Make Your Own Home Brew Houseplant Fertilizer

by Ellen Johnson 05/31/2021

We often use dried eggshells as fertilizer in outdoor gardens. Their extremely high calcium content makes them an excellent way to add extra nutrients to the soil. When properly prepared, eggshells can make for great indoor plant fertilizer as well. Here we’ll go over how to use this common food waste to nourish your houseplants in 5 steps.

Step 1: Rinse

Before setting them aside, make sure you rinse the eggshells carefully in cold or room temperature water. This will break down the proteins left behind from the raw egg to leave a clean inside surface. This will prevent any chance of bacteria or mold developing and causing odor.

Step 2: Dry

Let the eggshells dry out entirely before moving on. If you don’t want to wait, you can place them on a baking sheet in a warm oven or toaster oven. The most efficient method is to put them into the oven as it cools after baking a meal. Once the shells are completely dry they are ready for the next step.

Step 3: Crush

In a large bowl or other container, pulverize the shells into small pieces using wooden spoons, potato mashers or any other blunt tool from around the kitchen. Be careful not to send pieces flying—it’s best to use a bigger bowl than you think you need. Once the eggs are in small pieces, either transfer to a food processor or use a mortar and pestle to grind them up into a fine powder. While it doesn’t have to be perfect, you’ll get better results from a fine, mostly uniform grain.

Step 4: Sprinkle or Brew

Once you have your eggshell powder, you have two options for how to give it to your plants. One method is to mix or sprinkle it in to the potting soil. The other is to make what some gardeners call “eggshell tea” by mixing the powder with boiling water and letting it sit for 24 hours. This will give you a liquid form of fertilizer that you can carefully distribute among your houseplants by pouring directly into the soil. Note that the “strength” of the fertilizer will depend on the number of eggshells you used. A common recipe suggestion is 10 to 20 eggshells per one gallon of water.

Step 5: Be Patient

Eggshells, even when crushed and boiled, take a long time to decompose. You will not see results from this type of fertilizer overnight, but the extra calcium and potassium boost from the eggshells will help to nourish your house plants over the long term. Some gardeners recommend adding fertilizer before or during a plant’s growing season to help strengthen new growth. Depending on the plant, you may not need more than one “feeding.” Always research your specific plants’ needs and growing cycles to determine the best possible time to fertilize them.

This is a great way to re-use your old eggshells rather than throw them away. You can feed your plants while avoiding adding more slow-decomposing material to landfills. Your plants will thank you, too.

About the Author
Author

Ellen Johnson

I am a longtime time resident of Plymouth, I started my love of the area as a summer resident who was lucky enough to spend summers at the beautiful Priscilla Beach. I am a successful business owner who owned the first salon and day spa in Plymouth. I sold that business and started a highly successful women's clothing and accessory store also located in Plymouth.  My love of the area and real estate brought me to a new chapter in my life full time real estate sales.

Leveraging my experience as a business owner known for outstanding client service, high tech marketing and a personal touch that is needed in a real estate transaction I have guided my sellers and buyers through the complicates process of a real estate transaction. I am proud to say that I received the International Diamond Society designation, awarded to the top 11% of all Coldwell Banker Affiliated Sale Associates consecutively the most recent year 2020.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children. Also, to live on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I can truly say there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!