House plants have become very trendy for a lot of reasons including the unavailability of gardening space.
The numerous benefits of beautifying the home, providing comfort, and improving mental health, which house plants offer, means that they are worth every effort invested.
Having house plants comes with a number of challenges. The most difficult challenge is that of the plants being cut off from the natural nutrients cycles.
Since house plants are usually potted indoors, they are denied the organic and inorganic nutrients naturally present in the soil.
This is a serious challenge because if nothing is done to remedy this, they will suffer stunted growth or possibly die.
Many house plant owners try to compensate for this loss of nutrients by adding inorganic fertilizers to house plants.
This is because inorganic fertilizers are common, relatively cheap, and provide readily available nutrients to plants.
These inorganic fertilizers, however, are not environmental-friendly and deplete the soil. This is why you need to fertilize house plants naturally.
Natural fertilizers are added to house plants to provide them adequate nutrients. They’re organic materials that are a better option for so many reasons.
They feed the soil directly and build it, unlike inorganic fertilizers that nourish the plants only.
Since natural fertilizers are usually household wastes like eggshells and banana peels, they are less expensive than inorganic fertilizers.
It may be tempting to jump into the application since the materials are readily available. But there are a lot of things you must know about using them before you begin.
Every organic material can be used as a natural fertilizer. But it is not every natural fertilizer that is suitable for house plants.
House plants are mostly indoors, so some factors need to be taken into consideration.
As much as you desire your house plants to thrive, you don’t want your home to become uncomfortable.
A lot of organic materials are so rich in nutrients that they are used to fertilize farmlands and outdoor garden centres. But they would not be suitable for use indoors because they smell terrible.
Some of these include animal dung and compost manure. While these natural fertilizers will benefit your plants, they will also fill your home with repulsive odours.
A lot of natural fertilizers attract unpleasant organisms like maggot and bugs. Decaying fruit and animal dung are rich in nutrients that are beneficial to your house plants but will make an unpleasant sight.
Considering these factors, below are the natural fertilizers that are ideal for house plants.
Coffee grounds contain high levels of nitrogen with trace amounts of phosphorus and potassium.
However, you must be careful not to add coffee grounds directly to the soil since it could lead to high levels of moisture retention and cause damage to your houseplants.
To prevent such, you must soak coffee grounds in water for a week before adding the liquid to the soil.
Green tea grounds contain tannic acid, which help to stabilize the acid levels in the soil. This makes it an excellent choice for so many acid-loving house plants.
The high nutrient concentrations in green tea grounds also ensure that they grow strong and healthy.
You could make a brew out of green tea grounds with hot water and then add it to the soil when it is cooled or make compost out of green tea and leaves and mix it with the soil.
There is a lot of potassium present in banana peels as well as trace amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. These nutrients are necessary for the healthy development of flowering plants.
You can either leave strips of banana peels directly in the soil or cut them into bits and mix them with the soil.
You can also dry the banana peels and crush them into powder, which can be made into a thick paste and poured into the potting soil.
Banana peels will decompose slowly, ensuring that your plants have a steady supply of essential nutrients for a long time.
Stop throwing eggshells away. Put them to better use instead.
Eggshells are rich in calcium, an essential micro-nutrient for plants. Calcium helps to reduce the soil acidity dangerous to plant roots.
Eggshells can be properly cleaned, dried, and crushed into fine powder.
The powdered egg shells can either be mixed with the soil before you pot your house plants or made into fertilizer tea (by leaving it in boiled water overnight) and poured into already potted soil.
Having an aquarium means that you have the opportunity to provide your house plants with sufficient nitrogen.
Plants will find it easier to process the nitrogen contained in the waste generated by fishes. It is a very good natural fertilizer since you only need to add it directly to the soil.
The next time you change the water in your aquarium or clean it, make sure you add it to the potting soil rather than dispose of it.
Using natural fertilizers for your house plants might involve a lot of careful planning.
It is worth it since it is safer and cheaper than inorganic fertilizers that cannot be manufactured at home and are quite expensive.
With natural fertilizers, house plants are never at the risk of being over-fertilized as it is often the case with inorganic fertilizers.
Besides benefitting plants, natural fertilizers will also improve the quality of the soil of any vegetable garden.
Since natural fertilizers also ensure that household wastes are put to profitable use, your home will be cleaner, and this will save you some of the stress involved in waste disposal.