Have you ever balked at the price of commercial cannabis fertilizers, all glitzed up in nice, shiny bottles? We know we have. Luckily, there are easy, homemade alternatives that can be created from food scraps. Enter the banana peel: a massively underrated bit of waste normally discarded or composted.
With a little bit of know-how, combined with minimal effort and ingredients, you can make an organic, homemade cannabis fertilizer that rivals any commercial product. You can even further process your banana peels into a rooting aid - in this article, we reveal the benefits of bananas for your cannabis plants, providing a recipe for banana peel tea plus one for rooting aid.
Benefits of using banana peel tea
Plants require certain macronutrients to grow and maintain a healthy balance. These are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, expressed as the letters NPK on your bottles of fertilizer. In general, your cannabis plants will need a higher ratio of nitrogen in the vegetative stage and higher ratios of phosphorus and potassium in the flowering stage.
Banana peels make a wonderful natural fertilizer for blooming because they contain about 42% potassium and a little over 3% phosphorus. Potassium is absorbed through the roots to promote faster and stronger growth. It works to improve resistance to drought, produce higher yields, and prevent disease.
Banana Peel Tea Recipe
It can be life-changing when you realize how simple it is to make banana water for plants. This recipe is simple, requires only a couple of household tools, and gives you the added benefit of eating a banana every single day.
This cold homemade cannabis fertilizer recipe is made with just two ingredients: banana peels and water. However, you can influence the quality of your final product by using higher-quality ingredients. This means using organically grown bananas, with a pure water source such as distilled, rain, or spring water.
You will need a large jar or pitcher to infuse the nutrients into the water. It should have a volume of at least two liters. You should have another large storage jar to decant into when the fertilizer is ready. You will also need a fridge, a tea towel, and a straining cloth. A pair of kitchen scissors will be handy as well.
Step 1: Pour water into a jar and put it in the refrigerator
Make sure your chosen water source is free from chemicals or bacteria. You can boil or filter the water or use distilled water to begin with. Fill your large jar three-quarters full with water. Place it in the fridge and cover it with a tea towel.
Step 2: Cut banana skin into small pieces
Now you're going to need to eat some bananas. Get your family, friends, or housemates to help you. You'll want to fill that jar as quickly as possible. Once a banana is finished, chop the peel into half-inch pieces with your scissors. Drop these pieces into your jar and then replace the tea towel.
Step 3: Put chopped banana skin pieces into a jar
As soon as the banana peels have reached the top of the jar, this is the perfect number of peels that can be infused into that volume of water (¾ water to ¼ banana peel).
Step 4: Keep the jar in the fridge
You'll want to keep the jar in the fridge for a period of overnight to two days. Give it a good stir at least twice a day, replacing the tea towel each time you do.
Step 5: Strain the liquid
Your homemade cannabis fertilizer is now ready! Place a straining cloth over the jar or pitcher and decant the water into your second jar. Alternatively, pour the tea over a fine-mesh sieve for similar results. You've now produced an organic liquid fertilizer concentrate!
Save the used peels! Later in this article, we'll show you how to convert them to an organic rooting aid. If this is not something you require, they can now be turned into compost.
How to Use Banana Fertilizer on Cannabis
This cannabis banana tea is a highly concentrated dose of potassium; as such, it needs to be diluted with water before use. We recommend diluting to a ratio of 1:10 (one part banana peel fertilizer to ten parts water). You can apply it to your garden through any normal method you regularly employ, including spray bottles or watering cans. If you used a sieve to separate your peels, make sure there are no little chunks of fruit left in your banana skin tea. This can't just cause blockages in small spray bottles that can be frustrating to remove, but also attract insects to your indoor garden, which we want to avoid.
Don't Overdo It
Just as significant as a potassium deficiency is a potassium overdose. It can have detrimental effects on your weed plants, causing a lockout of other essential macro and micronutrients. We therefore need to exercise a great deal of caution when using a banana skin tea for the first time.
How Often Should I Use Banana Peel Tea?
Potassium is essential for all stages of growth - even in the vegetative stage - so you can give your plants a dose of marijuana banana tea about halfway through this phase. Your plants will be looking to use an increased amount of potassium about 4 weeks into the flowering cycle, so you can give them a second dose around this mark. You may also like to use your bananas for a third time in the late flowering stage.
Using the banana peel tea sparingly like this should not lead to any problems from potassium overkill, so it's a good place to start. You may want to experiment and increase the dosage on your next grow. You may also find that certain potassium-hungry strains of weed can take a lot more than others. It's a case of trial and error, but starting on the low side will help you to avoid those errors.
Bonus Recipe: Banana Peel Root Aid
Rooting hormones can help stimulate root growth, which is particularly useful for cannabis growers who want to clone their plants. It's time to use those banana peels you saved. To create a more well-rounded powder, you can also add a couple of different ingredients (although it's not entirely necessary). Coffee grinds are high in nitrogen, while things like Brazil nuts or almonds are loaded with phosphorus.
Step 1: Dry out banana peels
Collect those banana peels and dry them out. You can add any fresh banana peels that you've since consumed. Place them in direct sunlight, use your oven on the lowest setting, or use a specially designed food dehydrator. Only stop the drying process when the peels are dry and crisp.
Step 2: Grind dried banana peels
Using a coffee grinder, stick blender, food processor, or mortar and pestle - whatever works really - blitz the dried peels into a fine powder. Add a tablespoon of (dried) used coffee grinds and 4 or 5 nuts, preferably Brazil nuts or almonds. Then blitz until combined.
How to Use Banana Peel Root Aid
We suggest using the marijuana banana peel root aid in two different ways. First, sprinkle ½ a teaspoon of the powder into the soil where you're going to set your cutting. Then, take another ½ teaspoon of powder and place it in a cup. Slowly - drop by drop - add water to the cup and stir continuously. You want to create a paste-like consistency.
Dip your cutting into this paste, making sure at least 1cm of the stem is coated in the rooting gel. Then, set your cutting in the soil with the rooting powder.
Should I Make Banana Peel Fertilizer?
You should make banana skin tea if you're looking to save money on commercial fertilizers. It's especially suited to those who aim to grow their ganja organically. It's also a great way to cut down on waste, as you can turn the leftover peels into a powerful rooting aid, saving you further money on expensive commercial products.