Knox Gelatin Fertilizer for Houseplants
Houseplant Food Made With Unflavored Gelatin
Organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizer
Do your houseplants have yellowing, splotchy leaves? Are the seedlings you started indoors an unhealthily shade of pale green?
Chances are they're suffering from a nitrogen deficiency.
A solution of Knox unflavored gelatin and water is a good, inexpensive organic source of nitrogen that's been proven effective in promoting plant growth.
Why Do Houseplants ♥ Knox Gelatine?
As reported by Peter Tonge in The Christian Science Monitor, a two-year study conducted on 49 species of houseplants by Dr. H. W. Scheld of the University of Houston's Department of Biology found Knox gelatin to be an effective fertilizer for home gardeners if applied in diluted form once a month as part of regular watering.
Scheld's study gave Knox gelatin plant food the green thumbs up primarily for three reasons:
- Knox plant food does indeed promote healthy plant growth.
- It's an inexpensive source of nitrogen.
- And it's unlikely to result in excessive nitrogen build-up, which can harm plants.
Extracted from the collagen in the bones, skin and connective tissues of animals, Knox gelatin is an organic substance. Because it's organic, it breaks down more slowly in the soil than the inorganic nitrogen found in synthetic fertilizers. And that means you're less likely to overfeed your houseplants, potentially harming them.
Hold the Knox, Please
Liquid fertilizer made from Knox unflavored gelatin (and other fertilizers that give plants a nitrogen boost) isn't appropriate for fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes.
Because nitrogen promotes growth, tomato plants fed with nitrogen-rich fertilizer are more likely to become tall and leafy rather than fruit filled.
And nitrogen-rich fertilizer applied to plants that are already fruiting may cause the fruits to crack.
How to Make Knox Gelatin Plant Food
Do dissolve the gelatin completely before adding more water.
Don't allow the mixture to pool on the soil surface.
Do add more water if the mixture seems too thick.
Don't use flavored/diet gelatin, which may contain dyes & artificial sweeteners that inhibit plant growth.
Recipe for Knox Plant Food
Here are the directions for making gelatin fertilizer from Knox's website.
The recipe makes one quart of fertilizer suitable for most houseplants. Although Knox's site recommends cold water, if you have difficulty getting the gelatin to dissolve, you may want to soften and dissolve it in hot water, and then add enough cold water to make one quart.
One box makes 32 quarts.
- 1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatin
- 1 quart water, divided
- Measure 1/4 C. water into a quart container.
- Sprinkle 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin over water.
- Allow to soften for 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1 C. water to gelatin mixture.
- Stir until gelatin is dissolved.
- Add additional water to make 1 quart.
- The fertlizer is ready to use. Use it once a month for watering houseplants.
Plus More Water and...
A Little Elbow Grease
Plus MORE Water
Equals Inexpensive Plant Food
More Articles About the Uses of Knox Gelatin
- Gelatin: A Houseplant's Best Friend
Article details the University of Houston study of Knox gelatin as a source of nitrogen for plants.
- Knox Gelatine on Tomato Plants | eHow.com
Should you use Knox fertilizer on tomatoes? The short answer is no.
- Benefits of Knox Gelatin | LIVESTRONG.COM
About the benefits of Knox gelatin as an ingredient in fertilizer, homemade beauty products, shampoo, etc.
- Side Effects of Knox Gelatin | eHow.co.uk
The "side effects" are all positive ones, from improved joint health to better skin--and healthier houseplants.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Can you use gelatin mix for outdoor plants?
Sure, you can apply it to any plant that would profit from a boost of nitrogen. As noted in the article, however, you should avoid giving a dose of nitrogen to some plants, including plants that are fruiting.
© 2013 Jill Spencer