pothos, Mint
  • Nutritional Value: Potassium : Magnesium, Vitamin B6
  • Application Methods: Composting : Compost tea

Once you’ve enjoyed your banana, don’t toss the peel away. Save them to feed your houseplants. Banana peels are loaded with potassium, a nutrient many indoor plants lack. Slice peels into smaller pieces, add them to your garden compost, or place them in a jar with holes for making compost tea.

Shredded banana peels, apple cores, and orange peels provide fiber and carbon in composting while adding beneficial minerals. Leave the jar in a warm, dark place like a cabinet or closet for around two weeks to allow microbial decomposers to break down the peels into a nutrient-rich liquid.

Make sure to give the jar an occasional stir to aerate it. Your compost tea will have a pleasant earthy smell when ready. Use it to water plants like spider plants or mint that thrive on the trace minerals found in banana peels. The banana peel and citrus infusion feeds the plants through their leaves and enriches the soil when water drips through.

Plants that are moisture-loving, like pothos, will appreciate a bottom watering using compost tea made from banana peels. Check the soil before your next watering – the upper soil layers should dry slightly between waterings. It prevents root rot issues caused by overly wet soil conditions.

3. Eggshells

Eggshells From Close Shot Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Eggshells, Banana peels, Orange peels
  • Best Plants: Tomatoes, Orchids, Roses
  • Nutritional Value: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus
  • Application Methods: Composting, Top dressing

Many gardeners save their eggshells to add calcium to soil or feed plants. Crushed eggshells act as a natural plant food source for your favorite flowers and vegetables. After eating hard-boiled eggs, rinse the shells and allow them to dry entirely before crushing or grinding into a powder.

You can mix the eggshell powder into potting mixes or compost piles, where it will slowly break down and enrich the soil. Calcium supports strong cell walls and plant defenses. Or top dress the powder around tomato plants, orchids, or roses that benefit from calcium’s role in photosynthesis and bloom production.

For a quick homemade plant fertilizer, steep crushed shells in a jar of water along with banana peels and orange peels for a few weeks. The resulting mineral-rich liquids feed your plants’ needs through their leaves. Those growing indoors often lack calcium, which shells supply in an organic form.

Use the calcium-packed compost tea as a weekly fertilizer diluted 1:4 with water. Or top dress shells onto potted plants biweekly. The nutrients filter into the soil over time through watering for sustained release to roots and leaves. Crushing and exposing more surface area allows for faster breakdown into plant-available forms.

4. Grass Clippings

Grass Clippings Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Grass clippings, Banana peels, Coffee grounds
  • Best Plants: Lawns, Gardens, Vines
  • Nutritional Value: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium
  • Application Methods: Composting, Mulching

Fresh grass clippings are an excellent organic nitrogen source to feed your plants. After mowing the lawn, rake up clippings and add them to the compost pile along with peels and grounds. As they break down, the clippings enrich the soil with balanced nutrients. You can also lay clippings around acid-loving plants as mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

Be sure to use clippings shortly after mowing while green and fresh. This prevents them from compacting into a nasty matted mess that inhibits air circulation. In compost, the nitrogen-rich clippings fuel microbial activity and temperature spikes to quickly decompose yard and food waste into a dark, crumbly compost.

Finished compost spreads quickly, and water infiltrates smoothly through its porous structure. Mix a handful per plant into the soil or place fresh clippings directly on beds around tomatoes, vines, or other garden plants you nourish each weekend. The natural fertilizer releases nutrients over time as it rains, and the soil microbes further break it down.

By returning clippings to the earth, precious nutrients cycle continuously rather than pollute streams or waste away in landfills. Lawns stay greener longer from the self-mulching effect too. With clippings providing 67 percent of a lawn’s annual nitrogen needs, soil and plants win from this simple, planet-friendly practice.

5. Aquarium Water

Aquarium Water Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Aquarium water
  • Best Plants: Peace lilies, Ferns, English ivy
  • Nutritional Value: Nitrogen, Iron, Phosphorus
  • Application Methods: Watering, Foliar spraying

Fish tanks are mini-ecosystems concentrating nutrients as fish waste and excess food break down. Siphon a cup of “trap water” from your aquarium weekly to feed your houseplants. The water provides similar benefits to compost tea made from organic materials.

Dilute aquarium water half and half with tap water before watering peace lilies, ferns, or English ivy. Though small amounts can poison fish, these beneficial microbes, minerals, and trace elements supercharge plant growth when delivered through roots and leaves.

Add water, grass clippings, banana peels, and shrimp shells to a spray bottle for an extra boost. Leaves absorb nutrients from a mist, much like foliar garden sprays. Nitrogen helps produce greener, larger leaves, while iron combats chlorosis or yellowing. Calcium from shrimp shells also supports new plant growth.

Pothos vines especially appreciate a deep watering with aquarium water to nourish their extensive root systems. Pour it directly onto the soil until it drains out the bottom of the pot. Since it comes pre-loaded with nutrients, apply judiciously to avoid burning delicate roots or foliage.

Watch for renewed vigor within days of each watering or spray as your plant’s “fishy” friends flourish from the gifts of forgotten aquarium inhabitants. Reuse materials usually discarded to create potent plant elixirs right in your home.

6. Baking Soda

Baking Soda Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Baking soda: Water
  • Best Plants: Tomatoes, Roses, Beans
  • Nutritional Value: Sodium, Improves soil pH
  • Application Methods: Soil amendment, Foliar spray

Baking soda provides vital nutrients and has alkalizing properties that can help adjust soil pH for specific plants. It’s a mild yet effective additive whether sprinkled into soil mixes or used as a foliar or root feed. Dilute a half teaspoon per quart of water and adjust strength based on plant response.

Tomatoes and roses especially appreciate the slightly more alkaline conditions baking soda creates, helping to neutralize excess acidity. It makes nutrients like calcium and magnesium more available. Mix a quarter cup into potting mixes when repotting or transplanting these crops.

For beans, cucumbers, and African violets susceptible to pH fluctuations, a monthly root drench using baking soda water provides sodium while regulating pH at the root level. The same solution can be applied as a foliar spray every two weeks for an additional boost.

Baking soda also contains calcium, a nutrient crucial for cell wall structure and strength. Crush eggshells and add them to the baking soda solution for an extra calcium boost, which is especially beneficial for violets. Test soil pH levels regularly to avoid over-alkalizing.

With careful use, even ordinary baking soda offers home gardeners an organic pH balancer and supplement. Your plants will thank you for keeping root environments and foliar surfaces in the ideal pH range for optimum growth and health.

7. Green Tea

Green Tea Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Green tea leaves, Water
  • Best Plants: Peace lilies, Spider plants, Pothos
  • Nutritional Value: Antioxidants, Amino acids, Caffeine
  • Application Methods: Compost tea, Foliar spray

Unlike banana peels, green tea makes a tasty plant fertilizer that smells delightful! You can brew a strong pot of green tea as usual, using two to three tea bags, and then water your houseplants with the leftover tea liquid. Spider plants, pothos, and Chinese evergreens enjoy tea’s nitrogen, potassium, and other trace nutrients.

Steeped green tea contains antioxidants that boost the plant’s natural defenses. You can also place the used tea bags directly on the soil if it looks dry. You’ll notice the foliage’s brighter, more lush appearance within a week. Over time, the tea works wonders to maintain healthy, happy houseplants without harsh chemicals.

The best part is you get to drink the tea as well! Brewing an extra cup allows you to sip on antioxidants while feeding your plants. It feels like multitasking self-care. During long work-from-home days, tending plants and using green tea as fertilizer gives moments to relax.

Who would have thought something as simple as a hot cup of tea had many stress-relieving benefits for people and their plants? Reserve some leftover liquid for your plant friends whenever you brew tea. It’s a little thing that helps everyone feel better at the end of a busy day.

8. Apple Cores

Apple Cores On a Surface Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Apple cores
  • Best Plants: Roses, Tomatoes, Houseplants
  • Nutritional Value: Vitamin C, Pectin, Boron
  • Application Methods: Composting, Compost tea, Top dressing

Apple cores provide a bounty of nutrients that benefit the soil microbiome and plant growth. Before composting, shred the cores into smaller pieces using kitchen shears or a knife. It increases the surface area exposed to microbes, allowing for more rapid decomposition.

Mix the shredded cores and other organic materials, such as banana peels, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and eggshells, into your compost pile. These ingredients provide a blend of carbon, nitrogen, calcium, and minerals to fuel microbial activity within the pile. As the mixture breaks down, it will heat up due to microbial metabolism, killing potential plant pathogens.

The finished compost from the cores and other ingredients makes an excellent soil amendment to nourish plants. Mix a handful per hole or container when planting roses, tomatoes, herbs, and more. It replenishes the soil with micronutrients drawn from the once-discarded food scraps. For container gardening, top-dress pots with compost feed shallow root zones.

For more immediate effects, steep the shredded apple cores and other compost materials in a bucket of water for two weeks. The “compost tea” created is loaded with beneficial bacteria, fungi, and soluble nutrients ideally suited for watering houseplants, tomatoes, berries, and more. Dilute the potent brew before each application to prevent scalding of foliage or roots.

The tea can also be applied as a foliar spray utilizing its vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. When sprayed onto leaves, plants quickly exhibit darker green coloration and more vigorous growth.

9. Orange Peels

Orange Peels From Close Shot Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Orange peels
  • Best Plants: Citrus trees, Roses, Tomatoes
  • Nutritional Value: Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Pectin
  • Application Methods: Composting, Compost tea, Potting soil amendment

Citrus peels are a bountiful and often overlooked organic resource. After enjoying fresh oranges, save the peels in a sealable container until you have enough to use in the garden. Rather than waste them, extract the boundless vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants within to nourish soil and plants.

Before adding peels to the compost, dry them thoroughly, then crumble them into smaller pieces to speed decomposition. Shredded peels complement other materials like bananas, grass clippings, and eggshells by providing carbon and nutrients like calcium and boron. As the blended ingredients break down, the resultant compost exudes a dark, rich quality perfect for potting soil mixes.

You can also use citrus peels to make compost tea. Steep crumbled peels with apple cores, coffee grounds, and other amendments in a bucket of water for two weeks. The nutrients leach into the tea, creating a potent yet natural fertilizing solution. Dilute the tea to water tomatoes, roses, citrus trees, and more, delivering nutrients rapidly through roots and leaves.

For ornamental houseplants, dilute compost tea and mist directly onto the foliage. Plants absorb vitamins, minerals, and microbes directly from wet leaves. Monitor new growth for darker hues and thicker stems, signaling a boost supplied by the peels. Foliar feeding acts as a fast-acting organic mulch invisible to the eye.

10. Lettuce Water

Water Lettuce Plant in Bloom Plant America

🌱 Key Points
  • Ingredients: Lettuce leaves
  • Best Plants: Herbs, Peppers, Berries
  • Nutritional Value: Nitrogen, Vitamins A, C, and K, Antioxidants
  • Application Methods: Watering, Compost tea, Foliar spray

After enjoying a fresh salad, don’t toss the lettuce scraps. Their nutrient-packed leaves can be used to boost garden beds and houseplants. Fill a bucket with trimmed lettuce, crushing it with a wooden spoon to release juices. Add shredded orange peels, apple cores, banana peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, and grass clippings. The mixture breaks down nitrogen, vitamins, and minerals into the water.

Allow it to brew for two weeks, stirring occasionally. A dark brown “lettuce water” results, rich in plant-available nutrients. Dilute half-and-half with clean water before using. Water-thirsty houseplants, herbs, or nutrient-hungry crops like tomatoes and peppers with this recharge. Leaves absorb nutrients directly through their roots.

For instant greening effects, dilute lettuce water further and mist directly onto the foliage. Plants take up vitamins, minerals, and probiotic microbes, topping their leaves and becoming visible within days in darker foliage. Lettuce water is a powerful multi-purpose tonic made from cast-off salad trimmings destined for the trash or compost pile.

Containers of this elixir can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month, extending its use. Brew fresh batches regularly to sustain vibrant growth in your indoor jungle or outdoor garden space, efficiently nourished with tools already in the home. Discover unexpected value from humble vegetable scraps through sustainable nutrient cycling that feeds both soil life and plants.


This guide featured ten plant foods easily sourced from your home to provide balanced nutrition to your favorite houseplants. Some of the most beneficial ingredients included:

  • Apple cores are high in vitamins C and B6, making them suitable for foliage plants like roses and ferns.
  • Orange peels are rich in antioxidants that help boost the growth of leafy greens and violets.
  • Lettuce water is high in nitrogen, making it ideal for nourishing tomatoes, herbs, and pothos.
  • Banana peels contain ample potassium that assists the health of plants.

By repurposing everyday items, you have unlocked hidden nutrients in plain sight. With care and attention, your houseplants will thrive through this sustainable approach to their nourishment.

5/5 - (8 votes)