If you are trying to build an indoor garden, you might be on the hunt for easy and cost-effective fertilizers. While you have to fertilize the soil occasionally, you do not necessarily have to purchase fertilizers for your houseplants.
There are a variety of natural and organic fertilizers that you could obtain from everyday products, such as food scraps. In case you have been wondering if you can put eggshells to use rather than throwing them away, you could use them to fertilize your aloe vera plants.
For your indoor plants, eggshells prove to be a powerful fertilizer. Rich in minerals, they can add essential nutrients to the soil and help your plant grow healthy.
You wouldn’t have to worry about pollution or other side effects, as eggshells are natural and would decompose into the soil. Most importantly, eggshells are a part of your kitchen waste and you do not have to spend any additional effort in procuring them.
Are eggshells good for aloe vera plants?
Eggshells make excellent fertilizers for a variety of houseplants, including aloe vera. Your aloe vera plant would certainly benefit from having crushed eggshells spread over the soil. Check out how eggshells can benefit your aloe vera plants:
- Eggshells contain substantial amounts of calcium. In fact, it is mostly the abundance of this mineral that makes eggshells great for fertilizing your aloe vera plants. Calcium is crucial in the development of plant cell walls.
- Another key mineral present in eggshells is potassium. It substantially aids the plants in various functions, including the movement of nutrients, water, and, carbohydrates. This makes potassium essential for plant growth.
- Besides adding nutrients to the soil, eggshells would also help to protect your aloe vera plants from slugs and snails. These pests often make their way into plant pots and feed on the leaves. However, the hardness and the sharp edges of the eggshells make it uncomfortable for them to crawl over.
- Eggshells are hard and grainy in texture, helping to aerate the soil. Once you crush and add them to the soil, they would make the soil airier and well-drained. Hence, you would also have to worry less about waterlogging
Hence, if you are considering the idea of crushing eggshells and using them in your aloe vera plant pot, it is certainly a good idea.
How to use eggshells for your aloe vera plant?
Using eggshells for your aloe vera plant is a rather easy process. However, you need to adhere to the right steps to make eggshells effective for your plant.
Using the eggshells in the right manner would help you fertilize your plants more efficiently and with lower risks of potential issues. Here are a few steps to follow while using eggshells to fertilize your aloe vera plant:
Cleaning and storage
Once you have collected the eggshells, clean out any residues of the egg whites or the yolks. Store these shells in a clean and airtight jar to accumulate them. You would need about a dozen such shells, so you may keep storing them in the jar until you have enough.
Before you put the eggshells into the jar, you would have to dry them completely. You do this either by leaving the shells under the sun or heating them in the microwave. This is a crucial step that you certainly shouldn’t miss.
To make these shells usable for the purpose, you need to crush them into smaller pieces. Now, you may either turn them into small bits and sprinkle them over the soil or grind them into powder.
In case you use your regular kitchen grinder to make the powder, wash it thoroughly afterward. Any eggshell particles left behind could otherwise mix with food prepared in the grinder later on.
Now that your eggshells are ready for application, all you have to do is add them to the soil.
Do bear in mind that in case you haven’t ground the shells into powder, you need to cover them with a layer of soil. If you are using the shells in the powdered form, use a spoon and pour two to three tablespoons of the powder.
After adding the eggshells to the soil, you simply need to wait for them to decompose. This could take some time, so you would have to be patient with it.
Things to keep in mind before using eggshells on your aloe vera
While it is true that eggshells are great for your aloe vera plant, there are a few things that you should remember while using them. Not doing it the right way could lead to several problems, and can potentially end up causing more harm than good. Here is what you need to bear in mind:
You need to be thorough with the cleaning
While cleaning the eggshells at the beginning, you need to be extremely thorough. Any organic matter left clinging to the shells would attract bugs that can harm your aloe vera plant.
Use dishwashing soap for the cleaning and make sure to scrub the shells clean completely. Proper cleaning and drying would together eliminate the risks that could appear due to bugs.
Eggshells need time to decompose
Unlike many other natural fertilizers, eggshells need a great deal of time to decompose into the soil. In fact, it might take several months for the shells to completely break down and the nutrients to reach your plant. Hence, you cannot expect it to start bearing results immediately after adding the eggshells to the soil.
It would cause odors
As the eggshells start decomposing, they would start releasing slight but unpleasant odors.
This is one of the reasons why many individuals choose to throw away their eggshells rather than adding them to their planters. This odor may potentially attract flies, although keeping the shells covered with soil should help to some extent.
Best ways to overcome these issues
Using the eggshells in the powdered form is the best idea, as it would help you overcome a couple of these issues. Firstly, the surface of the powdered particles would be much smaller than that of the crushed pieces.
This would help it decompose faster, as the good bacteria present in the soil can consume such powdered particles more easily. Moreover, you wouldn’t have to worry about the foul smells if you use powdered eggshells.
As an alternative, you could also prepare eggshell tea and use it to water the soil. This is a rather easy method. All you have to do is soak the eggshells in a jar of water and leave them that way for a day or two.
Then remove the eggshells and pour the water into the soil. While this isn’t as effective as letting the shells decompose in the soil, it would give your plants a quick dose of calcium.
What food is good for aloe vera plants?
One of the biggest benefits of aloe vera as a houseplant is its easy maintenance. You do not really have to buy a lot of fertilizers for your aloe vera plants. Like eggshells, a variety of other kitchen waste makes great food for aloe vera plants too.
Packed with a variety of minerals and nutrients, tea makes an excellent fertilizer. You could use any natural tea leaf to fertilize the soil of your aloe vera planter.
Hence, you could always use your leftover tea for the purpose. Do remember not to use an excessive amount of tea, though, as it could accumulate in the fluids inside the leaves.
Feeding your aloe vera with tea is also very convenient, thanks to the ease of the process.
Unlike eggshells, tea doesn’t create any foul smells while decomposing. Hence, if you are trying to feed your aloe vera plans without creating a big mess, tea is certainly a good choice.
The next time you eat bananas at home, keep the peels for your aloe vera plants rather than throwing them away.
Banana peels are amazing fertilizers, and in fact, one of your best options among natural fertilizers. They contain a number of essential nutrients, including potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, and phosphorus.
To use banana peels for your aloe vera plant, you simply have to take the peels, cut them up and add them to the soil.
Over time, the peels would slowly decompose and add nutrients to the soil. In a way, one could say that banana peels act as a slow-release fertilizer.
Although Epsom salt is relatively uncommon in household kitchens and you might not have it at home, it certainly deserves a place on this list.
This naturally occurring mineral contains magnesium and sulfur, both of which are crucial to the growth and development of plants. Moreover, Epsom salt also makes plants grow greener, by promoting chlorophyll formation.
As Epsom salt dissolves in water, adding it to the soil would be easy. Simply take the salt, dissolve it in a small amount of water and pour it into the soil.
This should give your aloe vera plant a quick boost of essential minerals. Besides the direct benefits of its nutrients, Epsom salt also increases the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.
Are coffee grounds good for aloe vera?
In case you generally have tea instead of coffee at home, you might be wondering if coffee grounds are a viable fertilizer. Unfortunately, adding them to your aloe vera plant is a bad idea.
Firstly, coffee is acidic in nature and this makes the soil acidic. Aloe vera, on the other hand, thrives best in alkaline soil.
When the coffee grounds mix with water, they would also tend to choke the holes in the soil and make it retain water. This not only keeps the soil wet for too long but also prevents the plant from drawing in the water it needs.
You can use a variety of food scraps from your kitchen to fertilize your aloe vera plant. Eggshells are certainly a great option, thanks to their large calcium content.
As long as you do it right, your aloe vera plant should benefit from it. In case you aren’t comfortable with the odor of decomposing eggshells, you could stick to other natural fertilizers instead.