A Recipe for a Natural & Organic Fertilizer for House Plants


Houseplants are a welcome addition to most interior decorating plans. Interior plants add texture, color and natural elements to our homes. They clean the air, increase humidity and add visual interest. To flourish, indoor plants require adequate light, moisture and nutrition. Encourage growth and healthy leaf development by regularly feeding your plants with a nutrient rich organic fertilizer. Try these recipes to prepare natural soil amendments from household ingredients.

Grass Clippings

Fresh grass clippings, when soaked in water and aged, produce a nitrogen rich fertilizer than can be applied to both house and garden plants. Place the grass clippings in a 5 gallon bucket, filling the bucket about half full with grass. Fill the bucket with water and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place in a sunny location for six to eight weeks. When the mixture is mature, it will have a fermented, earthy scent and a bubbly composition. Dilute by pouring one cup of the mixture into a gallon of water. Use this blend to water house plants. Apply weekly during the growing season. Dried leaves or garden waste may be used instead of grass clippings. Make several containers of this nutrient mixture for a continual supply of organic fertilizer. The high concentration of nitrogen will encourage vigorous leaf development.

Manure Tea

Aged manure from herbivores (cows, sheep, goats, llamas and horses) is very beneficial to plants. In a 5 gallon bucket or a 36 gallon trash pail, place manure and water to age into a rich manure "tea." Fill the container 1/3 full of green manure, add water to fill and cover tightly. Place in a sunny, warm location, and allow to age for several weeks. Drain off the liquid and use, diluted with three parts water to hydrate houseplants. (This is a continuous process. Add more manure and more water, as you use the mixture, to sustain a year around supply of natural fertilizer.) Do not over-fertilize your houseplants. Interior plants should be fertilized only when they are actively growing. (Do not fertilizer during the winter when many plants are dormant.) Houseplants will benefit from diluted applications of organic fertilizer between March and September. During the short days of winter, houseplants need little or no additional fertilizer.


Water houseplants with cold coffee and cultivate used coffee grounds into the soil. Rich in nitrogen, coffee helps plants build sturdy roots and lush, green leaves.


Rinse egg shells, then crush them and place in a gallon jar and cover with water. Allow to age for a few days and drain off the water to water house plants. Keep adding more rinsed and crushed egg shells and water to the jar and use whenever houseplants require water. Egg shells are rich in calcium that encourages strong root development and leaf growth in houseplants.


Wood ashes contain potassium and phosphate and beneficial trace elements. Mix 1/4 cup of ashes with a quart of water and apply to house plants. Use once a month.

Keywords: care of houseplants, organic fertilizer, organic compost, natural fertilizer for houseplants

About this Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. Affeld writes for the Examiner as a nature traveler writer and also writes for Demand Studios. She writes about wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.

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