You’ve heard of using banana peels as fertilizer for the garden?
Why you can use banana peels as fertilizer, how much and how often banana peel fertilizer is useful and which plants you can fertilize with banana peels you will learn here.
Banana peels can be used as fertilizer without any problems. Due to the high potassium content in banana peels, they are particularly suitable for flowers or flowering plants, but also some vegetables such as tomatoes or potatoes. Banana peels can be used either as a solid fertilizer, chopped and dried, or pickled as a liquid fertilizer.
Can banana peels be used as fertilizer?
Not only bananas themselves, i.e. the edible fruit, but also banana peels contain valuable nutrients. To be precise, about 12% of banana peel consists of minerals, which are divided as follows:
- 10% potassium
- 2% nitrogen
- 1% magnesium
- 1% calcium
- Some sulfur and sodium
- Other trace elements
- So mainly potassium works when fertilizing with banana peels.
Along with nitrogen and phosphorus, potassium is one of the three most important plant nutrients and is also contained in commercial fertilizers, such as those from Compo or Dehner.
Although potassium does not primarily contribute to plant growth (this is mainly promoted by nitrogen), it plays an important role in regulating the water balance of plants.
More specifically, the potassium content of plants regulates the circulation of water in the cells of the leaves and fruits. Better water supply protects the plant from dehydration and thus strengthens plant tissues.
A high potassium content is also associated with a higher salt concentration in the cells and better photosynthesis, which improves the frost resistance, i.e. winter hardiness, of the plants and makes them more resistant to pests and diseases.
Because of these benefits, banana peels can be used alongside other fertilizers as a potassium fertilizer. However, they cannot replace a complete fertilizer because the nitrogen content is too low and there is no phosphorus.
Which banana peels are suitable as fertilizer? Organic vs. conventional
Theoretically, you can use all types of banana peels as fertilizer because they are basically made of the same substances and contain the same minerals.
In practice, however, you should only use banana peels from organic bananas or, even better, from Demeter bananas, and avoid using fertilizer made from banana peels from conventionally grown bananas.
What makes the big difference is the use of pesticides that are used in the conventional cultivation of bananas. To be more precise, fungicides, so-called anti-mold agents, are often used there, which make the bananas last longer.
So, if you make fertilizer from banana peels from conventionally grown bananas, this can lead to exposure to fungicides in your garden, albeit very small. Also, conventionally grown bananas rot slower due to the preservatives used in growing them.
So it’s better to follow the recommendations of Öko-Test and the consumer advice center and always go for organic or Demeter bananas when fertilizing.
If you want to know exactly how to make fertilizer from banana peels, check out this article with step-by-step instructions.
How much banana peel should be used for fertilizing?
When using fertilizers – both organic alternatives like Plantura but also classic universal fertilizers from Compo – the recommended amount is usually indicated.
Because if too much fertilizer is used, this can also harm the soil and the plants.
When fertilizing with banana peels, however, this should not be a problem. Because banana peels consist mainly of potassium and contain only a small amount of nitrogen and phosphorus, overfertilizing with banana peels is almost impossible.
You can use about 100 grams of banana peel per plant per fertilization without any problems. An average banana peel weighs about 50 grams, so you can use up to 2 peels per plant per fertilization.
How often can you fertilize with banana peels?
As already mentioned, banana peels contain very little nitrogen, which is why no overfertilization can take place with the usual household amounts.
For this reason, you can fertilize your garden with banana peels throughout the spring and summer without any problems.
Depending on the type of fertilizer you use – be it a liquid fertilizer or a solid fertilizer made from banana peels (by the way, here you can learn how to make these two types very easily) – the frequency differs.
A liquid fertilizer made from banana peels can be applied every 2-3 weeks.
A solid fertilizer can be applied less often, as the shredded banana peels should have rotted before fertilizing again. Whole banana peels take about 1-3 years to rot.
However, the smaller they are chopped, the faster they will rot as well. Still, you should apply banana peels in the form of solid fertilizer (very heavily chopped) no more than every 6-8 weeks.
For which plants is fertilizer from banana peels suitable?
The most abundant mineral in banana peels is potassium, which is why banana peels are particularly suitable as a fertilizer for plants with a high potassium requirement.
The following flowers or flowering plants have a high potassium requirement:
- Other flowering perennials
Some vegetables also like potassium, so they can be fertilized with banana peels:
Banana peels as fertilizer for tomatoes
Banana peels are ideal as fertilizer for tomatoes. This is because tomatoes are highly nutritious plants that require a lot of nutrients.
Fertilizers from banana peels therefore provide tomatoes with a lot of additional nutrients, but especially potassium, which strengthens the growth and stability or robustness of tomatoes.
Banana peels as fertilizer for cucumbers
Banana peels can be used very well as fertilizer for cucumbers.
All the nutrients contained in banana peels are also absolutely necessary for cucumbers and, among other things, promote growth and regulate the water balance, which plays a major role in cucumbers.
Banana peels as fertilizer for orchids
Although orchids are very demanding plants, banana peels make an excellent fertilizer for orchids.
The potassium contained in banana peels is also needed by orchids for healthy and stable growth.
However, I would not fertilize orchids with solid fertilizer but only with liquid fertilizer made from banana peels. If you want to know what is the difference between the two variants, that look at this article.