Juice is a common beverage in any household and excess or leftovers can sometimes be used can be used on plants under the right conditions.
Using juice on plants is beneficial depending on its freshness. Fresh juice can attract unwanted insects which can have negative effects on plants. Alternatively, fermented fruit juice is helpful for plants because it contains micronutrients that promote healthy growth and the hormone auxin.
In this article, you’ll learn why fresh fruit juice doesn’t necessarily feed your plants, and how fermented fruit juice can be used to increase plant health.
Is Juice Good For Plants?
Juice is generally not a healthy option for watering plants. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t use it.
First of all, juice contains sugar in the form of disaccharides and polysaccharides. These are sugar but act as salt in plants.
These may soak up water from the soil, leaving the plants dry. As a result, plants fail to receive the nutrients available in the soil.
Thus, the lack of the most vital nutrient nitrogen causes stunted plant growth and chlorophyll content deficits. It may further lead to a disease known as chlorosis.
Secondly, citric fruit juice has a very low pH that bends towards acidity. Highly acidic juice strips plants off their coating. So, plants get exposed to pests and pathogens.
Thirdly, the sugar content in juice attracts various insects to feast on the soil as well as the plants.
Moreover, it may become a favorite ground for molds and bacteria to grow rapidly. Sometimes, fruit flies make the soil (watered with juice) its workshop. And it is impossible to eradicate it easily.
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Types Of Juice That You Can Use On Plants:
Here is a list of juice that is generally used on plants. But do remember to dilute the juice with water before using it on plants.
- Orange Juice
- Lemon Juice
- Apple Juice
- Pineapple Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Cucumber Juice
What Are The Benefits of Using Juice On Plants?
Now, you must be confused to find this question as I have mentioned in the first point that juice is not suitable for plants.
However, there are specific scenarios where juice can be a good as well as a cost-effective option. Are you wondering what I am trying to say? See it below.
Plants such as azaleas, blueberries, rubber plants, snake plants, etc., prefer to grow to their fullest in acidic soil.
These plants benefit from the soil with a low pH of 4.0 to 4.5.
In such a situation, watering lemon juice on plants might help.
Other benefits of using juice on plants are the following:
- You can use lemon juice as a weed killer as it reduces the pH and hinders the growth of weeds. It is effective mostly on hot days.
- Juice can promote the faster germination of various plant seeds. It also helps in cell division and more accessible transportation of nutrients to plant parts. It even stimulates enzyme activity.
- Has your soil become too alkaline? Catch some leisure to water it with citric fruit juice. It will slowly, steadily, but indeed reduce the pH of the soil.
- You can take the help of lemon juice to help your plants get rid of spiders and spider webs. Spraying lemon juice on plants will keep them at bay.
See our detailed post on how acidic water can be beneficial to plants.
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What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Juice On Plants?
The disadvantages of using juice on plants weigh more than its benefits. Here’s a shortlist of the significant sufferings your plant may become a victim of.
- Plants gradually become unable to perform photosynthesis.
- In juice, disaccharides and polysaccharides absorb all the water, leaving the plant cells dry.
- The juice residue makes soil a breeding ground for flies and other insects.
- The acidic nature of juice may damage plant foliage.
- The highly acidic nature of juice breaks down the coating of plants. So, the immune power of plants decreases. They get easily affected by pathogens, molds, and bacteria.
Using Fermented Juice On plants
Fermented fruit juice is no less than organic fertilizers to plants. It contains potassium, one of the most important macronutrients for plant growth.
Fermented fruit juice is a type of beverage made out of sweet ripe fruits, root crops, and vegetables. It is, therefore, blended with crude sugar and molasses.
There are specific instructions regarding applying this type of juice to plants.
- Firstly, never use FFJ or Fermented Fruit Juice directly on plants. You must dilute it with water.
- Secondly, spray the juice and water mixture as a foliar spray.
- Thirdly, always spray it in the afternoon. Otherwise, it might cause your plant leaves to burn up.
- Fourthly, you can use it once a week for a good result.
Try making it on your own now.
How To Make Fermented Juice?
To make fermented juice, you may follow the procedures that I will mention below.
Chop The Plant Leaves or Shoots into 1-2 inch Pieces:
- Use a container made of glass or plastic instead of a metal container to keep the materials.
- To determine the amount of molasses, measure the weight of the plant material strips.
- Don’t use a metal container to avoid reaction with the plant materials.
- Don’t rinse off the plant materials. The microorganisms lying on the strips will promote the breakdown of the plant strips and release nutrients and hormones.
In a clean container, mix up thoroughly one part of molasses and two parts of plant strips.
Seal The Container and Wait:
Now, it’s time to seal the container so tightly that air cannot affect it. Or else, various insects might be laying eggs on the mixture.
To keep enough space, fill one-third of the container. If the gas produced from the mixture does not get enough space, it will cause the explosion of your container.
You need to keep the container in a cool, dry, and humid place. This will ensure the rapidity of the fermentation process. When the chlorophyll breaks down, it emits a faint alcohol smell.
How will you know if the fermentation process is over?
It is when you find the liquid settling at the bottom and the materials floating on top of it.
Finally, it is ready to use. Filter out the solid parts and save the liquid. You can squeeze the solids to get the extracts. Solid parts are ideal for use as compost.
Now, let me tell you how beneficial this fermented fruit juice is for your plants. Here are the top benefits of using it:
- The molasses (used in making the juice) feed beneficial microorganisms, quickly breaking down the plant part to extract nutrients.
- The plant strips are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. So, when the extract of these plant strips is used on plants, they are greatly helped. The process of photosynthesis, nutrient absorption, root development, flowering, fruiting, etc., are what the plant extracts assist in.
- Growth hormone auxin is also high in these plant extracts. As a result, cell division, seed germination, growth of plant tissue, and many other plant physiological procedures are also stimulated.
The juice you drink is not safe for your plants. It may attract insects, and it can also create salt build-up on the soil. But fermented fruit juice is very good for your plants, so if you want to give your plants healthy nutrients, try adding some fermented juice to their water.
Still, if you ever use raw fruit juice on your plants, don’t forget to rinse your plant off with water after using it.