The average banana contains more than 400mg of potassium, and the nutrients from the peels can feed plants and produce healthier crops.
Plants that like banana peels include banana trees, tomato plants, peppers plants, flower-producing plants, grass, and houseplants. The potassium from the banana peels will feed and supplement the nutrient requirement of the plant to help them grow strong, rests pests, and bear tasty fruit.
This article will outline plants that will thrive well when fed banana peels and what to look for before and after applying this potassium-rich DIY fertilizer.
- 1 6 Plants That Like Banana Peels
- 2 Why is Potassium Important
- 3 How can You Tell If your Plants Needs More Potassium
- 4 Testing Soil For Potassium
- 5 Disadvantages of Using Banana Peel Tea as Fertilizer
6 Plants That Like Banana Peels
Plants like banana peels and the fertilizer derived from the peels, be it liquid or solid, all utilize the macronutrient, Potassium, in large amounts compared to other plants.
Here are the plants that will thrive well when given banana peel tea or fertilizer:
1. Banana Trees
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.
A potassium deficiency in banana plants results in chlorosis, yellowing leaves and leaf tips.
Banana peel fertilizer will supplement tomato plants with extra potassium, which it would use to produce healthier, more vibrant fruit.
Potassium in tomato plants is required for the production & transport of sugars in the plant, enzyme activation, and synthesis of proteins.
It is also required for pigment synthesis, notably lycopene (which gives tomatoes a red color.). It is absorbed more than any other nutrient, and a deficiency in potassium can severely impact the yield and quality of the crop.
3. Pepper Plants
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.
4. Flowering Plants
For flowering plants, potassium does not directly promote flowering in most plants.
Indirectly, if a plant is suffering from a potassium deficiency, then growth will be stunted, and this stress may limit flowering because the plant cells can’t divide to allow growth. There is no doubt that a potassium deficiency will reduce the quality of flowers. [Source]
Roses will use the nutrients from the banana tea to make beautiful blooms. Potassium also helps roses grow strong stems and roots.
Potassium in rose plants improves flower development and increases the number of flowers per stem.
While some plants like African violets, begonias, bromeliads, and others need phosphorus to grow beautiful blooms, they do just fine with an equal amount of nitrogen and potash.
5. Lawn And Grass
Potassium gives your grass the strength it needs to fight off stress, drought, and disease.
Potassium helps cool-season grass survive weather changes, such as the frigid cold winter air and the blazing hot sun.
Potassium from feeding indoor plants with banana peel fertilizer promotes root growth and reduces the risk of diseases.
It is one of the significant components of cell walls. This makes it essential for healthy houseplant growth.
Potassium is needed by all indoor plants, especially those requiring high humidity or water.
However, when applying the fertilizer to the potted plant, it should be done sparing over a period of time to ensure that it does not attract unwanted visitors (pests).
Why is Potassium Important
Potassium is essential for:
- Respiration, photosynthesis, and water regulation
- Transport and accumulation of sugars in the plant
- High effect on yield and fruit quality
- increase of crop height, girth, leaf growth, and number of fruit per plant
How can You Tell If your Plants Needs More Potassium
Potassium deficiency in plants causes leaves to turn yellow or brownish-green. Leaves may also be stunted, curled, or crinkled.
A plant with too little potassium will not grow properly and may even die. Potassium helps regulate cell growth and development, including leaf expansion, flower bud initiation, fruit ripening, seed maturation, and root growth.
The best way to test if your plants need more potassium is to take a sample of their soil and have it tested.
If the soil has low levels of potassium, then you should add some fertilizer containing potassium.
Another good method is to closely watch the growth of your plant and look for these symptoms:
- Scorch marks on leaves
- Curling leaves
- Yellowing between leaf veins (chlorosis)
- Purple-ish spots on the underside of foliage
- Stunted growth
A good balance of NPK fertilizer has NPK in equal amounts. An example would be a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
You can buy this fertilizer at any garden center or home improvement store.
It is important to note that fertilizers contain different amounts of each nutrient depending on what type of fertilizer you purchase.
For example, a 10-10-20 fertilizer contains 10% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphorus, and 20% Potassium.
This means that one pound of 10-10-20 contains 1/3rd of a pound of Nitrogen, 1/3rd of 1/2 pound of Phosphorus, and 2/3rds of a pound of Potassium.
When buying banana peels, ensure you get the right amount of nutrients for your particular situation.
Doing so will ensure that your plants receive all the nutrients they need and that you don’t waste money on fertilizer that doesn’t work.
Testing Soil For Potassium
If you’re applying sufficient potassium and your plants are still not responding, consider these potential factors:
- Soil pH could be too low
- Soil is too dense for proper nutrient intake
- Iron levels in soil may be too high and interfere with nutrient intake
There are a few different tests available that can help narrow down the cause of deficiency:
Digital soil testers – measure the availability of nutrients in the soil.
Analog testing kits – tests for moisture content and pH levels.
Chemical testing kits – measure nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and soil pH.
Disadvantages of Using Banana Peel Tea as Fertilizer
The disadvantage of using banana peel tea as fertilizer is when too much is applied.
Applying an excessive amount of banana peel tea can attract unwanted guests to your plants, leading to other problems.
Excessive usage of banana tea can attract:
When applying the banana peel, it should first be diluted and applied every 2 to 5 days. Any more than that would lead to the peel’s enzymes buildup.
A white moldy fungus will start to appear over the soil’s surface, where the banana peel tea was applied because they will now have a food source from which they can live.
The fungus can be removed by hand, and the watering rate should be reduced to prevent a reoccurrence.
Fruit flies/ Fungus Gnats
Sometimes, clear worms are not actually worms but the larvae of the fungus gnat.
The moist environment created by watering plants with banana peel will attract fruit flies since they always look for safe places to lay their eggs.
Fungus gnats fly and lay pale, whitish eggs on moist soil. These eggs hatch and fungus gnat larvae are released from them. Fungus gnat larvae have white bodies that look colorless or transparent, with a distinct black-colored head.
Fungus gnat larvae are pests and are harmful to the growth of plants. They depend on plants to survive and keep doing so until they turn into a fly. The affected plant can be damaged by these pests and die.
You can easily find fungus gnat larvae around the roots of the affected plant. Then, you can use a chemical pesticide to kill them.
If you are hesitant about using chemicals on your plant, you can try natural remedies like neem oil or DIY pesticides to eliminate fungus gnat larvae.
Ants will be attracted to scents of food. Banana peels are a rich source of nutrients for ants and can be an inviting food source if not used properly.
Although ants will not affect the plants, they will deplete the banana fertilizer used to feed the plant and be a nuisance to your home because they could invade other spaces.
To prevent ants from invading your plants when banana peels are used, you should ensure that not too much is used, and if you are using the peels themselves, then it is recommended that they be buried 1.5 to 2 inches below the soil’s surface.
Plant Parasitic Nematodes
Nematodes that feed off of plants are called plant-parasitic nematodes. Plant-parasitic nematodes use plants as their host to live and reproduce. In return, they cause various severe diseases in plants like root-knot diseases and cysts.
Overwatering with banana peel tea can cause roots to rot if there is improper drainage and the soil remains moist for long periods.
In diseased roots, these transparent worms grow near the roots and harm them. The affected plant suffers from slow growth and may die.
If you notice chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves), it might be due to the infestation of plant-parasitic nematodes. Another indication of these clear worms is wilting of the plant.
Here are a few examples of such nematodes:
- The burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis)
- Ditylenchus dipsaci
- The pine wilt nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus)
- Soybean cyst nematode