Gardening Hacks Found in the Kitchen

What do cinnamon, coffee grounds, and eggshells have in common? They are all used as natural solutions to common garden and houseplant problems!

No matter how much sunlight, water, and love we give our plants, they’re always prone to fungal diseases and pests. Black spot, rust, and powdery mildew are just a few common fungal infections that can leave plants weak and wilted. When our plants are vulnerable, they become a pest’s playground. Common pests like aphids, spider mites, and cabbage worms wreak havoc on gardens and houseplants, feasting on foliage and potentially harming neighboring plants.

Purchasing pest control and fungicide is of course one option, but you might need to control the issue sooner rather than later. Not to mention, many opt for more cost-efficient, organic fungicides when tending to our sick plants. If your plant is riddled with mites or fungus, you can remedy the issue with items found in your very own kitchen. Check out these hacks!

How to Use Cinnamon as a Fungicide

Cinnamon powder is traditionally used in cooking and baking, but can work wonders in the garden, too! This spice has antifungal properties, and when sprinkled onto seedlings, does an amazing job of preventing “damping off”–the term used to describe most fungal infections, which thrive in dark, cool, moist conditions and often afflict seedlings.

Cinnamon can also be used as a root hormone, meaning it can help your plant cutting establish more healthy roots for planting. When using cinnamon this way, simply apply it to the root of the cutting before planting.

While you can sprinkle cinnamon directly onto the diseased plant, you can also create your own cinnamon water concoction. For this hack you will need an empty spray bottle, water, and of course, cinnamon. Simply steep some cinnamon in warm water overnight. The next day, strain the cinnamon water and pour the remaining liquid into your spray bottle. You can save the strained cinnamon and sprinkle that over infected soil. To use your new homemade pest control, simply spray the diseased plant’s leaves or any infected area.


Bonus: cinnamon also works to deter bugs like ants as they don’t like the smell or fine powder texture!


How to Use Coffee Grounds to Encourage Growth

Before dumping those old coffee grounds in the trash, or in a compost bin, consider adding them to your soil! We tend to think of coffee as acidic, and so the idea of adding this organic matter to our soil seems like it could throw off the pH balance. Truth is, the coffee we drink is acidic, but the used grounds are not! Adding coffee grounds not only serves to stimulate the growth of important microorganisms, but also helps your plant retain water and even encourages earthworms to visit your soil. Earthworms improve soil aeration and even help with drainage!

If you’re looking to give coffee grounds a chance, you can add them directly onto the top of the soil, or incorporate them into the soil. Some suggest adding a nitrogen fertilizer, as coffee grounds cannot supply the nitrogen that the aforementioned important microorganisms need to survive.


Bonus: coffee grounds also prevent mushroom growth!


How to Use Crushed Eggshells in the Garden

Eggshells make for a fantastic source of calcium carbonate, a mineral your soil needs to stay happy and healthy! So, how do you add eggshells to your garden?

Start by collecting them over time. You will want a good amount of them. After making your morning omelette, don’t toss out the shell! Rinse it with water and leave it to dry. After it’s dried, store it in a covered bowl or jar. Once you’ve filled that container, it’s time to crush up those shells. You can do this manually with a large kitchen spoon, or add them to a food processor or blender. After this, take your egg shell bits and sprinkle them onto your soil!


Bonus: Mix your crushed eggshells with your used coffee grounds for even more nutrients!


Your garden tool box just got a little bigger! We understand that you want the best for your plants. There’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite peperomia sporting tiny webs or black spots (speaking from experience). We hope these gardening tips and hacks help your plants thrive or even rid them of annoying fungi and relentless pests.

Tried one of these hacks or know of other helpful gardening hacks? Let us know in the comments below!