How to Make Your Own Plant Food


Store-bought fertilizer isn't the only way to feed your plants. Several recipes exist for simple home-made fertilizer that delivers the three core macro-nutrients--nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium--plants need for healthy growth. Make your own plant food with items from your pantry and landscape.

Gelatine Plant Food

Step 1

Dissolve an envelope of unflavored gelatine in 1 cup of hot water.

Step 2

Pour the mixture into a watering can filled with 3 cups cold water.

Step 3

Shake well and water plants with this mixture for healthy, green growth.

Organic Plant Food

Step 1

Chop up enough nettle plants with an axe to produce 1 pound of plant matter.

Step 2

Place chopped nettles in bucket and fill with 1/2 gallon of water.

Step 3

Put a lid on the bucket and let it sit for two or three weeks.

Step 4

Strain out the plant matter. Dilute the remaining liquid with 6 parts water and use it as fertilizer.


Step 1

Collect rabbit droppings in large plastic bag.

Step 2

Sprinkle the rabbit droppings over plants in lieu of packaged steer manure. According to Backwoods Home magazine, rabbit droppings contain the highest nitrogen content of any commercially available manure fertilizer.

Step 3

Water thoroughly so plants absorb the rabbit-pellet nutrients through their roots.

Epsom Salt

Step 1

Determine what type of plants you want to fertilize with Epsom salt.

Step 2

Purchase enough Epsom salt to cover the selected plants.

Step 3

Apply the salt directly or mix it with water in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Epsom Salt Council. For ordinary houseplants, mix 2 Tbps. Epsom salt with 1 gallon of water and feed plants monthly. For trees, sprinkle Epsom salt over the root zone at the rate of 2 Tbsp. for every 9 square feet, three times a year. For lawns, apply 3 pounds of Epsom salt for every 1,250 square feet of grass with a spreader.

Tips and Warnings

  • Nettles can sting, so use gloves while handling.

Things You'll Need

  • Unflavored gelatine
  • Nettle plant
  • Epsom salt
  • Hot water
  • Cold water
  • Bucket with lid
  • Watering can
  • Axe
  • Rabbit droppings
  • Plastic bag


  • Recipe Goldmine: Indoor and Outdoor Gardening Recipes
  • Garden Space: Make Your Own Free Organic Plant Food
  • Backwoods Home magazine: You Can Make Your Own Fertilizer

Who Can Help

  • Epson Salt Council: Garden Usage Tips
Keywords: homemade fertilizer, homemade plant food, make plant food

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of "Home Media Magazine" and a regular entertainment contributor to various publications, including "USA Today," "The Hollywood Reporter" and "San Diego Magazine." He has written travel stories for "San Diego Magazine," the "San Diego Union" and the Copley News Service. Arnold graduated from San Diego State University.