Plants vitalize our homes and offices. They filter toxins from the air we breathe and even help boost our mood and reduce stress. Impressively, plants can even help us minimize waste in the kitchen when we apply these zero-waste plant fertilizers.
Mulch With Coffee Grounds
If you like your morning cup of java, you probably have spent coffee grounds in your kitchen. They do make an excellent addition to your backyard compost pile if you have one. Otherwise, you can even apply coffee grounds and even black coffee directly to many plants. The grounds work like mulch and add organic matter to the soil.
Keep in mind that coffee is highly acidic, so some plants will like it more than others. Some house plants that have a taste for it include philodendron, Christmas cactus, jade plants, African violets, and peace lilies.
Do: Apply a thin layer of coffee grounds over the soil in acid-loving plants or mix a bit into the soil when transplanting. Once or twice a year is plenty and makes for a rare treat.
Don’t: Avoid using coffee with sweeteners or creamer products in it. Don’t overwhelm the plants with coffee because too much caffeine can stunt their growth. A little goes a relatively long way.
Hydrate With Cooled Cook Water
When we boil or steam our food, some of the nutrients can end up in the water. Repurposing cooking water is a low-cost way to provide your plants some fertilizer while conserving resources.
Do: Start slowly to figure out what your plants like most. Water from cooking pasta, eggs, potatoes, or vegetables is ideal.
Don’t: Beware of burning your plants. Be sure to allow the water to cool completely, and don’t water them immediately after cooking.
Enrich With Ground Eggshells
Plants need calcium to extend plant walls so they can grow. Because they are loaded with calcium, your houseplants will love you for providing an eggshell treat. If you have extra eggshells, you can also apply them to your garden to provide calcium or ward off slugs.
Do: Rinse the eggshells and allow them to air dry. Grind them into a fine powder by using a coffee grinder, blender, or mortar and pestle.
Don’t: Don’t apply the eggshells in large pieces because the calcium will not be available to the plants. Beware of giving your plants too much calcium. If you are fertilizing with other products, check the label to see if it contains calcium.
Fertilize With Green Tea
Instead of throwing out your green tea bags after brewing up a cup, save them for your houseplants. They will love the nutrients it provides. Like coffee, green tea will make your soil slightly acidic.
Do: Allow the tea to cool completely before giving it to your plants.
Don’t: Alkaline-loving plants will not like green tea so avoid giving it to them.
Spring is an excellent time to transplant your houseplants that have outgrown their containers and give them some fertilizer. As the days grow longer, this can be a season of exceptional growth for plants. Giving them enough space and the necessary nutrients to grow can help them thrive!
This article was originally published on March 23, 2021.