ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make Your Own Plant Food for Garden Plants

Updated on May 16, 2015

Do your plants need feeding? You need not spend money on expensive and harmful chemical fertilizers to feed your plants. You can make your own all-natural organic food to nourish your indoor or garden plants with a few basic ingredients. Here's what you will need:

Tea & Coffee

If you want to sprout your seeds faster before planting them, soak them in lukewarm tea for a few hours to overnight. This works especially well with larger seeds like sunflower seeds, peas or beans. They will pop out of the ground a few days faster if you do this.

Sometimes otherwise healthy looking seedlings will keel over and die. This is called dampening off disease and it is caused by a fungus attack. Prevent this pesky disease with chamomoile tea. Put one tea bag into four cups of boiling water and let it sit for 24 hours. Now spray your seedlings at every watering until their second set of leaves appear.

You can pour diluted leftover tea and coffee on your plants, indoor or out. Try it once every two weeks at first, more often if they seem to like it. Acid loving plants like blueberries, azaleas or rhododendrons will especially love this treatment.

If you are into container gardening, mix a few used tea bags with the soil in the pot. The bags will retain water and add nutrients to the soil. This is also great to do with your rose bushes. Plant the tea bags under your mulch. Roses love the tannic acid from the tea.

Sow your carrot seeds mixed with unused ground coffee. This will make the tiny seeds easier to sow. It will also add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.

Epsom Salts

Tomatoes and peppers love Epsom salts. They need the magnesium it provides. When you are planting your seedlings into the garden, add a tablespoon of Epsom salts in the planting hole. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salts in four litres (one gallon) of water and water your plants with it once a week to maintain the benefits.

Roses also like an Epsom salt treatment. Sprinkle one half cup around your rose bush in the spring, then water it in well.

Nonfat Powdered Milk

Many vegetable plants, especially tomatoes and squash, need a lot of calcium to grow and flourish. Blossom end rot is one of the problems that occur to tomatoes if there is a lack of calcium in the soil. Milk can also act as a fungicide. Try adding two tablespoons of powdered milk per one gallon of water and water your plants with it once a week.

Or if you prefer, mix one part of skim milk with nine parts of water and water your plants with that.

And here's one that combines the goodness of Epsom salts and powdered milk: Mix 1/4 cup of nonfat powdered milk with 1/4 cup Epsom salds and a shovelful of compost. Sprinkle this on your baby tomato plants when you plant them outside. This will feed your plants and ward off blight.


Rinse and crush up your eggshells and sprinkle them on the ground wherever you plant your leafy greens. When they pop through the soil, snails and slugs will avoid your plants as they can't stand to crawl over the sharp shells.

Eggshells also supply calcium to the soil. Every two weeks, crush up your eggshells in the blender with some water. Aim for six shells per litre of water and water your plants with that.

Baking Soda

Feed your alkaline loving plants like clemantis and delphinium with one tablespoon of baking soda in two litres of water for fuller and healthier blooms.

To cure black spot on your roses, mix two teaspoons of baking soda and a few drops of liquid soap in four litres (one gallon) of water. Pinch off the affected leaves and spray this on the rest of the rose bush.

Banana Peels

Banana peels act as a slow release fertilizer that provides potassium and trace elements. Chop them up and bury near your rose bushes. You can also throw a banana peel in the bottom of your planting hole when planting out your vegetable seedlings. They will love you for it.

So there is your shopping list to make your own plant food. Don't forget to start your own compost pile, too. Compost is the ultimate homemade plant food.

Happy gardening!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Yes, I think that would be fine to add it to tea instead of water.

    • profile image

      Michelle Smith 6 years ago

      Can you mix chamomile tea and epsom salts together to water sprouted but not flowering tomato plants?

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for you comments, blond logic.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 6 years ago from Brazil

      I have never heard of some of these things. What a logical way to think about it. I think people tend to think they have to buy something special from a garden center to feed the plants. Wonderful ideas, thank you.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Dirt Farmer!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      Enjoyed your hub! It's packed with good advice.

    • profile image

      Bleek 6 years ago

      Thanks dude for the info. Just what I was staving for. I will duhimtpny try.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      I'm glad you found my hub helpful, sanadin. Thanks for commenting.

    • sanadin profile image

      Salini 6 years ago

      Epsom salt for plants is a new information. thanks for sharing this great post

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for commenting on my hub, htodd.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      That's really great tutorial on "How to make your own plant food" ..Thanks for that

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Your welcome, mycrazylife. Thanks for commenting.

    • MyCrazyLife101 profile image

      MyCrazyLife101 6 years ago from Bird City, KS

      I am trying this useful info this year. Thanks for the great information.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      I hope your dad finds it useful, Prasetio. Thanks for commenting.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia have nice information. I am glad to share this with my father. I had no idea about so many things around us which is useful for our plant food. Thanks for share with us. Keep on good work and vote up!


    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub,Countrycitywoman.

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 6 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      And this works so very well. I've used organic egg shells and organic coffee grinds and these plants are getting out of hand.

      I often feel like I may go to sleep at night and wake up with them having taken over the living room. Whew!

      Thanks for all the other great suggestions! Yay! And rated up!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Your welcome, randomcreative. I thought this hub would be helpful.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had no idea that there were so many great natural plant fertilizers out there. Thanks for the tips!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for reading my hub and commenting, Imogen.

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 6 years ago from Southwest England

      Thanks for some great tips here, I am all for natural and free products to use in gardening. Bananas are also good for helping tomatoes and other fruit to ripen because of the gas they release.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)