Are eggshells good for plants? You bet your Aglaonema they are. Although nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium make up plants’ primary nutrient needs, calcium is high up on the list of requirements for thriving vegetation, especially in the case of building strong cell walls (throwback to high school biology class). Coincidentally, eggshells are one of the most bioavailable sources of calcium. Being a better plant parent and reducing waste in your home sounds like a win-win, no?
How to make eggshell fertilizer for houseplants
Making eggshell fertilizer isn’t quite as simple as tossing a few eggshells into your beloved Monstera’s pot and calling it a day. Calcium has to be in a readily available, ideal state for absorption in order for your houseplants’ roots to soak it up. So simply crushing a few eggshells with your hands won’t do the trick, either: instead, you’ll need to take the time to clean, dry, and grind the eggshells into powder. It doesn’t take much effort – and all you need is a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder – but your plant babies will thank you.
Clean the eggshells
Okay, so step one is technically to fix yourself some soft-scrambled eggs on toast or a frittata loaded with veggies. After all, you have to eat a few eggs to get to the shells. Once you have a dozen or more eggshells saved up (you can store them in a bag in your fridge throughout the week), it’s time to wash them. Use warm water and your fingers to rinse each eggshell inside and out, ensuring that there is absolutely zero egg white or egg yolk residue left. No need for soap. Give ‘em a sniff and make sure there’s no odor, then lay them out on a kitchen towel overnight or until completely dry.
Grind the eggshells
Once your eggshells are dry, it’s time to grind. Place them in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder and pulse or grind until the eggshells are the consistency of a gritty, somewhat coarse powder. It doesn’t have to be super fine or uniform; aim for the texture of coarse coffee grounds. Transfer to a reusable container or lidded Mason jar.
Add the ground eggshells to soil
To fertilize an already established and potted houseplant, mix a few pinches to a couple tablespoons (depending on the size of your plant) of eggshell powder into the soil at the top of the pot. Do this right before you make the weekly water rounds, as this will promote absorption of the fertilizer. Since you rinsed the shell thoroughly before grinding, any nuisances like odors or pests shouldn’t be a problem. Just don’t fertilize with your eggshell powder too often; once a year or every few months is plenty for most houseplants.
What happens if you overfertilize the plants with the eggshell powder? Do different plants have different fertilizer needs?
Hi Caroline! Too much calcium can lead to white, chalk-like deposits on your houseplants' leaves and pot. If you use terra cotta, you may see a white residue begin to build up on the outside surface. Worst case scenario, an excess of calcium will make your soil too acidic for the plant to survive in. As far as different plants go, vegetables and some fruits are the types of plants that thrive with an extra helping of calcium, whereas most houseplants will be just fine with some calcium fertilizer once or twice a year.
Do you feed your hens/birds with Soy and or corn to ensure they are eating enough?
Hey Justin! You're right on the money: our hens are pasture-raised, so they get most of their nutrients from plants and insects that they find out in the grass. We make sure they’re getting the right amount of nutrients by providing a supplemental feed that includes soybeans, corn, and plenty of greens. Feel free to reach out with any follow-up questions.
Even though the Consider Pastures eggs aren't available to me (yet), I was interested in all the associated history, terms, and uses. I love the writer(s) humor and was especially impressed with the boiled egg tutorial and science lesson. I have to admit, I was the one overcooking the eggs. I read a comment that someone got the eggs in Oregon. Well heck, that's almost Washington (State). Now if we can get the truck to drive North on I-5 a bit further, I'll see them in my favorite stores. Oh to dream.........In the meantime my mantra will be "12 mins, 12 mins, 12 mins".
Hi there Scott, We're glad to hear that you found our articles useful. We're happy to provide resources to educate people further on our mission, quality eggs, and regenerative agriculture! I will be sure to let the writer know you enjoy her humor :). I'm guessing that you have already checked our "Where to Buy" page to see if our eggs are available where you are? Please feel free to print and fill out the product request form, maybe we could get our eggs into your local store!
Are the soybeans and corn you use for supplemental feed non gmo? Are they organic?
Hi Dee, Our feed isn’t certified organic, which means that it also can’t be guaranteed to be GMO-free. Organic certification isn’t something that we’re actively pursuing, but it’s something we remain open to considering in the future. We look forward to answering any follow-up questions you might have.
If the end of my leave turn brown, how does ground cinnamon work to prevent that from happening again?
Hi there Daniel, We have found that sprinkling some ground cinnamon on your soil before planting can help prevent "rusting" of plants. This seems to apply more towards gardens though, rather than houseplants. You might need to find a different method for houseplants.