How to Make a Foliar Plant Food


Organic foliar plant foods are easy to use, and inexpensive to make. The advantage of foliar plant foods is that they are sprayed directly onto plant foliage, and they are absorbed immediately. Compost tea or worm compost tea can both be used as foliar plant foods that are high in nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need. Worm castings are especially rich and make a concentrated tea that is high in nitrogen. Kelp, or seaweed, are 100% organic, and contain macro- and micro-organisms and trace elements that help plants grow.

Compost Tea

Step 1

Put one quart of compost into a cloth bag.

Step 2

Seep the solid compost in a gallon of water for several days.

Step 3

Stir two or three times daily, for aeration.

Worm Compost Tea

Step 1

Place two handfuls of worm castings in an old sock or nylon stocking.

Step 2

Soak the stocking and its contents in a 5-gallon bucket of water, with two tablespoons of molasses or corn syrup, for 24 hours.

Step 3

Stir frequently to aerate the water and increase micro-organism activity.

Step 4

Dilute 1/4 cup of concentrated tea mixture with one gallon of non-chlorinated water.

Step 5

Spray directly onto plant foliage.

Kelp Meal Tea

Step 1

Stir kelp meal into a gallon of water to make a liquid tea.

Step 2

Spray the mixture directly onto stressed plant foliage.

Step 3

Avoid using kelp tea with plants grown in worm rich soil, because it will repel these beneficial garden inhabitants.

Things You'll Need

  • Container (1 or 5 gallon)
  • Compost
  • or
  • Worm Compost
  • or
  • Kelp
  • Water
  • Old sock or nylon
  • Stick or other tool used for stirring


  • Pollard Worms: Organic Worm Tea
  • "Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening: Vegetables"; Michelak, Patricia S. and Cass Peterson; 1993
  • Fine Gardening: Brewing Compost Tea

Who Can Help

  • How to Garden Guide: Fish Emulsion Fertilizer
Keywords: Foliar sprays, Liquid fertilizer, Organic fertilizer

About this Author

Kaye Lynne Booth has been writing for 13 years. She is currently working on a children's, series and has short stories and poetry published on;; Stastic Motion Online. She is a contributing writer for, Gardener Guidlines, and She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in Computer Science from Adam’s State College