Banana peels are some of the best food sources you can give your houseplants and your garden. Yes, you can just toss them in the compost pile, but you can put them to even better use in other ways.
Banana peels are full of nutrients that plants need. The Micro Gardener says these include:
Potassium – helps promote general plant vigour; helps build up resistance to pest and disease; necessary in fruit development; is involved in regulating around 50 enzymes in a plant and relates to the turgor (or uprightness of stems and the thickness of cell walls) i.e. plant strength!Phosphorus – strongly influences fruiting and flowering; is essential for good root and shoot growth; pollination; and is very important in seed germination and viability.Calcium – the most important mineral in the soil and known as the ‘Trucker of all minerals;’ is the ‘ingredient’ of cell walls concerned with root development and growing stem points and helps ‘open up’ soil to allow more oxygen.
Here are several fantastic ways to use the peels:
- Banana water: Soak the peels in water for 24-48 hours to leach the nutrients out and use that water on your plants. Then compost the peels or use them in one of the other ways listed below.
- Buried fertilizer: Bury the peels under the soil near the roots of garden plants. This is especially good for roses.
- Dry mulch: Place the peels on a cookie sheet with the outer skin down and leave the tray in the oven as you bake other foods. Once completely dried and cooled, break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Use as mulch around your houseplants or in the garden. Since the peels are dried, they won’t attract pests, but they’ll slowly release nutrients when the plants are watered or it rains. See WikiHow for pictures of how one gardener does the process.
- Blended fertilizer: Blend the banana peels with water (or even better, cooking water from vegetables or pasta to add even more nutrients) and pour around garden plants.