Banana peel water is a nutritional kitchen byproduct that can be used to fertilize plants because the minerals it contains are essential for plant growth and development.
Minerals and nutrients, when extracted from banana peels, can be used to fertilize plants. Banana peel water supplies plants with a substantial amount of potassium (K), a macronutrient that is used to develop immunity to environmental stress and pests while at the same time, promoting healthy plant growth.
Bananas are a very common fruit in the kitchen. The peels can provide our plants with vital nutrients apart from potassium, which it is known for.
This article explains everything the banana peel has to offer as well as the different methods you can use to effectively extract and add nutrients to plants.
The Benefits of Using Banana Peel Water on Plants
- Environmentally friendly source of fertilizer for plants, especially tomatoes!
- Boosts plant growth, especially with tomatoes.
- Increases fruit and crop production
- Lowers the cost of plant maintenance.
- Allows us to reuse waste material from the kitchen, eg. rice water.
- It saves on the cost of purchasing fertilizer.
- Prevents burns associated with inorganic fertilizer application.
- Promotes a healthy bacteria population within the soil.
- Organic method of pest control.
- Easy to obtain.
What is Banana Peel Water?
Banana peel water is nutrient-rich water obtained from boiling or soaking banana peels in water. It provides the plant with an organic source of nutrients that promotes plant growth while preventing deficiencies associated with low potassium, including brown scorching and leaf tip curling.
Banana is a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, and potassium.
The mineral nutrients within the banana peels are leached into the water when it is boiled or soaked.
Soaking the peels in water allows the nutrients within the peels to be slowly released.
After 3 to 5 days, the concoction is usually ready and can be used to feed plants.
The resulting water comes out as a tea-like solution, often called banana tea fertilizer.
When boiled, the water’s high temperature breaks down the peel’s fibers, allowing the potassium and manganese to move into the water easily.
Boiling usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes to give enough time for the mineral leaching to occur. The water is then obtained from straining the banana peels and allowed to cool.
It is important to note that not all the minerals are removed from boiling, and the peels still have a good amount of minerals.
The peels can still be dried off and reused on plants as an additional source of slow-release minerals which we will discuss further in this article.
Applying banana peel water to your plants can also be effectively done by using the bottom watering method.
How is Banana Peel Water Beneficial for Plants: Explained
The water obtained from the banana peels contains minerals that plants need in order to produce green and healthy leaves.
Banana peel water provides an economical and environmentally friendly way of supplying organically derived essential minerals to plants.
Although the banana peel does not make up a significant portion of the banana, it has the same type of minerals in the edible portion.
The main mineral derived from the banana peel is the macronutrient Potassium (K).
Here is a breakdown of the mineral content which can be derived from a medium-sized banana.
Minerals Present in Banana
The nutrition facts for 1 medium-sized banana (100 grams):
|Mineral||Quantity (mg/g)||Used For|
|Potassium (K)||78.10||The movement of water and nutrients, Regulates photosynthesis|
|Magnesium (Mg)||31.9||Promotes photosynthesis and green leaves|
|Manganese (Mn)||76.20||Root growth and resistance to pathogens, Photosynthesis|
|Sodium (Na)||24.30||Helps with metabolism and synthesis of chlorophyll|
|Calcium (Ca)||19.20||Provides structural support to cell walls|
|Iron (Fe)||0.61||Synthesis of chlorophyll and Green leaves|
The Benefits of Potassium in Plants
Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte, which conducts electrical impulses in the human body. In plants, this electrolyte performs a similar task in the transportation of water and sugars.
It’s classified as a macronutrient because plants take up large quantities of potassium (K) during their life cycle.
Plants’ Other macronutrients are Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P). These three are the nutrients plants need most and form the basis in the manufacture of fertilizers (NPK).
This is why, fertilizer when bought, has a number affixed to the individual letter, which signifies the available amount of the nutrient present in the fertilizer.
(X-N, X-P, X-K)
Potassium Deficiency in plants
Typical symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants include brown scorching and curling of leaf tips as well as chlorosis (yellowing) between leaf veins . Purple spots may also appear on the leaf undersides. Plant growth, root development, and seed and fruit development are usually reduced in potassium-deficient plants. [Source, Wiki]
Using banana peel water on plants can prevent deficiency symptoms related to low potassium levels.
Potassium helps Plants fight Pests and Diseases
Potassium helps plants develop an all-round immunity to environmental stress caused by changing weather conditions.
Plants deficient in potassium are less resistant to drought, excess water, and high and low temperatures. They are also less resistant to pests, diseases, and nematode attacks.
When used on houseplants, potassium can strengthen a plant’s resistance to fungus gnats, bacterial infections, and root rot.
Basically, it can boost a plant’s ability to deal with over-watered conditions, which can lead to the above-mentioned problems.
How to Make Banana Peel Water?
Banana peel water can be made by boiling or soaking the peels in water for a period of time. Additionally, soaking the peels in water and allowing it to sit for some time can also draw the minerals out from the peels and into the water.
These are the Methods for obtaining the banana peel water:
1. Banana Peel water from Soaking in Water
Obtaining banana peel water from soaking requires the peels to be left in water for a period of time for the minerals from the peels to be leached into the water.
- Place approx. 5 banana peels into a medium-sized jar
- Fill the jar with water
- Cover the lid and seal the jar
- Allow to sit for 3 to 5 days (it can be left longer)
The peels will turn black as time passes, and the water will also change color. After the time has passed, strain the water from the peels and apply it to your plants.
Tip: Breaking the peels into smaller pieces will help speed up the soaking process.
How Long can you Leave Banana Peels in Water for Plants?
Banana Peels should be soaked for a period greater than 3 days before use. This gives the peels enough time to give the nutrients to the surrounding water.
The peels can be left inside a sealed jar or container for a long after the soaking period. Keeping the container sealed is crucial in ensuring the tea does not attract fungus or go bad.
Keeping the banana water in a sealed container can allow gardeners to use the tea when it is needed.
The water can also be stored over the winter period until early spring when plants come out of dormancy and can utilize the nutrients from the tea.
2. Banana Peel water from Boiling
Use this method to obtain banana peel water from boiling. The amount of peels to use depends on the amount you have available at the time.
- Place the peels in a cooking pot
- Pour water and cover 1 inch above the peels
- Stir properly
- Place on medium heat (350 oF)
- Allow to boil for 30 – 45 minutes
- Strain the peels and save the water residue
If the resulting residue is too thick, you can also add water to thin it down for addition to your plants.
3. Banana Peel water from Pulverizing
Banana Peel water obtained from pulverizing follows the same steps as from boiling (stated above).
The only difference is that the banana peels are broken up into small pieces in a blender before it is boiled.
This increases the surface area of the banana skin being exposed to boiling water. As a result, there is potentially a higher concentration of minerals that can be obtained from the peel using this method.
Using Pulverized Banana Peels on Plants
After boiling, a significant amount of minerals still trapped within the peel. However, the leftover peels can still be used to maximize their benefits.
The leftover peels are dried to remove all the moisture and then pulverized into a powder or as fine as possible. This makes it easier for it to break down and release its minerals when added to the soil.
Pulverizing increases the surface area of the peels which increases the rate at which it releases nutrients into the soil.
Adding the peels to the soil without breaking it up will allow for a much slower release of minerals into the soil as bacteria will take more time to break it down.
Method for Pulverizing Banana peels:
- Take 5 or more banana peels and place is in a dry area or outside in the sun
- Allow the peels to dry for 2 -3 days
(the skins will become dark and hard as the water is released)
- Place the dried banana peels in a blender and blend for 1 minute
- Remove the pulverized peels and add them to any plant soil around the base of the plant stem.
- Cover the powdered peels with soil so that the decomposition process can occur faster.
How to Mist Plants with Banana Peel Water
- Any household spray bottle can be used as long as it is cleaned properly.
- The water should be thin enough for the spray bottle to expel the water.
- Add the peel water in the spray bottle.
- Spray or mist the plant on the top as well as the underside of the leaves
- Also, spray the topsoil with the water.
Misting should be done during the morning periods or late evening to allow the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients. This also prevents the day’s heat from drying out the moisture too quickly.
Using Banana Peel Water with Succulents
Banana peel water can be used to water succulents while adding vital nutrients at the same time. The mineral-rich water should be thinned so that it can be applied as a spray as succulents require more dry aerated soil.
Succulents can be misted with a solution of banana peel water during their normal watering schedule. Succulents require a small amount of water and nutrients at any given time.
Misting succulents with banana peel water is a sure method of providing them with the minerals from the banana peels without overwatering and causing problems associated with overwatered soil.
Bottom Watering with Banana Peel Water
Bottom watering plants with banana peel water is another way plants can benefit from minerals from the banana. Bottom watering will allow for the banana peel water to be absorbed thoroughly into the soil without having it in an overwatered state. In doing so, the total mass of the plant roots will be able to access the nutrients provided by the water.
Bottom watering is an effective method of watering plants that ensures that the entire root structure gets water without the risk of overwatering your plants. See the bottom watering plants article here.
How to bottom water with Banana Peel water
- Use a small, flat container two inches larger than the plant pot
- Place the plant into the container
- Add the banana peel water so that the water level reaches 1 to 1 ½ inches high on the side of the plant pot
- Allow the plant to sit in the water for 15 to 20 minutes
- After the time has passed, stick your finger in and test the soil for moisture
- Once you feel that the soil is moist (not wet) you can remove the plant.
- Place the plant to drain out any excess water.
See our helpful article on how to apply fertilizer when bottom watering, which will give helpful insights on how to properly add nutrients to plants when bottling.
Plants that Banana Peel Water is Effective on
Banana Peel water can be effective on all plants as it provides vital nutrients for plant growth. However, the application method would differ depending on the type of plant it is being applied to.
|Indoor Plants||Misting, Top Watering, Bottom Watering|
|Garden Plants||Top watering, Soil application via Sprayers.|
Banana Peel Water for Tomatoes
Tomato plants will benefit from banana peel water because the water contains nutrients that can benefit the plant’s growth.
Banana peels are rich in potassium, an important nutrient for plant growth and development. Potassium is essential for forming strong stems, roots, and overall plant structure.
Additionally, banana peels do actually contain other micronutrients that are beneficial for plant growth, such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
When banana peels are soaked in water, the above nutrients are released, creating a liquid fertilizer that can be used to water plants.
This liquid fertilizer can provide a slow-release source of nutrients to the plant, promoting healthy growth and development.
Banana trees are loaded with potassium which is why the peels and the banana peel water are so beneficial when used for other plants.
The banana tree requires a lot of potassium to ensure proper functions and fruit production.
A well-rounded banana fertilizer liquid will have a rich source of nitrogen, potassium, and other nutrients and minerals. In the array of nutrients required, potassium will be much more when compared to the rest of the nutrients.
Potassium in banana plants Improves pulp content and fruit size.
Potassium from banana peels will help with stomata function. It also enhances wall thickness, color, taste, and the plant’s ability to resist disease.
A potassium deficiency slows down the growth rate of pepper plants.
Potassium deficiency symptoms are in peppers: brown spots at the edges of the leaves and fruits, and sometimes there is curling and drying of the leaves.
What are the Precautions When Using Banana Peel Water?
When using Banana Peel water in the soil, you should always ensure that the water is at ambient or room temperature so that it does not kill the bacteria in the soil and harm the plant.
This precaution is applicable if you are using water from boiled Banana Peel.
Additionally, banana peel water is a good additive to the soil but care must be taken when watering as it can be easy to overwater the soil, which can lead to root rot and yellowing of the plant leaves.
We recommend using the bottom watering method to ensure that the plant gets the right amount of water for optimal growth.
When misting, ensure that the water is properly strained to remove banana particles that would easily clog the nozzles of the misting bottle.
Here is our article on adding fertilizer when misting, which gives detailed insights on how quickly plants absorb fertilizer when applied via misting and how to correctly do it.
If the banana peels are left too long in the jar it will pass the fermentation stage and start to smell really bad. The smell does not go away if spilled to be cautious and use it before it spoils.
Using Fermented Banana Peel Water as a Pesticide
The benefits of using fermented banana peel water have been proven to encourage a good bacterial population, promoting healthy root growth.
Additionally, fermented banana peel water produces a sour alcohol-like aroma which wards away unwanted pests like lizards, snakes, and iguanas from the garden.
Additionally, insects like fruit flies, gnats, plant lice, flea beetles, aphids, and other pests can be reduced using fermented banana peel water as the alcohol from fermentation acts like an irritant to these small insects, which can also kill them.
How to make Fermented Banana Peel Water
- Use any available jar
- Fill ¾ of the contents with banana peel water
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of sugar with the water.
- Mix in 4 tablespoons of liquid milk
- Cover the jar and allow it to sit for 3 – 4 days.
- After time has passed, the solution will turn from opaque to translucent.
The resulting solution can now be used as pest control for both houseplants and in the garden.
How often should I water my plants with banana water?
Use banana water once a week to give your plants the nutrition they need. Plants that require more potassium, like tomatoes and peppers, can be watered every 4 – 5 days. Addtionally, plants with large flowers like hibiscus rose, and orchids will also need lots of potassium and can be watered more frequently as well.
Banana peel tea is an easy and natural way to boost their plants’ potassium nutrients.
Banana peel tea is not a total replacement for store-bought fertilizers but is still great for succulents and heavy feeders who need extra nutrients between doses.
Using Banana Peel Fertilizer in the Garden
To use banana peel fertilizer in the garden, you would have to make a much larger amount depending on the size of the garden and the number of plants being watered.
For gardens, generally soaking the peels in a bucket or even watering can be done. After a few days, the nutrients that is leached from the peels can be used to water garden plants.
Ideally, garden plants should be watered around their bases; however, with banana peel fertilizer, because of how mild it is, garden plants can be watered from the leaves down.
Adding chopped banana peels directly to your compost pile or mixing them into the soil around your plants for an organic nutrient boost without needing extra watering!
Pros and Cons of Banana Peel Fertilizer
Banana peel fertilizer is high in potassium nutrient that has been leached into the water through the soaking process. This makes them an ideal organic fertilizer for plants needing extra potassium to thrive.
Additionally, banana peels are cheaper and easier to obtain than traditional fertilizers, as they can be sourced from your own kitchen waste or from a local grocery store.
|1. Nutrient-rich: Contains potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.||1. Variable nutrient content.|
|2. Organic and natural alternative.||2. Slow release of nutrients.|
|3. Cost-effective.||3. Potential odor and pests.|
|4. Disease and pest deterrent.||4. Limited nutrient spectrum.|
Is Banana Peel Water Good for Plants
Banana peel water is not considered an effective fertilizer for plants. It may provide some trace nutrients to plants, but it is not a reliable source of nutrition.
Additionally, banana peels can attract pests such as fruit flies, which can damage plants. For best results, use a fertilizer specifically designed for plants.
However, I have found that if the water is applied to the leaves, a residue that attracts bugs remains on the leaves. To avoid this, I watered the soil rather than the leaves.
Although there are reviews questioning how effective the use of banana peel water is, It is not expensive to try, and many (check social gardening groups for validation) have found that their plants thrive well after applying it.
Alternatives to Banana Peel Fertilizer
With all the pros and cons to consider, you may be looking for alternatives to banana peel fertilizer for your plants.
Organic fertilizers like hydrolyzed fish and seaweed or Down to Earth kelp meal can be used in place of banana peels as they contain many essential nutrients that are beneficial for plant growth.
Liquid fertilizers provide a more concentrated form of nutrition but must be used with caution as they can burn roots if over-applied.
Traditional composting is also an option, as it breaks down food waste into a usable nutrient-rich soil amendment.
Compost tea can also be brewed from composted banana peels to nourish plants without having to apply it every week.
For areas prone to drought, consider using mulch or organic materials around the base of your plants to help resist drought conditions.
Other Kitchen Scraps that can be Used as Plant Fertilizers
Kitchen scraps can be used to provide plants with a cost-effective and organic means of fertilizer.
Many items from the kitchen are used daily that can supply nutrients and minerals to your plants by either adding directly to the soil or boiling or soaking in water.
Boiled Egg Water on Plants
Eggshell water can be used to water plants because it provides the plant with calcium minerals and amino acids. Plants use calcium to strengthen stems and leaves while providing structural support for cell walls. Supplying a sufficient amount of calcium results in rapid and healthy plant growth.
You can find the full and detailed article here.
Using potato water for plants follows the same principle and is a much more common kitchen byproduct.
Watering Plants with Pasta Water
Pasta water can be used to water plants because it provides (NPK) fertilizer and minerals for plants to effectively use while promoting a healthy bacteria population. This results in healthy plant growth. Pasta water can also be applied using any watering method and can also ward off unwanted pests when fermented.
You can find the full and detailed article here.
Using Rice Water on Plants
Rice water can be used to water plants because it provides nutrients and minerals for plants to effectively use while promoting a healthy bacteria population. This results in healthy plant growth. It can also be applied using any method and can also ward off unwanted pests when fermented.
See how this can be done from our detailed article here.
Using Plantain Peel Water on Plants
Using Plantain peel water on plants follows the same steps as banana peels since they can also provide plants with a significant amount of potassium (663 mg) and magnesium (57mg).
Plantain peel water can also be added to a plant’s fertilizer regime either by top watering, bottom watering or even misting.
Banana Peel water can be very beneficial to plants by adding valuable minerals and nutrients to the soil. It helps increase bacterial growth, which breaks down organic compounds within the soil, making nutrients easily available for plants.
Banana Peel water can be obtained from either soaking the Banana Peel in water or through boiling and is a cost-effective method in providing plants with organic fertilizer.
Additionally, it can be applied through any watering method both on indoor plants and in the garden.
Banana Peel water can also be used as a pesticide that can ward off large pests in the garden and even small flies, gnats, and flea beetles.
The overall result of using Banana Peel water on your plants is healthy growth and increased fruit and crop production.