Macro nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are housed in eggshells. But, are they readily available for plant to uptake?
Gardening experts say eggshells must be decomposed for months to be used as fertilizer for plants.
Are eggshells good for snake plant?
Leftover eggshells have 1.19 percent of nitrogen, 0.38 percent of phosphorus and 0.14 of potassium. These nutrients can benefit your growing soil only when you use it in a proper way.
Adding big chunks of eggshells to snake plant will attract flies and results in bad odour. Instead, add pulverized eggshell to compost bin.
After decomposition, nutrients in this kitchen leftover can enrich your snake plant.
But, you must know how often your snake plant needs to be fertilized?
Snake plant often grown indoors doesn’t require much fertilizer. One dose in a month will do the work.
You grow indoor plants for beautifying your space and to purify air. Who likes to add foul smelling eggshells to their plants?
So, should you not use eggshells for snake plants? Is there any benefit by using eggshells for snake plant?
All your queries will be answered later in this article.
Why you shouldn’t use eggshells for snake plant?
Benefits of eggshells for garden are surrounded by two groups. One claim it is just a myth and eggshells can’t decompose and they have no serious impact on growing soil.
Other bloggers claim that adding powdered eggshells will slowly release nutrients to the soil, which will enrich the plant growing medium with calcium.
Don’t get confused we will crack this out now.
Eggshell has 90 percent of calcium carbonate, which can help your plant get rid of calcium deficiency. But, calcium carbonate can’t be dissolved in water or alkaline. It is soluble in acidic solutions.
Apart from this, eggshell has other nutrients like iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and organic matter.
With this nutritional profile anyone will confirm the use of this home available ingredient for garden. But, they must be decomposed to be used by plant.
This site claims that eggshells pieces can’t be decomposed even in 2 years. Further it states that adding eggshells pieces to compost pile is of no use and it can’t improve soil pH.
Anyway, Masterclass.com states that calcium in eggshells can be used by plant over the period of time. They release nutrients slowly over the time.
What’s my take?
Adding eggshells will not enrich the soil instantly. Eggshells improve aeration and organic matter in the white membrane of eggshell will add at-least adds trace elements to the soil.
If you’re relying on eggshells to fertilize your snake plant, then don’t use it.
I recommend using powdered or pulverized eggshells to compost bin. Apart from adding little nutrients to soil, it will reduce environmental wastage.
Also Read: Why you shouldn’t use coffee grounds for snake plant?
Are Eggshells Good for Snake Plant?
Yes, they are good to use pulverized eggshells to snake plant. However, this kitchen leftover won’t give an instant nutritional boost to your plant.
Also, you should soil test before using eggshells.
Calcium carbonate in eggshells can increase soil pH and make it more alkaline (1). Where-as your snake plant prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil to thrive.
Remember this: You should not replace your balanced liquid or granular fertilizer with eggshells.
As mentioned, eggshells are rich in calcium and other nutrients that aren’t readily available for the plant to use. Decomposition takes months to years to break eggshell pieces.
Without proper use your snake plant can’t benefit from eggshells.
How to Use Eggshells for Snake Plant?
It is clear that you should use only powdered eggshells to fertilize your plants.
Eggshells are left with Salmonella bacteria, if not removed can destroy your plant and attract infestation.
- Take 10 eggshells and wash them under sink to remove leftover egg white.
- Dry washed eggshells under sun for 2-3 days.
- Drying under sunlight will remove infestation bacteria.
- After couple of days, grind eggshells into fine powder.
You can use the obtained powder to enrich your soil.
Add to Compost Pile
My first choice is to add powdered eggshells to compost bin. As nutrients in eggshell are slowly released, composting will allow them to be readily available to plants.
Remember this: Excess use of eggshell powder isn’t recommended. Use not more than 5 percent of total compost volume.
When ready, you can fertilize your snake plant with compost. This will ensure the plant gets balanced nutrients to thrive.
Add to the soil
If you don’t have compost bin, then you directly spread eggshell powder to the base of snake plant.
As mentioned, it slowly releases its nutrients to the growing soil.
Test your soil before adding eggshell powder, this will allow to know calcium percent in the soil.
Do eggshells affect soil pH?
Many gardeners claim that adding eggshells will improve your pH and make it alkaline.
The fact is adding calcium carbonate increases pH and help to reduce acidic soil, but after pH reaches 6.8 it will have no impact on the soil pH.
Soil test will help to gauge the impact of adding eggshells to the soil.
Eggshells Gardening Myths
More than facts myths are surrounding eggshell benefits.
- Use of eggshells can’t stop snails. Instead, if you use eggshells without washing, it may attract pests.
- Half eggshell can be used to germinate seeds. This is a myth. It is not a good idea. As mentioned, eggshell won’t be decomposed and you have to break it before planting the seedling in the soil.
- Eggshell will avoid blossom end rot. It’s a myth. Though packed with calcium, adding eggshell won’t instantly improve calcium percentage of your soil. Thus, your plant health may deter further.
You might have read about using vinegar to fasten the decomposition of eggshells. But, acetic acid of vinegar may damage your plant tissues and your snake plant can eventually die.
How Important is to fertilize Snake Plant?
You’re wrong if you’re assuming fertilizer as plant food. Without enough sunlight and water, plant won’t grow.
However, with less fertilizer application plant can grow.
But, fertilizers boost the plant growth, particularly indoor plants, because they don’t get organic matter like plants in the garden.
Use fertilizer with NPK value of 10:15:10. This will ensure the snake plant gets good root growth and grow attractive foliage.
Fertilize snake plant once in a month.
Also Read: How revive underwatered snake plant?
You can use eggshells for snake plants after washing, drying and grinding them.
However, eggshells powdered added to plants won’t show instant results.
Eggshell needs to be decomposed and it is a slow releasing fertilizer.
Adding eggshell powder may not show big impact on snake plant growth, but it will surely add some nutrients to the growing medium.
Instead, you can also add pulverized eggshells to compost bin. And you can use the compost to fertilize your snake plant.