Bananas are extremely popular fruits, and very easily available as well. A lot of people wonder if you can use banana peels as fertilizers for plants like hydrangeas.
Yes, banana peels are good for hydrangeas. Banana peels contain some amount of potassium and other nutrients, which promotes rapid growth and blooming. So, banana peels are a good supplement for your hydrangea plants.
However, banana peels can only serve as an additional source of nutrients. While banana peels are good for your hydrangeas, you will not get a great result by just using them.
You will still need to fertilize your plants with other organic matter and mineral fertilizers to get a large and flourishing hydrangea plant.
The way you make fertilizer from banana peels is also important. Improper use of banana peels can cause more harm than good to the hydrangeas.
Why do banana peels make good as Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?
- Banana peels are rich in potassium, which is beneficial for flowering plants like hydrangeas.
- Banana peels also contain some amount of calcium.
- It has manganese, which helps in the process of photosynthesis in plants.
- The sodium content in banana peels helps the flow of water between cells.
- Using banana peels as fertilizers for hydrangea plants will also help to repel aphids.
How to use banana peels as fertilizer?
The best way to use banana peels as fertilizer is to dry them and place them near your hydrangea plant.
There are multiple ways to dry the banana peels –
- You will need to keep them under full sun. In one or two days, they will dry.
- If the weather is cold or cloudy, or if you are not getting enough sunlight during the day, you can use an oven to dry the peels. Set the oven to the minimum temperature, as you only need the peels to dry to a crisp. The time taken for the process of the peels drying will depend on the settings of your oven.
- Another way to dry the banana peels is to hang the peels on a rope in a dry room. This method is easier and less expensive. But drying your peels in this way can take a very long time, from several days to several weeks.
Once the peels are dry, you will need to grind them. You can use either a blender or a mortar and pestle to do it. Chop the peels well so that the pieces are smaller than half an inch.
Sprinkle a layer of the dried and shredded banana peels evenly around your hydrangea plant. Do not use more than 10 oz (280 grams) for one plant. You can also mix this with other mulch like compost.
The dry banana peels act as a slow-release fertilizer. They release nutrients into the soil slowly. Because the peels are dried, they will not rot, nor will they attract any pests or fungal diseases.
You can use banana peels to fertilize your hydrangeas 2 to 3 times a season.
What not to do with banana peels?
Here are a few ways banana peels can be harmful to your Hydrangea.
#1. You should never bury a fresh banana peel near your hydrangea.
A lot of information does talk about using wet banana peels to fertilize your hydrangeas, but it is not a good idea to use wet skins.
They will rot and attract various pests. There are also a lot of other disadvantages to using wet banana peels, and the benefits are very few.
Fresh plant debris starts to decompose. It will form colonies of bacteria and pathogens. This can lead to root rot, which can cause problems and is difficult to cure.
Also, the process of decay reduces the amount of nitrogen in the soil, which can affect the plants in the wrong way.
#2. Banana Peels can damage the roots of the plant.
Because of this, the plant can wither or even get sick through wounds if it is exposed to the decomposing remains of banana peels.
Another thing to remember is to never throw any leftover bananas or any other food around the hydrangea or any other plant. They will rot on the surface of the ground and attract various pests, as well as bacteria and fungi that can infect the plants and cause crown and root rot.
#3. Banana skins also contain some amount of saponins
Saponins can cause indigestion and vomiting upon ingestion. If you have any pets, they are at risk of being poisoned if they taste it.
#4. Avoid soaking a banana peel in water to make a liquid fertilizer.
This type of fertilizer is not efficient at all. Banana peels work much better as a dry fertilizer or as compost.
How to make compost from banana peels?
More beneficial than just leaving dry banana skins under the plant would be to make compost.
- Cut the banana peels with scissors into fine pieces that are not more than half an inch in size. You will get better results with smaller pieces.
- You will also need to add some green matter to the compost. The process of composting requires nitrogen. You can cut some green foliage from the plants and trees. The amount of this foliage should be about one-third of the total mass of compost.
- Along with banana peels and green foliage, you can also add other organic matter.
- Make sure your compost does not contain any animal-based matter like meat, fish or dairy products. This is because pests like mice and rats will invade the compost and take away all the nutrients that this matter provides.
You can use a composter to prepare your compost. There are a lot of different models in the market. You can do some research and get one that is more convenient for you.
There is also the option of a homemade composter that many people prefer. It can be made of boards; another way is to dig a shallow hole and put all the organic matter into it. This way is very easy and efficient.
During the process of composting, all the materials and layers of your compost should get access to air. This way, you will get compost that is sufficiently rotted.
If all the components are not getting enough air, it will result in the process of fermentation. Because of this, bacteria will form in the matter which can damage the hydrangeas even further.
Regularly check the humidity of the compost. It should be moist but not too wet.
If the humidity is not sufficient, the material will dry up without getting decomposed. If there is an excess of water, the bacteria that are supposed to turn the organic matter into fertilizer will die. The compost will also not become well-rotted.
Does the soil pH get affected by adding banana peels?
Banana peels do not really affect the acidity of the soil. The only time it could make a difference to the pH is if you use a lot of peels.
If you need to change the pH of the soil, you will need to use more than 10 ounces of dry banana peels under each plant.
In conclusion, you can definitely use banana peels as a fertilizer for your hydrangeas, but they alone will not be enough. Your hydrangeas will benefit from banana peels being used as a secondary fertilizer.