Then you might be thinking of using all those banana peels you end up with as fertilizer for your plants. After all, aren’t bananas supposed to be chock-full of potassium?
But is banana water really good for plants, or is it just all hype? Today’s post aims to investigate this unusual gardening trend.
It can attract insects that are harmful to your plants
Banana water is made by cutting up banana peels and letting them steep in water for at least an hour. After straining the water, it’s then poured on garden plants or houseplants to supposedly act as fertilizer.
However, bananas soaking in water can attract all sorts of pests including houseflies, fruit flies, ants, and others. And introducing these pests to your beloved plants can do more damage than good to them.
But what if you use banana water on flowers and herbs that repel pests such as lavender and mint? It might be an interesting experiment to embark on, but really, who has the time for that?
It doesn’t have sufficient nutrients your plants need
A great urban gardening tip is to introduce raw materials for composting to fertilize your houseplants minus the harmful chemicals. Plus, permaculture and composting are good steps toward sustainability and waste reduction.
However, the process of creating banana water isn’t really considered composting. This means that merely steeping banana peels in water won’t be enough to extract potassium to make a difference in your plants’ health.
Only composting can break down organic materials using fungi and microbes. And only then can the nutrients be released into the soil, roots, and other parts of your plants to absorb.
Bananas can have pesticides
Bear in mind that insecticides and other pest control methods are used by most commercial banana farming industries. Now imagine those ant killers and other chemicals contaminating herbs, fruits, and leafy vegetables you consume from your urban garden.
This means soaking banana peels to be used as fertilizer can introduce harmful chemicals directly to your plants. So while it’s perfectly safe for people to eat bananas because we discard their skin, immersing the peels in water can release these pesticides.
Water isn’t enough to release potassium
As previously mentioned, soaked banana peels won’t release a significant amount of potassium to be considered beneficial for your plants.
Besides, it’s not just potassium that a plant needs but a host of other nutrients not found exclusively in bananas (phosphorous and nitrogen are just some of them). Potassium does contribute to healthy plant growth but only if it’s delivered in sufficient quantities.
So while bananas make for good after-workout snacks to boost your energy and replenish lost nutrients, they won’t really have the same effect on your plants. It would be better to consult professional gardeners or look around certain botanic gardens to research what makes the plants there healthy and thriving, instead.