Banana water as a fertilizer is a controversial topic. Many gardeners have provided anecdotal evidence suggesting that flower and fruit-bearing plants, such as rose and berry bushes, tomatoes and peppers, and banana trees, respond very enthusiastically to using banana water as a fertilizer treatment.
Furthermore, plants that like light, natural fertilizing, such as succulents and epiphytes (e.g., orchids and air plants), are said to experience impressive growth and blooms without being overwhelmed.
On the other hand, according to the presenter in the video below, the answer to the title of this article is a hard “NO!”
The gentleman explains that there is no way that water can break down banana peels; besides that, no one has ever analyzed the nutritional value of banana water.
- Banana Peel Fertilizer – Does it Work?
- Why Is This Banana Peel Slip-Up Happening?
- Is It True That No One Has Analyzed the Nutritional Value of Banana Water?
- What Are the Benefits of Banana Water?
- Is It Hard To Make Banana Water For Your Plants?
- Create Banana Water With Super Powers
- Get Your Banana Water Ready to Use
- Can You Just Water Your Plants With Banana Water?
- Should You Ferment Banana Water?
- Should You Boil Banana Water?
- What Else Can You Use Banana Water For?
- Is Banana Water The Only Fertilizer You Need?
- Is Banana Water the Best Way to Use Banana Peels?
- Whole Banana Peels Bring Plants Numerous Benefits
- Put Your Banana Peels Right Into The Garden
- So, Is Banana Water A Powerful Natural Fertilizer for Your Plants?
- How to Use Eggshells, Banana Peels, and Coffee Grounds in the Garden
Banana Peel Fertilizer – Does it Work?
Why Is This Banana Peel Slip-Up Happening?
The fact of the matter is, if you just took whole banana peels and put them in a jar of water for a few days, you would have the same results as the presenter of the video above. Nothing would happen.
The reason for this is that there are a few things you have to do to get the banana peels to break down properly and give up their nourishing benefits, and simply soaking them whole in water isn’t the best way to access those benefits.
Read on to learn how to make banana water effectively and more!
Is It True That No One Has Analyzed the Nutritional Value of Banana Water?
It is true that no scientific data backs up the effectiveness of banana water, but the National Institute of Health has researched the nutritional value of banana peels.
According to the NIH, the amount of nutrition one might find in banana peels varies depending on several factors, including the type of banana in question and the stage of maturity of said banana.
Plantain peels, for example, are more starchy and less fibrous than dessert banana peels. Dessert bananas are the common bananas that we purchase at the supermarket.
Dessert banana peels (when green) are made up of about 15% starch, which transforms into sugar as the banana ripens.
A ripe banana peel is made up of about 30% free sugars, which can be extracted through water purification to produce banana peel tea fertilizer.
The fibrous nature of banana peels also increases as the fruit ripens. Lignin content increases from 7% to 15%.
When ripe banana peels are dried, they are made up of about 6-9% protein, along with 20-30% fiber. When crushed or ground into a powder, dried banana peels can nourish plants and improve soil quality and structure.
These findings make it clear that banana peels can definitely provide nourishment for plants, but banana water may not be the best way to access that nutrition.
What Are the Benefits of Banana Water?
The nutritional benefits of banana water would probably tend to vary greatly from one batch to the next.
Differences in the banana peels and the preparer’s steeping method would naturally lead to these variations. One thing that most people tend to agree on is that banana water provides light nourishment, if any.
Banana peels are rich in potassium, and giving your plants an added potassium dose can help them better use water, resist drought and fight off problems such as blossom end rot.
Plants that have plenty of potassium grow faster and have stronger stems. For this reason, even if banana water only provides light nourishment, it can benefit plants.
However, banana water alone will not provide other necessary macronutrients for plant growth, including phosphorus and nitrogen.
Is It Hard To Make Banana Water For Your Plants?
Making banana peel water is not hard at all. Follow these simple steps.
1. Save your banana peels from organic bananas. If you don’t eat a lot of bananas, you may wish to keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to steep them in water. Remember that you will want to cut them up before soaking them. If you plan to freeze them, cut them up first.
TIP: Every time you peel a banana, take off the stickers and discard them. They have no place in this process.
2. Choose a container. You can use a one-quart Mason jar or a big bucket. It all depends on how many bananas you consume and how much banana water you want to make. The container size, amount of water, and number of banana peels can vary according to your needs.
If you are an apartment dweller with a plant or two, use a quart jar, half a dozen banana peels, and enough water to cover them. If you want to use banana water in your veggie garden or for multiple plants, fill a bucket with chopped-up banana peels and use enough water to cover them.
3. Here’s how you actually steep your banana peels:
- Rinse the peels to remove chemicals that may be lingering on the surface of the skin. This is especially important if you want to keep an organic garden.
- Chop the peels into small pieces so they’ll break down more easily. Some people like to put them in the blender.
- Toss the ends into the trash or your compost bin. They are not beneficial to this process.
- Fill your chosen container with chopped banana peels.
- Cover the banana peels with room-temperature water.
- Put the lid on the container, and store it in a cool, dark place for a few (3-5) days. Check on it and stir it daily.
Easy and Free Fertilizer For Any Pants | Banana Peel Fertilizer
Create Banana Water With Super Powers
To superpower your banana water, add two tablespoons of Epsom salts per gallon of water. (That’s 1.5 teaspoons per quart.)
In the recipe, you can also toss in a handful of crushed eggshells that have been properly washed and dried before crushing.
The Epsom salts will help the banana peels break down while preventing fungal growth. Epsom salt adds nourishment to your mix, as do the eggshells, which are an excellent source of calcium.
This aids in root growth and photosynthesis, improves flowering and fruiting, and helps in seed germination and pollination.
Get Your Banana Water Ready to Use
After a few days have passed, you’ll see that the water is dark and may have a bit of a rich smell.
It may be a bit bubbly, but it should not be moldy. At this point, you must strain out the solids to use the water on your plants.
If you want to transfer the liquid directly into a watering can, you will need the following:
- A funnel
- A watering can
- A filter (e.g., a strainer or some cheesecloth)
Put the funnel in the opening of the watering can, and set up the strainer or cheesecloth to catch bits of banana peel that might attempt to make their way into your watering can.
This can be tricky. If it sounds daunting, you can just set up a bucket or bowl with a fine mesh strainer over the top and pour from your banana peel container through the strainer into the second container.
Either way, pour gently and slowly so that most of the banana peel stays in the steeping container. You can toss these steeped banana peels into your compost heap for the greatest value.
If you don’t have a compost pile, you can bury the skins in your garden or dry them to make banana powder.
Can You Just Water Your Plants With Banana Water?
If you’ve just steeped your banana peels for a few days, you can simply use your banana water to water your plants.
Some people purposely ferment their banana water by allowing it to steep for weeks. If you do this, you must dilute the final product with water at a rate of one part banana water and five parts fresh water.
Should You Ferment Banana Water?
As long as mold has not begun to grow, fermented banana water can be very good for your plants.
If you allow your banana water to steep for a couple of weeks instead of a few days, it will naturally ferment. If you see bubbles at the top of the water, you know that your banana water has begun to ferment.
When this happens, the banana peels have broken down more. The starches have transformed into sugars, and enzymes and beneficial microorganisms have formed. All of this can be beneficial to your plants and your soil.
Note that some people add brown sugar to this mix, but this is not really necessary. Ripe banana peels have plenty of sugar as-is.
Fermented banana water should be diluted half-and-half with fresh water before use, and you should use it up right away. It will spoil very quickly.
It’s best to use fermented banana water on outdoor plants because, unlike non-fermented banana water, which acts as a mild pest repellent, it has a sweet scent that is attractive to gnats and fruit flies.
Should You Boil Banana Water?
Some people like to bring the banana water to a boil, simmer it for half an hour and then allow it to cool before straining it.
If mold has formed in the banana water, this will kill mold spores; however, it will also kill any beneficial fauna. It will not negatively impact the presence of potassium and other minerals.
Note that if you boil your banana water, you will want to dilute it with five parts water before using it.
What Else Can You Use Banana Water For?
Banana water sprayed as a pesticide or wiped on plants’ leaves helps control and deter aphids, fungus gnats, and other bugs. It also adds a bit of a shine to the leaf surface.
Diluted half strength, it makes a nice occasional spritz or soaks for air plants. Most air plants do well with a daily misting.
You would not want to use banana water daily, but a weekly soak or misting with banana water will provide just the light nourishment air plants need.
You can also use half-strength banana water as a foliar spray for other houseplants.
Moreover, you can use banana water as compost tea.
Is Banana Water The Only Fertilizer You Need?
Banana water may provide a good boost in potassium, manganese, and magnesium, but it is not a total fertilizer. Correctly prepared, it can safely give your garden plants a little extra support safely between seasonal fertilizing.
Full-strength banana water can be used monthly as fertilizer for blooming and fruit-bearing plants throughout their growing season.
The bit of extra potassium provided by banana water can be especially helpful to flowering and fruit-bearing plants. It also helps all plants make better use of water and nutrients. This is a bonus during times of drought.
Is Banana Water the Best Way to Use Banana Peels?
Making banana water is easy and may impart some nutritional value to your plants, but really, using the whole banana peel will do a lot more good.
The amount of nutrition banana peels release in water remains unknown, and after you’ve steeped your banana peels, you still have banana peels to discard.
After steeping, the liquid and the steeped banana peels may be infected with fungus, which can be dangerous for your plants, as explained in this video.
The Harsh Reality of Using Banana Peel Liquid Fertilizer
Whole Banana Peels Bring Plants Numerous Benefits
Whole, fresh banana peels can be dried, crushed, or powdered to use as a soil amendment that slowly releases essential nutrients and improves soil quality.
Whole banana peels can be composted, much to the delight of your composting worms and/or native composting fauna.
A banana peel takes about a month to completely decompose (less if you chop them up into little pieces). The whole peel will greatly enrich your finished compost and, like dried peels, will improve the quality of your soil.
Remember that plants can only absorb nutrients that friendly fungi and microbes have already broken down, so you’ll get more bang for your buck by drying or composting your banana peels than steeping them.
Put Your Banana Peels Right Into The Garden
To some extent, whole banana peels can be used directly in the garden. Some gardeners lay them on the soil surrounding plants, but this is really not advisable.
As an organic matter, banana peels will tend to become moldy when used this way and attract slugs and snails. You also risk attracting rodents, insects, and other pests.
It is fine to bury banana peels deeply in the garden, and a banana peel placed at the bottom of a planting hole and covered with soil helps give new plants a strong start.
Toss in some crushed eggshells and a bit of Epsom salts to provide even more nourishment to young plants.
So, Is Banana Water A Powerful Natural Fertilizer for Your Plants?
After all is said and done, it seems clear that correctly prepared banana water does impart some value to indoor plants. It can be a good, light, natural fertilizer but not a complete fertilizer. Use a combination of methods to provide holistic plant health for the best results.
In addition to making good use of banana peel water and fresh, dried, and composted peels, it’s smart to use high-quality fertilizer products designed for the type of plants you have.
Seek slow-release, natural products that can be used with natural alternatives such as finished compost, eggshells, coffee grounds, dried banana peels, and banana water.
How to Use Eggshells, Banana Peels, and Coffee Grounds in the Garden
Bananas are arguably the most popular fruit in the world. They are consumed by the literal boatload worldwide, yielding a by-product often simply tossed in the trash – banana peels.
This is a shame because these peels can be very useful to houseplant keepers and home gardeners.
Because they contain impressive nourishment, they can be dried, composted, or steeped in water to create a light, organic fertilizer for your plants.