When it comes to the fertilizers or nutrient sources you might use for your houseplants, eggshells probably don’t come to mind. After all, when cracking an egg, you take the yolk or the white (or both), dispose of the shell, cook your meal, and then move on with your day. Should you start holding onto your eggshells for the benefit of your houseplants?
Are eggshells good for houseplants? Eggshells are great for houseplants. You can use them in the following ways:
- A planter for succulents
- A natural fertilizer
- A source of organic calcium water
In this article, we will elaborate on the many perks of eggshells for your houseplants. We’ll also go step-by-step, telling you how to make your own fertilizer with eggshells and how to use the shells as a planter as well. You won’t want to miss it!
Why Use Eggshells for Houseplants?
If you open your fridge, more than likely, you have a carton of eggs in there right now. You might think it’s strange to begin collecting eggshells for your houseplants, but trust us, your plants will thank you.
Eggshells can help your indoor plants in a myriad of ways, so let’s discuss these now.
Use Them as Planters
One complaint that many apartment renters have is a lack of space. It makes growing indoor plants difficult when you just don’t have the room for them. If you find yourself in the same boat, why not grow plants in eggshells?
It is possible, although you’ll have to work very gingerly with your eggshells. We’ll tell you exactly how to use eggshells as planters in a later section. For now, we’ll say you can grow such plants as succulents, herbs, and vegetables. In fact, herbs like dill, parsley, and basil work especially well in eggshells.
If you’re interested in harvesting your own veggies in eggshells, try cucumber, squash, and beans. Now, these vegetables will eventually grow bigger and have to be transported to a pot, but you can begin the growing process in an eggshell.
Not only are eggshell planters adorable, but they’re a totally natural vessel for your growing plant. They also don’t cost you any money. Sure, you bought the eggs, but you don’t necessarily have to pay for a pot.
Fertilize Your Plants
Eggshells contain lots of calcium. If you want a healthier cellular structure for your houseplants, then feed them calcium through the shells. Don’t worry; you’re not putting shards of eggshell in your soil and hoping for the best (although you can do that). Instead, you’re making a powder for fertilizing.
Getting back to the raw eggshells for a moment, if you find creatures like slugs get into your indoor garden, then leaving eggshell shards in the soil can indeed ward them off. They won’t want to crawl over the pointy, sharp edges.
Make Eggshell Tea Water
When you water your houseplants, you probably use plain ol’ H2O, right? Maybe it’s filtered or purified water rather than from the tap, but at the end of the day, it’s still water. Well, the next time your houseplants need some hydration, why not use organic calcium water instead?
Also referred to as eggshell tea, this organic calcium water is easy enough to make. First, you want to clean your eggshells. Next, crush them until they’re broken into small pieces. Put them in some boiling water in a pot. Then, leave the pot for a night.
When you wake up the next morning, strain out the eggshells. Then you can use the eggshell tea for your houseplants. They’ll certainly perk right up!
Add Them to the Bottom of the Pot
If making organic calcium water sounds like too much trouble, you can always get some calcium to your houseplants in yet another way. Before you transfer your plant to a pot, take some clean eggshells and put them in first. Crush these down a bit before replacing your plant, but not too much. You want the shells sizeable to the point where they go over the pot’s drainage holes. This will keep the soil in the pot.
Then, repot your houseplant and it’ll get a good source of calcium for quite a while.
How to Make Your Own Eggshell Fertilizer
We said we’d tell you how to make eggshell fertilizer, and now’s the time. Here are the steps to follow for creating this natural, healthy houseplant fertilizer.
Step #1: As you use eggs to make breakfasts, dinners, desserts, and other meals, hold onto the shells. You can keep them in a bucket if that makes life easier.
Step #2: Clean the eggshells. Since they’re fragile, you might want to use your sink sprayer for this job instead of running the shells under the faucet. The sprayer can also reach the nooks and crannies your fingers cannot without breaking the shells.
Run the water warm during cleaning. You want to rinse until there’s no more protein in the shell. Take the time to clean the exterior, too. If the eggshell has an odor, then you haven’t cleaned it well enough.
Step #3: Place your eggshells on a paper towel or a kitchen towel and let them sit. Wait the whole night for them to dry out completely.
Step #4: In the morning, you can work with your eggshells. You want to put them in a food processor or a blender now, turning on the device.
Step #5: Keep blending or mixing until the eggshells turn into a powder. This can be coarse, so don’t overmix until the shells become fine.
Step #6: Dump the shell mixture into your houseplant’s soil. Make sure to circle around the plants that need the fertilizer most.
Step #7: Water your plants after applying the fertilizer. This promotes better absorption.
While fertilizing your houseplant with eggshells is very good for them, make sure you don’t do it too often. Instead, keep this to an annual treat for the plants.
Going overboard on applying eggshell fertilizer can affect the plant’s pH, making the levels too high. When that happens, some nutrients like molybdenum and others can increase to the point where they’re actually poisonous for your houseplant.
How to Make Eggshell Planters
Would you like to make eggshell planters for your houseplants instead? It’s easier than you think. Make sure you have the following materials before you begin:
- An awl or needle
- A tiny spoon
- Plant soil
- Seeds, cuttings, or the plant itself
Once you gather all that up, follow these steps.
Step #1: Rather than work with eggshells in this case, you want to start with a whole, unused egg. Take the egg and hold it so the pointed, longer side faces you. With your awl or needle, pierce a small hole in the egg. Your spoon can make the hole ever so slightly bigger. You can also use your fingers to finesse the hole, but be careful not to hurt yourself on the pointy edges!
The goal here to expand the hole so it’s large enough that the egg yolk and the white can pour right out.
Step #2: Once you’ve gotten the hole in your egg to the right size, dump the contents of the egg into a bowl. You can then use this for cooking or baking!
Step #3: Wash the eggshell, again using your sink sprayer and warm water for the job. You can fill the hole with water and dump it out a few times until all the gunk in the egg is gone. Just do so carefully so you don’t crack the eggshell.
Step #4: To provide room for expanding roots and to allow for drainage, turn your egg over to the bigger, rounder side. Again, reach for your awl or needle. Make several tiny holes. You want these very small, so there’s no need to use your spoon this time.
Step #5: Put your potting soil in the eggshell planter. You only want to add soil until the eggshell is 3/4ths the way full. Your spoon will make this a quick job. Make sure you keep the eggshell balanced on something such as an egg carton or even a small pot so it doesn’t fall down and crack.
Step #6: Dig out a place for your houseplant using a finger. Add your seeds or the plant itself and pat it down firmly with soil.
Step #7: Care for your new houseplants the way you would any other and enjoy the cute planter!
Are coffee grounds good for plants?
If eggshells got you hooked on natural fertilizers for your houseplants, you’ll be happy to know you can also use coffee grounds as well. While they don’t provide calcium, coffee grounds do serve another important purpose. They control soil pH, keeping it regulated so you never have to worry about plant nutrients becoming toxic to your houseplant.
Do banana peels help plants?
Another natural ingredient you probably have handy that your houseplants will like is bananas. You don’t use the actual fruit, but just its peel. This provides nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium.
The peel breaks down with time, releasing these nutrients as it does so. While you don’t get a lot of magnesium, phosphorous, or nitrogen, bananas remain a great source of potassium. You do have to make sure you watch out for bugs, though. The banana peels could bring in ants, flies, fruit flies, gnats, and bees.
Bees can get quite agitated by the scent of a decaying banana peel. That’s because this odor resembles a type of bee hormone. Should you try to swat away the bee, you could end up stung for your efforts. You’ll have to decide if using banana peels for your houseplant is worth it, then.