To keep your succulents thriving provide proper care, including the use of fertilizers. So, let’s explore the benefits of using crushed eggshells as an organic fertilizer for your succulents.
Benefits of Eggshells as Fertilizer for Succulents
Eggshells provide an excellent source of nutrients for your succulents. They are rich in calcium, which is essential for the growth and development of these plants. Additionally, eggshells can help improve the soil structure, allowing for better water retention and drainage. Keep scrolling and read about how calcium is an essential nutrient for succulents.
The Main Nutrient in Eggshells: Calcium
Calcium is the primary nutrient found in the shells, and it plays a crucial role in the overall health of your succulents. Calcium is responsible for the development of strong cell walls, which help succulents maintain their unique shapes. Providing your plants with sufficient calcium can prevent common issues like leaf curling and tip burn, which are often signs of a calcium deficiency.
Preparing the Shells for Succulents
There are two popular methods for preparing eggshells for use as a fertilizer:
To make eggshell tea, simply crush clean, dry the shells and steep them in water for a few days. Strain the mixture, and use the liquid to water your succulents.
Crushed Eggshells/Eggshell Powder
You can also create a fine powder by grinding clean, dry eggshells in a coffee grinder or food processor. Sprinkle the powder around the base of your succulents or mix it into the soil.
How Much Fertilizer to Use for Succulents
The recommended amount of crushed eggshells to use as fertilizer varies depending on the size of your succulent. A general guideline is to use about one teaspoon of eggshell powder per 4-inch pot. Adjust this amount accordingly for larger or smaller plants.
Fertilizing Succulents During Flowering
Using eggshells as fertilizer during the flowering stage can provide your succulents with the extra calcium they need to support healthy blooms. Apply the eggshell fertilizer as usual, being careful not to disturb the delicate flowers.
Using Them as a Succulent Pot
Eggshells can also be used as creative, eco-friendly pots for small succulents. This method not only provides a unique display for your plants but also offers additional calcium as the eggshell slowly decomposes.
Using eggshells as pots can help improve drainage and provide a slow-release source of calcium for your young, tender succulents.
How to Create an Eggshell Pot
To create an eggshell pot, carefully crack the top of a clean eggshell, remove its contents, and rinse it out. Fill the shell with well-draining succulent soil and plant your small succulent inside.
Planting Succulents in Eggshells
If you’re interested in planting your succulents in the shells, follow these simple steps:
- Carefully crack the top of a clean eggshell and remove its contents.
- Rinse the eggshell thoroughly and allow it to dry.
- Make a small drainage hole in the bottom of the shell using a pin or needle.
- Fill the eggshell with well-draining succulent soil.
- Gently plant your small succulent in the eggshell.
- Water the succulent as you normally would using the ‘soak and dry’ method to avoid overwatering. You’ll need to use something like a squeeze bottle to make sure the soil doesn’t come out of the pot.
Combining Them With Coffee Grounds for Succulents
Pairing the shells with used coffee grounds can provide your succulents with a rich source of nutrients. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, which can help support robust growth. To use this mixture as a fertilizer, simply blend equal parts crushed shells and dried coffee grounds, and sprinkle it around the base of your plants. If you’re not a coffee drinker, most Starbucks locations save their spent coffee grounds as their “Grounds for the Garden” program and you can get them for free.
Preparing Eggshells for Fertilizer
Before using the shells as fertilizer, it’s essential to clean and dry them properly. Remove the membrane that lines the shells. Not removing the membrane can cause bacteria to build up in the soil causing succulents to die. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any residual egg white or yolk, and then place them on a paper towel to air dry. Once dry, crush or grind them to your desired consistency.
How Often to Add Them to Succulents
While there’s no strict rule for how often to add them to your succulents, a good guideline is to apply the fertilizer every 2-3 months since they slowly disintegrate into the soil unlike liquid fertilizers. Keep an eye on your plants’ health, and adjust the frequency as needed.
Wash Before Use
Washing eggshells before using them as fertilizer is crucial to remove any residual egg white or yolk, which can attract pests and cause unpleasant odors. Simply rinse them under running water and allow them to air dry before crushing or grinding.
Succulents That Love Eggshells
While most succulents can benefit from the added calcium provided by eggshells, some species are particularly fond of this natural fertilizer. These include Aloe vera, Echeveria, and Sempervivum. To determine if your succulent will appreciate the addition of shells, observe its growth and overall health after applying the fertilizer.
Crushed eggshells can also help deter pests like aphids, ants, snails and slugs from invading your succulents. The sharp edges create an uncomfortable barrier for these pests, discouraging them from approaching your plants.
Incorporating into Succulent Soil
There are two main ways to incorporate them into your succulent soil:
Mixing Crushed Shells into the Soil
Add crushed eggshells to your succulent soil mix before planting to enhance its nutrient content and improve drainage.
Using Them as a Top Dressing
Sprinkle crushed eggshells on top of the soil around your succulents to create a slow-release fertilizer and deter pests.
Use on Indoor Succulents
Indoor succulents can also benefit from the addition of crushed eggshells. Simply sprinkle the eggshell powder around the base of your indoor plants, or mix it into the soil when repotting.
Crushed eggshells are an eco-friendly, nutrient-rich fertilizer perfect for succulents. By providing essential calcium and improving soil structure, they can help your succulents flourish. With proper preparation and application, you can enjoy the benefits of this natural fertilizer and keep your succulents healthy and beautiful.