Banana Water for Plants: What It Is and How To Make It

* Image sources: All images used in this post are from the author.

* This blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission. However, please know this does not impact my reviews, product comparisons, or the price you pay for the product.

Many plant owners claim that banana water is the secret ingredient to thriving and happy plants. Is banana water really good for plants or is it just another green thumb myth?

Banana water acts as a natural fertilizer through nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus and can potentially promote plant growth and resilience to pests and diseases. Though its effect has not been proven scientifically, many plant experts recommend the use of banana water.

I made my own banana water for my plants and will share my experience of the process and results with you in this post!

What Is Banana Water?

A lot of plant aficionados have been talking about using banana water for their green housemates as if it were some magic secret ingredient. But what is that banana water actually made of? It’s not like you can just buy banana-flavored soda in-store and use it on your plants, right?

No, certainly not. The banana water used for plants is sort of a banana peel infusion. More accurately, it should therefore be called banana peel water. By leaving banana peels soaked in water for a couple of weeks, you set off a composting process: The banana peels start to decompose and release a lot of their nutrients into the water as they dissolve into it.

And that’s the whole trick, really! Now, why is banana water supposed to be so good for your houseplants? Let’s dive into the benefits of it right away, keep reading!

Please Note: Bear in mind that banana water is always an addition to regular water as it acts as a natural fertilizer. It is not a complete substitute for regular plant water. But what regular water is best for your houseplants? Check out my post on what water is best for houseplants to find out (including tips to improve your plant water quality)!

What Are the Benefits of Using Banana Water for Your Houseplants?

Banana water does have a lot of benefits to it. Here’s a list of all the pros you should know about:

  • Banana water acts as a natural fertilizer: By adding banana peel water to your plant water, you add a natural fertilizer as all the nutrients contained in the banana water are transferred to the soil your plant grows in.
  • Bananas (and hence, their peels as well) contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, all of which are essential nutrients for plants. Especially potassium and magnesium can boost plant growth and its resilience to pests and diseases.
  • Banana water is an organic and natural fertilizer that is much more eco-friendly than using synthetic, chemical fertilizers.
  • Making banana water comes at almost no cost (except for buying some bananas).
  • Sustainability: Banana water is made out of peels which are usually mainly considered to be a kitchen waste product. By using the peels, you minimize your kitchen waste and reuse what would otherwise just be thrown away.
  • Get baking: If you love to eat bananas anyway, making banana water gives a good excuse to bake all of these banana bread and banana pancakes you’ve always wanted to bake!

Reading Recommendation: So, plants need potassium and magnesium. But what other key nutrients and factors are there for plants to grow well? Click through to my post about what plants need and find out!

What Are the Downsides of Banana Water?

There are not only benefits to using banana water for plants. Here’s what I think are its downsides:

  • The smell can be quite strong as well as the dark color can be a bit offputting. On the other hand, that’s just normal with any organic fertilizer, they often come with a certain smell and brown color.
  • Banana water takes a long time to prepare (you need to let it sit for 2-4 weeks)
  • It takes space in the kitchen (the banana peels need to be submerged in water for 2-4 weeks in a big bowl of water, in a bottle, or in a container)
  • It is not a complete fertilizer: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium do not make up a complete plant’s diet. Over the long run, you will have to use some other fertilizer to compensate.
  • The effect of banana water has not been scientifically proven (but either has it been proven wrong! Many plant owners trust the fertilizing effects of banana water).
  • If you don’t like to eat bananas, this method won’t be for you!

Do you feel like banana water is not for you after reading these downsides? Then I recommend using a standard organic fertilizer instead. The Houseplant Superfood Fertilizer from Joyful Dirt (see Amazon) makes for a good all-rounder fertilizer for all of your houseplants. It has been specifically made for indoor plants and comes at a fair price.

How to Make Banana Water in 6 Steps (With Helpful Tips)

Last but not least, I’m going to share my banana water experiment with you and how you can prepare banana water in a few simple steps. Let’s get started!

Let 2-3 Bananas Ripen Until Their Peel is Dark

Peel the bananas when they have turned almost black. (Image source: author photo)

When making banana water, you are setting off a composting process. To speed up that process, it is best to let the bananas ripen first before peeling them. Wait until they are pretty dark and a little mushy.

Tip: Please, make sure to buy organic fairtrade bananas! You wouldn’t want any of these chemical pesticides of regular banana peels dissolve into your banana water!

Don’t know what to do with all the overripe bananas? This is the perfect occasion to bake a banana bread or make delicious banana pancakes! These recipes usually need about 2-3 bananas all at once.

Submerge the Banana Peels in Water

Pour water into the container and make sure the banana peels are completely submerged. (Image source: author photo)

The next step is to submerge your banana peels in a container full of water. This can be a bowl, a bottle, or any other water-proof container.

Tip: I recommend using a container with a lid. In my experiment, I first chose an open bowl and with time, it does smell a bit bad, to be honest…

If you want, you can cut the peels into smaller pieces or else you just dump the whole peel into the container and fill it up with water.

Let the Banana Peel Water Sit For 2-4 Weeks

During the composting process, the peels turn totally black and the water darker and darker. (Image source: author photo)

The composting process takes some time. It is best to let your banana peel infusion sit for about 2-4 weeks.

Some articles I’ve read suggest to boil the banana peels in water to speed the process up. Though boiling the banana peels might release a lot of nutrients at once into the water, it also destroys the oxygen in the water. Providing your plants with oxygen-rich water is just as important which is why I do not recommend boiling the water. Just be patient and let it sit!

Tip: If you use a container with a closed lid, do open it from time to time to avoid gas build-up. Also, check on your peels regularly to make sure they stay completely covered in water.

How do you know if it has been sitting long enough? You know the water is ready once it starts turning darker and darker. The murkier, the better. It can eventually become almost black but I doubt that anyone really has the patience to wait for that long.

I usually waited for about 2 weeks until I used the banana water. At that point, it had already changed color significantly (as you will see in the image of the last step).

Strain the Banana Water Through a Sieve

Remove all chunks of banana peel from the banana water. (Image source: author photo)

When the banana water has been sitting for at least two weeks and has changed color, you can strain it through a sieve into another container that you can store in the fridge.

Make sure to remove all bigger chunks of banana peel. It is normal though that the water remains murky and has tiny pieces of organic material from the bananas floating around.

Store Your Banana Water In the Fridge For Up to 1 Week

Banana water ready to use. (Image source: author photo)

Your banana water is now ready! You can use it right away or you can store it in the fridge for up to about one week.

Tip: If stored in the fridge, make sure you let the banana water adjust to room temperature before using it on your plants. Plant water should always be at room temperature. Didn’t know that? Here are more tips for your watering routine in my complete guide about how to water your houseplants!

Let’s get your plants fertilized!

Dilute Your Banana Water: Mix 2/3 Banana Water With 1/3 Regular Water

Dilute your banana water with regular water. (Image source: author photo)

I suggest diluting the banana water 2/3 to 1/3 with regular water. You probably haven’t produced several liters of it and by diluting it, you make sure that all of your plants get some. Also, use it only once per week or even bi-weekly – in the same intervals as you would use standard fertilizer.

Short Wrap-Up of My Banana Water Experiment

I used banana water as an addition to my plant water for about three months instead of standard fertilizer. My plants have not shown an incredible increase in growth or foliage but nor did they show any signs of lack of nutrients or other signs of ill-being. Hence, banana water seems to do its job as a natural fertilizer.

Of course, my experiment only lasted a couple of months. To really assess its performance, one would have to keep using banana water for probably about half a year or longer. Still, I found three months to be a good amount of time for a first assessment.

On the other hand, I found it quite an endearing process to produce banana water, having this big bowl or container of rotting banana peels in your kitchen all the time is not the most pleasant and takes away quite some space as well.

Tip: As a natural fertilizer, I personally prefer to use other ingredients, there are plenty of them! From tea or coffee to cooking water from pasta or potatoes, you can choose what natural fertilizer you want to use. Intrigued? I summed up the pros and cons of the most commonly used naturally fertilizing ingredients for plant water in my post linked here! Check it out!

Related Questions

What Are The Benefits of Houseplants?

Houseplants do not only look good and add greenery to your living space, but they also have many scientifically proven benefits to our health. Check out my post covering all the benefits your green fellows have for you!

What Counts as Direct or Indirect Light?

Each plant species has evolved with specific light requirements. In nature, plants grow well where their requirements are met. In your home, it is on you as the plant parent to meet their light requirements.

To help you place your plants in suitable spots in your home, I gathered plenty of helpful tips in my post on how to correctly judge the requirement labels on plants, knowing what is direct and indirect light, and how to figure out what spots get how much light.

Recent Posts