Gardeners and houseplant lovers have long been using eggshells as plant fertiliser. There’s no question about its beneficial effect in agricultural in general and in particular for houseplants. Containing beneficial nutrients, using eggshells is becoming more and more popular.
Are eggshells good for houseplants?
Yes, they are. The regular use of eggshells has a very beneficial effect on house plant development as they are rich in nutrients that plants and soil need.
94% of the eggshell structure is calcium, which helps maintain chemical balance in the soil, improves water penetration and reduces soil salinity.
The rest is made up of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and organic protein.
That being said, you should be aware that the process of making an eggshell fertiliser is rather laborious (although certainly worth the effort). Let’s look further at the benefits of such compost and how you can make it.
How to Make Eggshell Fertiliser for Houseplants
Chicken eggshell is an affordable ingredient for creating fertilisers that are suitable for houseplants. However, you will need a lot of eggs for that. Therefore, if your family does not consume a large amount of eggs regularly, start collecting them from the beginning of winter.
First of all, carefully wash the egg. Then it will be necessary to clean the shell itself separately. Next, you need to dry it well. And only after that start grinding.
Keep in mind that it is quite hard and its pieces are sharp. To bring it to a powder state you will have to use all your tools, from a hammer and meat grinder to modern grinding devices.
Remember an important detail: use the eggshell only from raw eggs. Because when you boil the eggs, it can lose all its benefits. There are some rules for collecting eggshells.
After you crack the egg, put the shell in a spacious paper box and leave it to dry. You need to choose a warm place so that in a few days the protein film does not deteriorate, but dries naturally. After the eggshell has completely dried (usually it takes three to five days), put it in paper bags.
Store raw materials in a dry place. Do not put the shell in a plastic bag to prevent moisture from entering.
Create the Compost:
- Grind the eggshell in a blender and pour water in it. Leave for three days, then mix the solution up. Water the plants under the root.
- Another use is laying dried eggshells on the bottom of the flower pot. You can crush it to get a layer of 3 cm. So the water will not stagnate in the soil.
- You can use 50 crushed calcined in the oven eggshells to reduce the soil acidity. Calcination frees calcium.
How to Apply the Eggshell Fertiliser
Houseplants always need top dressing. Put 100 grams of crushed shells in a glass dish, pour in warm water, and keep it for two days. Use fertiliser twice a month to feed flowers.
Apply eggshell powder along with mineral fertilisers. Put the third part of a teaspoon to each flowerpot. You can use eggshells as fertiliser without grinding.
Place the eggshell in a glass jar and fill it with warm water. Beneficial substances will pass into the water within a week. By the way, you can re-fill the contents with water and apply again for feeding.
The fertiliser will be less concentrated, but quite suitable for indoor plants.
The other benefit of such top dressing is that the soil after this becomes looser, the access of oxygen to the roots improves.
By the way, you can use eggshells as a container for seedlings. Make holes at the top and bottom of the egg so that the liquid flows out. You will get a magnificent decorative container, in which you place seeds or sprouts.
The soil will feed on useful substances. And when the time comes to plant seedlings, you need to slightly press the shell so that it cracked and get rid of it.
What plants are suitable for eggshell fertilisers?
Preparing your shells is all well and good – but which plants like eggshells the best? Generally, you can expect succulents, vegetable plants and those prone to pest attacks to be most appreciative of a little shell left on the soil.
If you have any of the following houseplants already growing at home, then great news – they will all benefit from the calcium and added minerals that raw shells can provide.
List of calcium loving plants that like eggshells
African violets (Streptocarpus)
African violets, for all they may be some of the smaller, more colourful blooms in your home, will thrive with a little bit of extra calcium. In fact, caring for these plants will normally require you to top up on a fertiliser made with extra phosphorous, meaning the natural minerals found in eggshells will help them to grow and stay hardy across the season.
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
The kalanchoe plant is more of a family than a specimen, but this succulent is one of many hardy greens that will certainly benefit from an eggshell or two. Succulents and cacti benefit massively from careful fertilising – and while you won’t need to water the K blossfeldiana much, it makes sense to keep it growing with some genuinely helpful nutrients.
If you are growing a kalanchoe of any kind, keep in mind that it will take a long while to grow to full size – meaning if your eggshells don’t seem to do much right away, be sure to give it time and space.
There are far too many orchids to list here that stand to benefit from eggshell support, so let’s consider the wider family. As you may know, these plants can take careful watering and are occasionally picky with regard to light levels. However, you are also going to need to fertilise your orchids regularly, at least once a week, while they are still growing.
You can easily top up your orchid feeding routine with a little eggshell here and there – and providing you offer your plant its delicate light and heat balance, too, you should see some fantastic, healthy growth in no time.
Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum)
Any tomato plants you’re growing indoors will happily welcome an eggshell treat or two, mainly thanks to the sheer amount of calcium they’ll derive. In fact, many people believe that extra calcium in the soil – from eggshells or elsewhere – can help to make tomatoes taste that little bit tangier!
The added benefit of putting eggshells in your tomato pots is that your plants will stand to better fight off certain types of rot. It’s thought that extra calcium from shells could help tomato plants to better balance the water it drinks. Therefore, you’re giving them a major health boost all the same.
English ivy (Hedera helix)
While eggshells are likely to be great for most ivy plants, the hedera helix you might have brought in from the cold stands to be big on growth with a little extra nutrition.
That said, given how quickly and how fervently ivy is known to grow, do make sure to plan ahead before you add eggshells to its soil. You should already have some form of trellis or indoor fencing set up, ideally, so that it can climb on its own accord. Adding eggshell to the soil is only likely to inspire it to scale even higher heights – be sure to account for this!
Quail eggshells for houseplants
You can also prepare fertilisers based on the eggshell of quail eggs at home. Quail eggs contain up to 95% calcium, slightly more than regular (chicken) eggs.
- Crash 50 shells of quail eggs
- Pour them with acidified water. It will free calcium to the solution
- Keep it three days occasionally stirring
- Water houseplants under the root
Additional Points of Note
If there is a choice, it is better to use eggs of domestic chickens as a fertiliser for houseplants and flowers. Their diet tends to be more diverse, therefore, there are comparatively more beneficial substances in their eggs. And the eggshell itself from such chickens is thicker, which means more micro elements.
As a side note there is an opinion that the shell of brown eggs is thicker than white.
Fertilisers from the eggshell of chicken and quail eggs are very effective in maintaining a sufficient level of necessary elements in the soil mixture of indoor plants, protecting against excess moisture and increasing the pH of the soil in the pot.
The biggest advantage of eggshells is that it reduces soil acidity. And this has a very positive effect on the development of plants and flowers.
So are eggshells good for houseplants? Of course, yes. As you can see, there are many reasons for using it. Try our tips and your plants will be healthy and bright!