Being the mom of three fruit-loving kids means I buy a lot of bananas. I’ve often found myself wondering if there were ways I could reuse all of those banana peels for the good of my houseplants.
Turns out, banana peels are beneficial for many types of plants! Banana peels can be used in many different ways to make your plants healthier and more vibrant.
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What Plants Like Banana Peels?
Many varieties of plants like banana peels, including:
- Tomato Plants
- Pepper Plants
- Cornstalk Plants and other houseplants with shiny leaves
Let’s take a look at the best way to use banana peels to fertilize each of these plants.
Banana Peels and Roses
Banana peels can add extra nutrients to your roses’ soil, and they also help repel the dreaded pests called aphids.
To incorporate banana peels into your rose care, you can leave the peels at the base of your plant, or chop them up into small pieces and mix them into the soil. If you’re planting your rose for the first time, consider tossing a few pieces of banana peel into the hole with your new plant.
Banana Peels and Tomato Plants
Banana peels can also give your tomato plants a much-needed boost. Simply place a banana peel under your plant when you transfer it to your garden or to its final pot. You can also water your tomato plants with a banana peel tea — more on that below!
Banana Peels and Pepper Plants
Pepper plants are another garden plant that love potassium-rich banana peels as fertilizer. To reap the benefits, follow the same process as tomato plants: place a banana peel under your plant when transferring it to its final location.
Banana Peels and Houseplants
Did you know you can use banana peels to shine the leaves of your houseplants? Plants like cornstalk plants, ivy plants, pothos plants, and other houseplants with shiny leaves with absolutely gleam after you wipe them down with a banana peel. Simply wipe the leaves of your plant with the wet side of a banana peel.
This treatment will also make your plants smell great, and it is thought to help repel pests like aphids.
Why Banana Peels?
Why do banana peels make a great fertilizer? Banana peels, like coffee grounds, eggshells, and other natural food waste, are organic matter. When organic matter breaks down, it releases acids that make the roots of your plants more permeable. Permeable roots make it easier for your plant to absorb nutrients and water.
Bananas peels are great for plants because of their high levels of potassium and phosphorus. They also contain nitrogen, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium. These nutrients are released as the banana peels decomposed, and absorbed by your plant’s roots.
Finally, banana peels are cheap and easy. If anyone in your home eats bananas, you’re guaranteed to have banana peels. All of the methods of using banana peels are easy and don’t require much in the way of time, materials, or expertise.
Disadvantages of Using Banana Peels as Fertilizer
Banana peels can be beneficial to your plants, but they aren’t a perfect fertilizer. For example, most banana peels are about 80% water. This means that they aren’t particularly nutrient dense. If you’re looking to deliver a ton of nutrients to your plant, you’ll need a lot of banana peels.
Another drawback to using banana peels is that they can attract pests. As banana peels break down, they attract insects like fruit flies, which are particularly unwanted on your indoor plants. Banana peels can also grow mold or fungus if they are placed in a particularly moist area.
Banana peels are also not a complete fertilizer. They contain some, but not all of the nutrients plants need to thrive. If you decide to use banana peels as a fertilizer, you’ll want to use other organic materials or fertilzer products with them.
Some folks in the plant and garden world are very much against using banana peels as a fertilizer. Here’s a great explanation of why one gardener does not recommend using banana peels to fertilize your plants.
Best Ways to Use Banana Peels as Fertilizer
If you’d like to use banana peels to fertilize your houseplants, there are a few different methods you can try. Here are some of the easiest and most popular methods for fertilizing your plants with banana peels:
Fresh Banana Peels
What could be easier than putting a few banana peels at the base of your favorite plant? This is probably the simplest way to use banana peels as fertilizer.
However, if you want to the fruit flies or mold we mentioned above, consider cutting up your banana peel into tiny pieces (kitchen shears work great!), and mixing those pieces in with your plant’s soil.
Dried Banana Peels
Dried banana peels are a great way to pack a nutrient-filled punch into your fertilizer. They also help you avoid the pets and mold that wet banana peels can attract.
To dehydrate your banana peels, you can use a food dehydrator, or your can cut your peel into pieces and bake at 140 degrees for a few hours. Leave your oven door open a crack to keep air circulating.
Once your banana peels are dried, mix them into the soil of your house or garden plants.
Banana Peel “Tea”
The most popular way to use banana peels as fertilizer is by making banana peel tea. To make this tea, place a few banana peels in a jar and then fill the jar with water. Replace the lid and let your “tea” sit for at least 24 hours.
After your tea is done soaking, you can use it to water your plants. It is thought that the nutrients absorbed in the water will be transferred to your plants upon watering.
When you’re done with your tea, you can pitch your banana peels or put them in your compost bin.
Banana Peels in Compost
Probably the most proven way that banana peels can benefit your plants is through composting. It’s also extremely simple! Just toss your banana peels into your compost pile or compost bin, and let science do the work.
Banana peels will break down rapidly in compost, which means the benefits of them get transported to your composted soil in a matter of days. If you don’t have a compost pile of your own, you can find a local composting facility here.
Banana peels can be used a variety of ways to enhance the health of your garden or houseplants. All of them are easy, green, and extremely low-cost! So stopping those peels and instead save them for a healthier garden and greener world.