The banana peel is one of the most discarded items in the kitchen. It’s typically tossed into the compost heap or trash can without a second thought.

Can you use banana peels in your garden? Yes, banana peels are great for your garden.

If your children leave half-eaten banana lying around the house, this article is for you! These banana peel hacks are good for your garden and will keep those pesky peels from ending up in your sofa cushions. 

What is it about banana peel that makes it so beneficial? 

Banana peels contain the following nutrients: 

  • Calcium, which promotes root growth and helps add oxygen to your soil
  • Magnesium, which aids in photosynthesis
  • Sulfur helps plants develop strong roots and repel pests
  • Phosphorus promotes fruiting and flowering and pollination, seed germination, and viability. 
  • Potassium improves plant vigor, including resistance to pests and diseases, and aids in fruit development.

Banana peels, in general, are high in nutrients that your indoor plants and garden will appreciate. 

Ways to use banana peels in your garden

many yellow banana peels just Peel to store organic waste

Put them in the compost 

Yes, I realize this appears to be self-evident! However, when you consider some of the strange and wonderful things the internet claims you can do with your peels, this is by far the most effective way to use them.

Without the right conditions, banana peels can take a long time to break down, trapping nutrients in the peel and making them unavailable to your plants. 

You could easily throw them into the compost pile, but cutting them up first allows them to decompose faster. To keep the compost healthy, it must be turned and well aerated. The nutrients will be easily spread if you have small pieces of banana peel throughout your compost. 

Banana peels are high in potassium and calcium, which are beneficial to fruiting and flowering plants. Using high compost in these nutrients will help your plants grow stronger while producing beautiful fruits and flowers. 

If you ask your children to throw their banana peels into the compost bin in your kitchen, your compost will be lighter and moister, making it an ideal companion for your tomatoes, peppers, and roses. 

Pro-Tip: Cutting up the peels has another advantage: keeping critters away. Skunks and raccoons may burrow through your compost heap for whole bananas and their peels. 

Toss them in your worm farm 

You don’t yet have a worm farm? Perhaps it’s time to look into it.

Vermicomposting is a fun project to do with your kids, and the vermicast, or worm poop, has incredible benefits for your plants.

There are a few things you should know before starting a worm farm, but it is fairly simple and can be done from the comfort of your own home. We live in such a beautiful world that you can even order your worms online! 

Banana peels are a nutrient-dense option for your wriggly pals, and they enjoy them just as much as we do. But, on the other hand, Worms enjoy rotting things, as we all know. So, cut your banana peels into small pieces to ensure that they rot quickly! 

I know it sounds disgusting, but with the lid on the tub, you only have to see your worms once a week to feed them. Then, you can make “worm wee” tea. Next, fill a spray bottle with the highly nutritious (for plants!) mixture and let your kids loose in the garden. 

Pro-Tip: Freeze old banana peels first to kill fruit fly eggs, and then add some shredded paper to your worm farm after the banana peels to keep new flies out. 

Use them in an insect trap

A fly trap is a good idea to get rid of those pesky insects.

Fill a plastic bottle halfway with banana peels and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Then you have two options from here.

Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes in it. Alternatively, you can make a cone out of paper with a small hole at the tip. Insert the cone into the bottle and secure it with tape on all four sides. Make sure the paper does not contact the alluring bug juice below.

Fruit flies are attracted to the sickly sweet smell of the banana peel as the acid ferments it, and they will swarm the bottle. But, of course, they’ll meet a sticky end if they’re trapped inside!

Pro-Tip: Hang your trap outside in a tree to keep pesky flies away from your home.

Use them to attract butterflies and bees.

A healthy garden attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. They aid in pollinating your plants and keep the pesky bugs at bay. Keep any half-eaten apples or squashed bananas that your children have discarded the next time you find them.

You can put them on a plate and put them outside, or you can use a simple bird feeder in a tree. There’s something really special about watching beneficial bugs eat your children’s leftovers.

Pro-Tip: Place a bowl of water with your fruit so the insects can drink after their snack. 

Grind the banana peels into a fertilizer.

Banana peels can be dried and ground into fertilizer. This is a great option if you only have a few peels to use up but want to use them on various plants.

Peels can be dried whole or cut into strips (1/8′′ – 1/4′′) and placed on a cookie sheet, so they don’t touch. Dry them at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the oven door open 1-2 inches, until completely dry. 

Grind them in a coffee or spice grinder when the peels are dry. Then, add directly to your garden soil, either as a side dressing or by gently incorporating into the soil, taking care to avoid your plants’ roots. 

Feed your plants banana vinegar 

Gardenias, blueberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas benefit from a quick foliar application of banana vinegar. Start by fermenting leftover banana peels according to this instruction.

To avoid burning the plants, dilute the concoction with an equal amount of water if it has a strong vinegar smell.

Establish air plants with a banana peel 

When setting decorative air plants, put a banana peel at the bottom. Cover it with mulch or moss and put the entire plant on it. The peels will decompose and act as compost, releasing many nutrients that will benefit the plants for a long time.

Making banana peel fertilizer

It produces magical results when you serve this simple fertilizer to your plants. It is extremely easy to make a batch of banana peel fertilizer.

Equipment:

  • Mason jar lid
  • One-quart mason jar
  • Banana peels
  • Distilled water

Instructions:

  1. Fill a clean jar with a banana peel.
  2. Put the lid on the jar and fill it with water.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for a week to two weeks before removing and discarding the banana peel.
  4. Dilute the finished fertilizer 1:4 with water.
  5. Enjoy happier plants and increased yields.

3 things to avoid when using banana peels in your garden 

1. Banana peel tea

If you’ve learned anything so far, it’s that the calcium, potassium, and other beneficial nutrients in a banana peel are only available once it’s completely broken down.

It will not decompose in water but will instead turn into a slimy, sludgy mess that you will end up tossing in the compost.

The “tea” will not affect your outdoor plants and may even harm your indoor plants. Not to mention that rotting banana peel water will be alluring to fruit flies… 

2. Burying whole banana peels near the roots of your plants

Digging around the roots of your developed plants to place a few banana peels may cause them to die. But, as I discovered, many plants dislike having their roots disturbed. 

They may also deprive your plants of required nitrogen because it is used to break down the peel, leaving less nitrogen for your plants. 

3. Filling your planting hole with whole banana peels

I can see why this would appear to be a good idea. Giving your new plant a solid foundation of nutrients will aid in its establishment. 

Except that whole banana peels decompose slowly, especially when buried underground and they leave air pockets around your plants, causing them to sink. 

Plants only soak up the nutrients they require, so unless your soil is extremely poor, burying a soggy banana peel with its roots will not benefit your plants. 

Rather than burying banana peels, use compost containing banana peels and conduct a soil test. 

The problem with banana peels

Contrary to popular belief, banana peels are not unique or rare enough to warrant separate treatment from other kitchen scraps. 

Many fruits and vegetables have just as much potassium as bananas (per gram), even as a potassium source. One example is avocados. 

Bananas are not magical fertilizers

Soaking banana peels in water to make ‘banana tea’ won’t do anything for your garden. There’s also no evidence that tossing banana peels into planting holes helps plants grow. 

In fact, it might be a problem. First, most of the peel will create an air pocket around the plant roots, which you do not want. 

Banana peels decompose slowly

From there, banana peels decompose slowly, so even if the nutrients were beneficial, they would not be available anytime soon. 

Finally, just because potassium is a macronutrient for plants does not mean that more is better! 

Plants are unable to overeat.

Plants do not take up nutrients simply because they are available; they do so when there is a need, and they are capable of doing so. 

Therefore a soil test from an accredited laboratory can be beneficial: it will tell you exactly what your garden soil needs. 

That is why it is wise to feed a known need rather than simply tossing things into the garden and hoping for the best. 

Bottom line, always compost your fruit and vegetable scraps: it is much better for the environment than dumping them in a landfill. 

However, despite the hype, banana peels are nothing special and will not improve the taste of your tomatoes or anything else. 

Bonus: how to dry banana peels

dried banana peels on wood table.

Peels can be dried whole or cut into strips (1/8′′ – 1/4′′) and placed on a cookie sheet, so they don’t touch. Dry them at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the oven door open 1-2 inches, until completely dry. 

So there you have it, the good, the bad, and the gardening use of banana peels. 

The internet is a modern marvel in terms of instant information. But that doesn’t mean everything is correct. 

Like many other kitchen scraps, banana peels are an excellent addition to the garden…..as compost!

 If you’re determined to make banana peel tea, then go ahead and do it. It will not cause any harm and may even be entertaining for the children. 

But don’t forget to compost the peels afterward because that’s where they belong. 

Faqs 

Which plants are benefited from banana peels? 

Ivy plants, like most houseplants, love banana peels. They also thrive when combined with flowering plants or plants that bear fruit, such as berries and tomatoes. Tomato plants, in particular, love banana peels and everything they have to offer. 

Will banana peels benefit my plants?

Yes! Dust the leaves of your houseplants with banana peels. Run the peel along with the foliage. Adding banana peel fertilizers to your soil will also provide your plants with much-needed protein and potassium. 

Are banana peels effective at repelling garden pests?

They do, and I have more amazing news! To repel aphids, mix finely chopped banana peels into the soil. Remember to chop the peels finely, or you’ll have a rodent problem. 

Are banana peels safe to use on potted plants?

Yes. Banana peels infused into the soil (or served as banana peel tea, recipe below) can help your houseplants stay nourished. However, because the peels are low in nitrogen, you will need to supplement with nitrogen-rich plant food. 

Please keep in mind that because houseplants have different care requirements, you should check the plant’s specific needs you want to feed before adding peels.