If you’re a plant enthusiast, then you know that your indoor plants require a balance of light, water, and nutrients to thrive. While water and sunlight are easy to provide, it can be challenging to find the right liquid nutrients for indoor plants without breaking the bank. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap and effective liquid nutrient options that you can make at home. Here are some of the most popular options:
Compost Tea as Liquid Nutrients for Indoor Plants
Compost tea is one of the most popular DIY liquid fertilizers for indoor plants. This isn’t tea, per se. Instead, it’s a means of creating a tea-like liquid of steeped compost.
To make compost tea, you’ll need to gather some compost and a container to brew the tea. Fill the container with water and add the compost. Use a ratio of one part compost to four parts water. Stir the mixture well. Then, cover the container to keep out pests. Let the “tea” brew for several days, stirring occasionally. After several days, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solid particles.
Once you’ve made your compost tea, you can use it to water your indoor plants. Be sure to dilute the tea with water before using it, as it can be quite potent. Once again, use a ratio of one part compost tea to four parts water. So, yes, add water again. Then use the diluted “tea” as liquid nutrients for your indoor plants. Most plants want this added about once per week. However, it obviously depends on which plants you have.
Fish Emulsion as Nutrients
Another popular DIY liquid fertilizer is fish emulsion. Fish emulsion is made by mixing fish waste with Molasses to create a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. Fish emulsion is an excellent option for indoor gardeners who want to provide their plants with a boost of nutrients without spending a lot of money.
To make a fish emulsion, you’ll need some fish waste, molasses, and a container to mix. You can use any type of fish waste, including fish guts, heads, and bones. Place the fish waste in the container with the molasses. Let the mixture sit for 21-30 days. After several weeks, strain the liquid.
Once you’ve made your fish emulsion, you can use it to water your indoor plants. You want to dilute 2-5ml of fish emulsion in 1 liter of water.
You should apply it during the vegetative stage of the plant (between the germination stage and flowering stage). Spray it in the soil once a week.
Seaweed extract is another popular option for liquid nutrients for indoor plants. Seaweed extract is made by soaking dried seaweed in water to create a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. To make seaweed extract, you’ll need some dried seaweed and a container to brew the fertilizer. Place the dried seaweed in the container and cover it with water. Let the mixture sit for several days, stirring occasionally. After several days, strain the liquid. Again, dilute with a ratio of one part to four parts water.
Eggshells are rich in calcium, which is an essential nutrient for plants. To create a liquid fertilizer from eggshells, start by collecting your eggshells. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any remaining egg whites or yolks. Then let them dry completely. Once the eggshells are dry, crush them into small pieces.
Next, add the crushed eggshells to a container of water and let it sit for several days. The water will become infused with calcium from the eggshells, creating a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer. Wait 3-7 days. Then strain the mixture. Add water, again about a 1:4 ratio, to create your liquid nutrients for indoor plants.
When you boil vegetables, many of the nutrients leach out of the vegetables and into the water. Instead of pouring this water down the drain, you can use it to fertilize your indoor plants. This is a great option for frugal gardeners who are interested in sustainability. It helps prevent the waste of that water while also helping you to grow your plants.
To create vegetable water fertilizer, start by boiling your vegetables as usual. Once the vegetables are cooked, strain them out of the water and let the water cool. You can then use this nutrient-rich water to fertilize your plants. You can also freeze the vegetable water in ice cube trays and use them as a slow-release fertilizer. This is especially great if you’ll be going on vacation and leaving your plants alone for a short period of time.
Urine as Liquid Nutrients for Indoor Plants
Okay, this might not be the right choice for everyone. Nevertheless, urine is a free resource that will indeed work as a plant nutrient if you are bold enough to try it. While it may sound unappealing, urine is actually a rich source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are all essential nutrients for plant growth.
To create a liquid fertilizer from urine, start by collecting your urine in a container. You can use any clean, empty jar. Once you have collected your urine, dilute it with water at a ratio of 1:10 and mix well. You can then use this mixture to water your indoor plants, making sure to apply it evenly to the soil around the plant. Be careful not to get any on the leaves or stems of your plants, as this can cause burning.
Using urine as a liquid fertilizer may not be for everyone, but it is a unique and effective option that is free and readily available. It is important to note that if you are taking any medications, you should consult with your healthcare provider before using your urine as a fertilizer, as some medications can affect the composition of urine and make it harmful to plants.
It’s All A Type Of “Tea”
As you can see, there are plenty of cheap and effective liquid nutrients for your plants that you can make at home. They’re all made creating a sort of “tea.” You choose the nutrient-rich item that you want as your base. Then your boil it, steep it, strain it, and dilute it. After that, you’re ready to use it!
Compost tea, fish emulsion, seaweed extract, eggshells, and vegetable water are all excellent options for creating nutrient-rich liquid fertilizers. By experimenting with these DIY options, you can find the perfect liquid fertilizer to meet your indoor plants’ needs without breaking the bank. Just remember to dilute the fertilizer with water before using it and to avoid over-fertilizing your plants, as this can cause damage and potentially harm your plants.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a long time writer, crafter and author of several books. A resident of San Francisco, she is committed to helping others explore, articulate and share their own individuals stories. When she’s not evaluating investing opportunities Kathryn is an avid knitter, researcher, and blogger.
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