Is Pickle Juice Good for Houseplants?

Plant lovers are always finding innovative ways to use household items to help their plant babies. Things like coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels, and even epsom salt can be used to make your houseplants happier and healthier. But what about leftover pickle juice? Can pickle brine be used with houseplants?

What is Pickle Juice Made Of?

The main ingredients of pickle juice are vinegar and salt. There’s often a mix of herbs and spices added as well, often including aromatics like garlic.

Pickle juice has a wide variety of uses outside of pickling cucumbers. It can be used for cleaning, to add flavor to other foods, or as a salad dressing. Drinking pickle juice is even though to have some health benefits, due to the potassium and electrolytes it contains.

Pickle Juice and Houseplants

In some cases, vinegar can be used to make the soil of acid loving plants more acidic. Since leftover pickle juice is primarily made of vinegar, it might seem that you could use pickle juice for this purpose.

Unfortunately, the high salt content of pickle brine makes it very dangerous to used directly on your houseplants. Salt will leech the moisture from your houseplant and its soil, so you should always use extreme caution with salty items and your plants.

To use pickle juice safely with your houseplants, it would have to be extremely diluted (1 cup pickle juice to at least 22 cups of water) to be safe. Commercial soil acidifiers are much easier to use and much safer for your plant babies!

Pickle Juice and Compost

The best way to make leftover pickle juice work for your plants is to add it to your compost. Allowing pickle brine to break down with your food scraps neutralizes its threat and adds acid to your compost mixture. You can then use this compost on your acid loving plants, indoors and outdoors.

Another Use for Pickle Juice in the Garden

The things that make pickle juice dangerous to your houseplants makes it an amazing weed killer!

To use pickle juice as a weed killer, simply fill up a spray bottle with your leftover pickle juice and spray and weeds you want to get rid of. Just be sure to avoid any plant that you want to preserve.


There are lots of ways to use food waste and household items to improve the life of your houseplants. However, when it comes to pickle juice, proceed with caution — and stick to the compost pile.

Kate Inskeep

Kate Inskeep is a mom of three from Illinois who loves growing things. She fell in love with houseplants after a friend gifted her some succulents. Before long, her windowsills were full of plants, and she was hooked.

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