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How To Make Homemade Fertilizer for Indoor Plants?

Discover how to create homemade fertilizer for indoor plants. Sustainable, cost-effective, and customizable solutions for vibrant, healthy greenery.

As we are moving towards modernization more and more, staying indoors has become more of an obligation. This deprives us of fresh oxygen, and hence, we need more indoor plants to fulfill this requirement. 

Indoor plants not only provide us with better air quality but also add vibrant green to our Indoor spaces. Houseplants can bring life and beauty to our indoor spaces. But just like us, they need proper nourishment to grow and survive. 

While commercial fertilizers are readily available, creating your own homemade plant food offers a sustainable, cost-effective, and natural alternative. Here in this article, we will discuss the whole concept of homemade fertilizer for indoor plants and how to make it.

Various types of indoor plants in white pots Perfect for adding greenery to any indoor space

Indoor Plant Nutrient Requirements

As we take care of our outside counterparts, indoor plants also need vital nutrients. These nutrients are the reason your indoor plants serve their purpose. These nutrients are essential for the growth and well-being of plants in many different ways.

To be able to give indoor plants the right care, you are required to have an understanding of their demands. Let’s start by citing these vital nutrients that indoor plants need. These include nutrients, as they are tabulated below.

Primary Macronutrients

Secondary Macronutrients

Micronutrients

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).
These are collectively referred to as NPK. 

Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur.

Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Boron, and Molybdenum.

To make it clear to you, every one of these nutrients has a distinct purpose in the development of the plant.

Leafy green growth depends on nitrogen (N), and blooming and fruiting depend on phosphorus (P). Along with these two, potassium (K) works. It helps with overall plant health and disease resistance. In order to promote balanced growth and resistance to stress, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients assist a number of physiological processes.

Assorted succulents in a variety of stylish pots from traditional blue patterned to modern pink and white illustrating diverse indoor plant nutrient needs

Why Should You Make Your Own Fertilizer?

After knowing that your indoor plants also need a similar treatment as your garden plants, you might’ve gotten concerned. Don’t be worried; you don’t have to pay high prices for fertilizers. 

You can create your own for your plant babies at home. There are actually some compelling reasons to give homemade a try!

First off, it’s easy on the wallet.  You can whip up nutrient-rich concoctions from things you already have around the house.  These ingredients like eggshells would otherwise end up in the trash. Making fertilizers at home also becomes a great way to reduce waste and save money on fertilizer purchases.

Secondly, homemade options are often gentler on your plants.  When you see commercial fertilizers, they can be packed with chemicals that, while effective, might be a little harsh.  

Homemade versions tend to release nutrients more slowly. They mimic a natural process and reduce the risk of burning your plants.

Finally, homemade fertilizers allow for customization.  Different plants have different needs. With a little research, you can tailor your homemade fertilizer to provide the specific nutrients your plant craves.

No matter it’s a burst of nitrogen for faster growth or extra potassium for vibrant blooms. This level of control can lead to healthier, happier plants overall.

Common Ingredients of Homemade Fertilizers

Homemade fertilizer application to indoor plants

By making homemade fertilizers for indoor plants, a variety of organic materials found right in your kitchen or backyard can be repurposed. These readily available ingredients offer cost-effective alternatives to store-bought fertilizers. They also contribute to sustainable gardening practices by reducing waste and promoting resourcefulness.

Kitchen Scraps 

Nutrient-rich kitchen scraps, such as used coffee grounds, tea bags, and fruit and vegetable peels, are great for indoor plants. Fruit and vegetable leftovers are a good source of phosphorus, potassium, and other micronutrients needed for healthy plant development. 

Particularly rich in nitrogen are coffee grounds, which encourage proper vegetation and vivid greens.

Compost

Compost is often known as “black gold” in gardening circles due to its nutrient-rich composition. Composting organic matter creates a nutrient-dense soil amendment that improves soil structure, fertility, and moisture retention. Compost provides a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients, fostering healthy root development and robust plant growth.

Eggshells

Calcium carbonate, which is found in abundance in eggshells, is essential for fortifying plant cell walls and avoiding flowering end rot. Eggshells may be crushed into little bits and used for homemade fertilizers. It aids in replenishing the soil with calcium and supports sturdy plants.

Peels from Bananas

Potassium, a nutrient necessary for blooming, fruiting, and general plant vigor, is abundant in banana peels. Chopped banana peels raise potassium levels in DIY fertilizer mixtures, which promotes fruit output and healthy flowers in houseplants.

These basic substances enhance the soil and encourage plant health by adding certain nutrients to homemade fertilizers. Indoor gardeners are able to develop balanced fertilizer mixes that are specific to the dietary requirements of their plants by knowing the nutrient composition of these materials. 

Nutrient levels may be adjusted by experimenting with various ratios and combinations, which guarantees the healthiest possible development for indoor plants. Not only do these organic ingredients nourish plants, but they also lessen waste and promote an indoor gardening strategy that is more sustainable when added to homemade fertilizers.

Recipes for Homemade Fertilizers

You can make homemade fertilizer using the recipes given.

Various organic materials laid out on a bamboo surface including a banana peel lettuce leaves eggshells and soil showcasing ingredients for homemade fertilizers

Basic All-Purpose Fertilizer

It is easy to create an all-around fertilizer that provides various nutrients required for the adequate growth of your house plants.

Ingredients Required

  • Kitchen scraps (fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags)
  • Compost
  • Eggshells
  • Water

Step-by-Step Instructions for Preparation

  • Start by collecting kitchen scraps and compost material in a container.
  • After that, crush eggshells into small pieces.
  • Mix the kitchen scraps, compost, and crushed eggshells. Its ratio should be 2:1:1 respectively.
  • Now, add water to the mixture to create a slurry-like consistency.
  • Allow the mixture to ferment for a few days to enhance nutrient availability.

Tips for Application and Frequency

Apply the fertilizer around the base of the plants, avoiding direct contact with the leaves.

Use the fertilizer once every two to four weeks during the growing season. Adjust the frequency based on plant response and growth rate.

The fertilizers that are rich in one particular nutrient can also be created at home. Here are the recipes for them 

Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer

Many indoor plants support lush green leaves, which are possible by an abundant nitrogen supply. You can create a Nitrogen-Rich fertilizer by following this.

Ingredients Required

  • Coffee grounds
  • Grass clippings
  • Compost

Instructions

For this, you’ll be required to mix equal parts of all three ingredients. Apply the fertilizer around the plant’s base and water thoroughly.

Usage

Apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer to leafy green plants like lettuce, spinach, and ferns to promote abundant leaf growth.

Phosphorus-Rich Fertilizer

Potted fruit-producing plants require good amounts of phosphorus that can come from the fertilizer, the recipe for which is listed below.

Ingredients Required

  • Bone meal
  • Banana peels
  • Compost

Instructions

To make this fertilizer, begin by crushing banana peels. After that, you can mix them with bone meal and compost in equal amounts. Incorporate the mixture into the soil around the plant roots.

Usage

You can apply phosphorus-rich fertilizer to flowering and fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers, and roses. This will enhance root development and bloom production.

Potassium-Rich Fertilizer

To make a potassium-rich fertilizer that supports disease resistance in plants you can follow this recipe. 

Ingredients Required

  • Banana peels
  • Wood ash
  • Compost

Instructions

Dry and crush banana peels, mix them with wood ash, and compost in equal parts.

Apply the mixture around the plant’s base and water thoroughly.

Usage

You can utilize potassium-rich fertilizer for fruiting plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries to improve fruit quality and flavor.

Now that we have understood the types of Indoor plant fertilizers and how to make them, let’s discuss their application.

Micronutrient-Rich Fertilizer

Micronutrients are equally important for plant growth. Here is how you can make a micronutrient-rich fertilizer for your indoor plants.

Ingredients Required

  • 2 cups of crushed eggshells (a source of calcium)
  • 1 cup of used coffee grounds (rich in nitrogen)
  • 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt (provides magnesium)
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered seaweed (supplies trace minerals)

Instructions

At the beginning of the process, thoroughly wash and dry eggshells before crushing them into small pieces. After that, collect used coffee grounds from your coffee maker or local café.

The next step is to mix the crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, Epsom salt, and powdered seaweed in a bowl until well combined. After mixing, keep the mixture in an airtight container in a cool, dry place before it is ready for use.

Usage

  • Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of plants, avoiding direct contact with stems.
  • Consider Gently working the fertilizer into the soil using a hand trowel or rake.
  • Water the plants as usual to help the nutrients penetrate the soil.
  • You should utilize the fertilizer once every 4-6 weeks in summer as it is the growing season.

How to Apply Homemade Fertilizer to Indoor Plants?

Wooden table with gardening tools and plants next to Common Ingredients of Homemade Fertilizers

It’s critical to use the right methods when applying homemade fertilizer to indoor plants. This will be beneficial in terms of achieving optimal nutrient absorption and preventing any plant damage.

The Considerations while Application

There are certain factors to consider when applying homemade fertilizer to your indoor plants. Here, they are tabulated.

Apply fertilizer evenly along the plant’s drip line

At the outer border of the canopy, where water runs off the leaves, equally distribute fertilizer in a ring shape.


By doing this, the plant’s root zone is guaranteed to get nutrients without coming into direct touch with the stem or leaves.

Avert making direct touch with the leaves or stem

Plant tissues may burn or become scorched when fertilizer comes into direct contact with them. 


When applying fertilizer, keep it several inches away from the stem and leaves. 


Also, use a small garden trowel or rake to gently massage it into the top layer of soil.

Water thoroughly after application

After applying fertilizer, water the soil thoroughly to help dissolve the nutrients and carry them down to the plant’s roots. Adequate watering also helps prevent nutrient runoff and ensures uniform distribution of nutrients throughout the root zone.

Dos and Don’ts of Fertilizing Indoor Plants

When fertilizing indoor plants, remembering the dos and don’ts helps preserve their health. It also avoids problems brought on by excessive or incorrect fertilization.

Do Adhere to The Suggested Dose Guidelines

Root burn, nutritional imbalances, and even plant mortality can result from overfertilization. To prevent these problems, always use the fertilizer according to the suggested dose guidelines that come with it.

Don’t Fertilize Plants That are Water-Stressed or Have Dry Soil

Nutrient absorption issues and root damage can be made worse by fertilizing plants that are under drought stress or dry soil. To maintain ideal plant hydration levels, make sure the soil is sufficiently moist before adding fertilizer. Water your plants on a regular basis.

Frequency and Timing of Fertilization

You can use fertilizer on indoor plants every four to six weeks in the spring and summer. This is the time when growth is at par to supply steady nutrition for growth.

 Reduce fertilizing to once per 8–12 weeks during autumn and winter dormancy. This schedule will help you to avoid nutrient accumulation and needless growth stimulation. 

Fertilizers can cause further stress to freshly transplanted or stressed indoor plants, so wait until they have adjusted before fertilizing. By ensuring ideal nutrient absorption, these techniques promote healthy development in indoor plant settings. This also reduces the possibility of nutrient surpluses or shortages.

Wrapping Up

In the end, we can say that the article provides a great overview of making homemade fertilizer for indoor plants. Here are some additional tips: eggshells can be boiled to remove bacteria before crushing. Fish tank water can provide a nutrient boost as well. 

When using organic fertilizers, be aware that they may attract fungus gnats. Research is ongoing in the area of biofertilizers, which use microbes to deliver nutrients to plants.

For all your fertilizer needs, both chemical and organic, look no further than HANS Chem. They have a variety of products to keep your indoor plants thriving.

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