Plant growth hacks don’t always have to be complicated or expensive, and there are many products you can find at home to help plants grow. From items in the pantry to things you would normally throw away, plant growth hacks can be found around every corner of your home.
20 Secrets to Plant Growth
1. Wood Ash
Next time you clean your fireplace, put the wood ash in your plant pots rather than throwing it out. Wood ash has a high alkaline content, which can neutralize acidic soil; just make sure it is cool before you put it in your plant soil.
2. Trim Dead Parts Regularly
If part of a plant is dying, don’t panic, just trim off the dead leaves and stems. Instead of throwing them away, as long as they didn’t die because of a pest infestation, place them in the plant soil to become compost and help the plant grow.
3. Move a Dying Plant
While you may be tempted to throw away a plant that isn’t flourishing, before you do, try moving it to a new location. Some locations may be too dry, humid, sunny, or shady for a plant, and simply moving it can help it flourish.
4. Banana Peels
Don’t throw out your banana peels; instead, chop them up and bury them in the soil of your tomato, bell pepper, and rose plants. Banana peels are filled with potash and phosphorous, which will help these particular plants to grow.
5. Brew Your Compost
Keep a compost pile of old bits of fruits and veggies you won’t be eating, and once you have a sufficient amount, use it to make compost tea for your plants.
How to Brew Compost for Your Plants
- Allow the compost to decompose properly for a few weeks, adding only fruit and vegetables to the pile.
- Test that the compost is properly decomposed by putting a small amount in a sandwich bag, smelling it, sealing it, and setting it aside.
- After 3 days, smell the compost in the bag again. If it smells the same, it is done. Otherwise, wait longer and try again.
- Place the completed compost in a strainer over a bucket, running non-chlorinated water over the compost.
- Remove the strainer and allow the water to cool completely if using warm water.
- Pour water in the bucket over your struggling plants.
6. Water With Ice Cubes
Plants that are sensitive to overwatering can benefit from ice cubes being placed in their pot. Ice cubes melt slowly, allowing the plant to soak up small bits of water as it needs it rather than drowning the roots with too much water at once.
7. Water Your Plants With Green Tea
Acid-loving plants enjoy being watered with green tea. Make a cup of tea with loose green tea leaves and allow it to cool completely before pouring the entire contents of the cup on the soil of your plant, tea leaves included.
8. Water Your Plants With Soda Water
Instead of disposing of partially flat soda water, pour it into your houseplants. Soda water contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which can help your plants grow.
9. Add Coffee Grounds to Your Plants
Old coffee grounds contain calcium, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, all of which can benefit acid-loving plants like rose bushes and azaleas. Before you add them, just make sure they are fully cooled, then place them around the stem of your plant.
10. Make Weed Tea
Those without a compost pile can make a similar creation to compost tea using weeds following this process:
- Collect pulled weeds and place them in a bucket.
- Fill the bucket halfway with non-chlorinated water and cover with a screen.
- Allow the bucket to sit for 3 days, stirring each day.
- After three days, strain the liquid from the plant and pour it into a watering can to add to your plants.
11. Water Your Plants With Aquarium Water
Those with a freshwater aquarium should dispose of the old aquarium water in their houseplants. The aquarium water contains fish waste, which acts as a natural fertilizer; just don’t add it to any plants you plan to eat.
12. Add Eggshells to Plant Pots
After cracking an egg, rinse the shell and place it in the soil of your favorite plant. Eggshells are full of calcium, which can benefit plant seedlings and tomato plants.
13. Spray Blackstrap Molasses on Plants
Blackstrap molasses contains magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium, all of which can help foster plant growth. Mix some molasses with water to create a solution that can be sprayed onto your plant leaves.
14. Water Plants with Boiled Vegetable Water
When boiling veggies like broccoli or peas, save the strained water and set it aside to cool. Once cooled, use it to water your plants—just make sure the water doesn’t contain any salt, as this can kill your plants.
15. Add Old Hair to Plants
Whenever your hair falls out, or you brush your cat or dog, instead of throwing out the hair, add it to the pots of your plants. Hair contains magnesium, which can help plants grow; just don’t add it to any you plan to eat.
16. Make Homemade Fertilizer
Make fertilizer by mixing 1 and ½ tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 and ½ tablespoons of baking soda in a one-gallon container. Then, add ½ teaspoon of ammonia and fill the rest of the container with water. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before adding it to plants.
17. Spray Plants With Vinegar Water
Acid-loving plants like roses and hydrangeas can be watered with a mixture of one tablespoon of vinegar in one gallon of water. Set any leftover mixture aside for future use, labeling it for easy identification.
18. Make Coconut Fertilizer
Coconuts contain electrolytes and healthy bacteria, which can boost plant growth. Add one tablespoon of coconut powder to five gallons of water, mixing well. Pour this liquid into the pots of your plants once per week to help accelerate their growth.
19. Add Used Matches to the Soil
After striking a match and extinguishing it, allow it to cool. Once it is cool, bury it in the soil of your plants to provide a lasting source of magnesium.
20. Give Your Plants a Shower
Every few months or so, place all your houseplants, except your succulents, in the shower or tub and turn on the water to room temperature, allowing it to shower your plants. Showering your plants not only cleans your houseplants but also lowers the chances they will be infested by bugs.
Continue the shower until the plants have wet soil, then remove them from the tub immediately to prevent the roots from being overwatered.