After Joanna Gaines (opens in new tab) famously fed her staghorn fern banana peel to boost the plant’s potassium level, we got thinking. Is using banana peels as fertilizer the answer to plant problems? Here, the experts explain all you need to know. 

Using banana peels as fertilizer  

Banana peel is rich in vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which is one of the three essential nutrients plants need to stay healthy. According to the experts, there are four main ways to use your banana peels in the garden, including a water trick and a technique for chopped peels.

1. Banana peel water

The co-founder of (opens in new tab), Erinn Witz, suggests creating banana water from the peel. This water is the perfect cottage garden idea that will give your blooms a boost.  ‘Chop up the peels to about ½inch to 1 inch in size, pack them into a clean, empty glass jar and fill with water,’ Erinn says. She explains that you should allow the jar to sit in a moderately sunny spot for approximately 24 hours – at which time the water will turn brown (as the nutrients leak out).  You can then use banana peel water to water your plants before distributing the peel pieces into the compost.  ‘I like this strategy because you can get two uses out of your peels: mineral-rich water and green material for the compost,’ Erinn says. 

2. Banana peel for the compost 

Using banana peels as fertilizer can be harder in the winter, but Erinn has a solution that will keep your compost healthy ahead of the warmer seasons. You can introduce banana peel into your winter garden ideas by chopping the peels into one-inch pieces and adding them into your compost for spring. According to Erinn, ‘the more, the better.’ 

3. Burying banana peels in the garden

Another way to bring banana peels into the garden is by burying them directly into the soil. ‘This is an effective way to get nutrients into the soil, even if you don’t have space for a composter,’ Erinn explains.  However, before experimenting with this technique, the expert warns that the buried peel may attract squirrels and chipmunks who may be able to smell the produce under the ground. 

4. Banana peel on a backboard  

Nikita, the founder of Mitcityfarm (opens in new tab), also shares her country garden ideas, adding that you can support banana peels in the garden with a backboard.  ‘Put a complete banana peel between the plant and the backboard or tree trunk it is supported on if you’re cultivating a staghorn, elkhorn, orchid, or similar plant,’ Nikita instructs. When the banana peel is placed in this specific position, it is able to gradually degrade and release nutrients as the plant is watered or rains.  As Joanna’s large staghorn is 26 years old, we expect this to be especially useful in the Magnolia store.  Will you begin using banana peels as fertilizer? With these benefits in mind, it would be hard not to.