Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by Gary Stephen
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is very easy to care for. Aside from its pleasing appearance, it is much popular for its health benefits. It’s clear gel-like flesh has been traditionally used to treat minor skin and digestive ailments for centuries. From soothing sunburns to relieving heartburns, the aloe vera plant got you covered. But, what food is good for the aloe vera plant?
I, for one, grew up using aloe vera gel to clear up my acne during the awkward puberty stages. From there on, aloe vera already became a staple plant anywhere I live.
Curious as I am, I have been wondering if there’s anything at home I can use to further boost the growth of my aloe veras. Soooo, I scoured my kitchen on high hopes of finding a good plant food alternative. And tadaaa, I stumbled upon these three: Eggshells, banana peels, and a cup of tea.
In this article, I will share with you what I discovered from these three items. How each can benefit your aloe vera plant and what commercial products can they possibly substitute for. Read on the ’til the end, and you might just be shocked by how much good stuff our plants are missing from these kitchen finds.
What Food Is Good For The Aloe Vera Plant
In most households, breakfast wouldn’t be complete without eggs. However, people only get to eat the yolks and the whites, not the eggshells. So, instead of just throwing it away, why not make good use out of it?
You see, eggshells are mainly made up of calcium. Thus, the abundance of such a mineral makes it a good candidate for plant food. This calcium is necessary for the plant’s efficient formation of cell walls.
Moreover, it also helps to regulate soil acidity since eggshells are alkaline in nature. In a way, it somehow shares the same benefits as using horticultural lime. Although, you may need to use a much significant quantity of eggshells to achieve the same level of impact.
Before using it, though, make sure to rinse traces of egg yolk and whites off of the shell. There are two common ways to prepare eggshells for plant use. You can either crush to pulverize or soak to make an eggshell tea.
Pulverizing your eggshells into bits makes it a good addition to your soil. You can either sprinkle it on top of existing pots or mix it along with the potting soil for newly planted aloe vera. This provides the plant the calcium as the eggshells eventually decompose.
Moreover, its grainy texture can also promote aeration of the soil. Thus, making it lighter and less prone to waterlogged.
Another good technique is soaking the eggshells in a container filled with plain water. You can let this “eggshell tea” steep for at least 24 hours up to a couple of days. You can use this tea preparation to give your aloe vera a quick boost of calcium to perk them up.
Here are some commercial products you can substitute from using eggshells:
- Hi-Yield Horticultural Hydrated Lime
- Encap Fast-Acting Lime
- Espoma Hydrated Lime Soil
- General Hydroponics CaliMagic Supplement
- Botanicare Cal-Mag Plus
- Grow More Maxi Cal
Potassium is essential for the plant’s enzymic activities. This enables them to efficiently regulate their photosynthetic processes. Aside from potassium, the peels also contain minimal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium. All of which are essential for plant growth and development.
Using banana peels as plant food is much like using a slow-release fertilizer. It will take some time for it to undergo decomposition. Only thereafter will the plant be able to absorb the nutrients.
Here are some of the products you can substitute from using banana peels:
- Down To Earth Organic Langbeinite Fertilizer
- Bio Nova K20 Liquid Potassium Fertilizer Solution
- Southern Ag Sulfate of Potash
- Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food
- K-Mag 8-2-12 Fertilizer
You might have probably heard the trend of using coffee for plants. But, tea as plant food for aloe vera? Hmmm…
You should know though that coffee isn’t exactly good for aloe vera. Its acidic nature is quite a bit too much for this plant’s liking. Thus, not really a good choice for something that rather prefers to have a neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH.
Tea, on the other hand, is more likely aloe vera’s “cup of tea”. This drink is naturally rich in nutrients and minerals that are not only good for you, but for your plants too. In particular, tea leaves and grounds contain “tannic acid”. This chemical substance is great for encouraging a fertile soil environment.
Just like the normal preparation, simply steep any natural tea into a cup of boiling water. Let it completely cool down before pouring the tea water to prevent shocking or burning the plant.
Another way to use tea is to incorporate the loose leaves or grounds together with the potting soil. With this technique, you also promote aeration while nourishing. Alternately, you can also pour the loose leaves or grounds on the top layer of the soil just like mulch. In both cases, make sure to use the tea contents only and discard the tea bags if there’s any.
Here are some products you can substitute from using tea:
- Espoma Soil Perfector
- Nectar for the Gods One Shot Granules Soil Amendment
- The Andersons Biochar DG Organic Soil Builder
- Holistic Bin Wildcrafted Veganic Fertilizer Soil Amendment
- Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect Sensi Grow Part A + B Soil Amendments
Wrapping Up about Aloe Vera Plant Food
You don’t have to look any further for aloe vera plant foods. Sometimes they are just sitting right there in your kitchen. It is just soooo amazing to find out that what seems to be our wastes, can still be useful for plants. The food scraps mentioned herein are all natural and absolutely free! So, the next time you enjoy a meal with egg, banana, or a good cup of tea, don’t forget to spare some to your aloe friends too.