We know that banana peels are a really great source of nutrients like potassium, phosphorus and calcium among others for humans. But they are pretty great for plants too. So, it is natural for gardeners to want to use them as a fertilizer.
But it’s not as simple as throwing a peel into the plant’s pot. While there are a few different ways to use this organic material, banana peel tea fertilizer is a good choice for succulents for more reasons than one.
Is Banana Peel Tea Good for Plants?
You can chop up the peels and place them near the hole of the potted plant. But a better way to fertilize succulents is to make plant tea. Banana peel tea fertilizer essentially has all the nutrients in the peel itself. And here’s how each of them helps the succulent.
The calcium in the peel, which is a micronutrient, helps break down the organic materials in your potting mix. The peels also contain manganese which helps with the process of photosynthesis and pigmentation, just to name a couple of them. There’s also sodium which interacts with the ions and water in between the plant cells.
Now, when you are dealing specifically with succulents, you need to be able to balance the fertilizer with the potting mix. These plants need special attention in terms of the ingredients of the soil.
So, when you get the soil mix ratio right, the drainage is better and the density of the soil loosens well. And drainage is important because succulents were born to adapt to drier weather. So, if there is too much water, the roots start to rot. Something to keep in mind when adding banana peel fertilizer too.
The perfect soil for succulents must have granite, fine sand and some coarse inorganic minerals. Some gardeners like to add peat moss or organic pine bark for the sake of structure.
Banana peel tea fertilizer is also better than other alternatives like chopping and placing banana peels in the soil. That’s because flies and gnats are easily attracted to the peels. So, you get to avoid that rather craftily without having to give up on its benefits.
How to Make Banana Peel Tea
You have probably heard of compost tea. Don’t worry if you haven’t. It is just a mix of nutrients and microbes that love oxygen in a finished compost which is steeped in water for a day or so and the result is compost tea.
Banana peel tea is the same except the nutrients come from a banana peel and your plant gets the kind of minerals it needs. This is how you make it.
- Step 1: Get a container the size of a mason jar with a total volume of two quarts.
- Step 2: Fill it with water up to three-quarters of the jar, cover it up and place it in your fridge. Each time you eat a banana, chop the peels and place it in the jar.
- Step 3: Do this until the jar water is filled with peels.
- Step 4: Now, remove the peels and mix this water with a gallon of regular water.
If you are going to do this just once:
- Step 1: Boil the water and place the peels in a one-quart mason jar.
- Step 2: Cover the jar and leave it outside and undisturbed for about 48 hours.
- Step 3: Get rid of the peel and water your plant with the banana tea left in the jar.
For this process, you can use hot water or leave the mason jar in the sun. If you are opting for the latter, remember that it will take more than 48 hours.
If You Want to Go Further
You can also make a banana peel fertilizer spray if you feel so inclined. And for that, you will need a couple of other things like Epsom salt, about three eggshells and an empty spray bottle. Of course, water too.
- Step 1: Take the banana peels and place them in the sun where they won’t be disturbed. Place them on a container or parchment paper so that the dried pieces are easy to collect. Alternatively, you can also place them in a food dehydrator.
- Step 2: While the peels are drying, prepare the eggshells. Crumble them a little and place them on the counter.
- Step 3: After the peels are completely dry, collect them and the eggshells and throw them into a grinder. Keep at it till the mixture turns into a powder.
- Step 4: Add this powder and one tablespoon Epsom salt to a 32-ounce spray bottle. Adjust the recipe according to the size of the bottle you have.
- Step 5: Add water to the bottle almost to its brim and shake it for the powders to dissolve.
And there you have it. This is a great fertilizer for many houseplants. But if you want to use it on the ones in the garden, do not overdo it with the plants that are in direct sunlight. Spray it either around them or into the soil. It can be a powerful fertilizer even though the ingredients are mild. So, you want to do a little trial and error before you figure out which plant needs how much of it.
There is no doubt that banana peels are a good fertilizer. When dealing with succulents and even cacti, it is important to pay attention to how often (or rather how infrequently) you are adding this fertilizer because they need it less than food plants.
Now, you can throw the peels in the compost too if you want to use them as a fertilizer. But succulents don’t need as much feeding as some other types of plants. So, banana peel tea is actually the perfect way of getting rid of food waste without actually wasting the food. Neat, huh?