Mazlan acquired his love of gardening at a young age, and it has been his passion for over 55 years.
Organic Liquid Fertilizer
This homemade organic fertilizer recipe is simple and easy to do. It uses only two ingredients: overripe banana and brown sugar. That's all to kick-start the fermentation process.
Banana and banana peels are rich in nutrients, and they are some of the same nutrients that plants need in order to grow vigorously. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and a handful of other micronutrients that are present in bananas and its peels will help roses and other flowering plants to produce bigger, beautiful blooms.
Fermented banana juice fertilizer has a pleasant smell and surprisingly does not attract ants, flies, or other bugs when you apply it to your plants.
Is Liquid Fertilizer Better Than Granular?
Liquid fertilizers are more effective than granular fertilizers, as they work almost immediately. They are easier to handle and consistently uniform when blended. Granular fertilizers tend to be "hot" and may burn plant roots. The only advantage of granular fertilizers are the "slow-release" option in some of the brands.
So, if your plant is under-nourished and looks tired, use liquid fertilizer instead. Better still, use this organic overripe banana fertilizer instead!
Materials You'll Need
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 kg overripe bananas
- 1 kg brown sugar
Tip: I usually do this in small batches, as homemade liquid fertilizers can be biologically active and can turn bad if stored over a longer period of time. So, the 1 kg is just right. Don't do more than this unless you have lots of plants.
Where Can You Buy Overripe Bananas?
Go to any wet market or Asian market and they will be happy to sell you these bananas. You will often get a discount, as the overripe banana will start to ferment and be thrown away anyway.
You can use any type of bananas, however, whether ripe or overripe. It will work just fine. I prefer the very overripe bananas, as the fermenting process will start faster. But avoid the very soft overripe banana that has the alcohol-like smell inside.
Which Brown Sugar Should You Use?
As for the brown sugar, I prefer to use the dark brown sugar that has more molasses. It will have more iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These are all good for the plants, as well as for the microorganisms in the soil medium.
How to Prepare this Homemade Fertilizer
Together with the skin, slice the bananas into small pieces (in circles). Place these cut bananas into a bowl.
Then sprinkle the brown sugar over the cut bananas. Mix them well.
Next, put the mixture into any container. I prefer my empty biscuit box, which is already airtight. If you use other container types such as ceramic pots, cover the top with a cloth. Tie tightly to prevent ants or flies from entering. Then put the lid on and leave at room temperature for two weeks.
The mixture, with the help of the good bacteria, will unlock the nutrients in the banana, banana peels, and the brown sugar.
For my biscuit box, I put a piece of paper towel in as well for added air-tightness!
Fermenting the Homemade Organic Fertilizer
I keep this container in a storeroom and let the mixture ferment in peace. Otherwise, someone will open the box to look for biscuits!
After a week, you can start to use it, but note that it will be in a less liquid form. So it is better to leave it for another week to ferment before using this homemade liquid fertilizer.
How to Use the Fertilizer
Dilute this banana/brown sugar mixture at a ratio of 10 ml of fertilizer to every 1 liter of water.
You can either apply directly to the soil or do foliar spray. For foliar applications, the nutrients will be absorbed through the leaves and are immediately available for the plant to use, unlike for ground applications (which take longer).
But you need to feed your rose plants and other flowering plants regularly. So, apply twice a week to give them a boost of these nutrients.
Foliar Feeding Is Better
Research at Michigan State University showed that foliage feeding is 30 times more effective when fertilizing a plant. The best time to foliar feed is between 7 am and 10 am. If you prefer evening, then spray after 5 pm. These are the times when the plant’s stomata, i.e. the small openings on the leaves, are open.
But if you live in the tropics where the temperature is always above 25°C, then foliar feed at night. This is when the temperature is cooler, as the best temperature for foliar feed is around 21ºC. If the weather is very hot and dry, the night temperature may not be that low. Then skip that day and wait for other days when the weather is cooler.
Mix this homemade organic fertilizer thoroughly and use a sprayer that gives the finest mist, as studies show that it is the most effective. If you do foliar feeding correctly, you will see visual results by the third day.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can I use this homemade fertilizer on any plant?
Answer: Yes, you can use this homemade fertilizer on any plant.
Question: I have a little small bit of mold, I guess from a teaspoon of water that got inside. Is some mold okay in an organic fertilizer?
Answer: No, it is not okay and it is best to remove this mold as soon as possible as it will disrupt the fermentation process.
Question: Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar to make organic fertilizer from bananas?
Answer: You want to extract the nutrients from all the ingredients into the mix. Brown sugar has more molasses and hence, more iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Normal white sugar lacks these 'nutrients' so it is better to use brown sugar.
Question: Will the liquid in this organic banana fertilizer continue to break down further even after the solid waste are separated from the liquid?
Answer: If all the solid parts of the banana are removed, it will not continue to ferment. But in most likely cases, there might be some very small banana portion, and being organic in nature, this portion will continue to ferment.
Question: What is the ingredient to make liquid fertilizer fermentation faster?
Answer: Storing it in a relatively high-temperature area can increase the rate and progress of composting. Whether you get a good liquid fertilizer from this quick fermentation method is, however, questionable.
Question: Can I use this fermented banana fertilizer daily for grapevines?
Answer: Yes, you can since fermented banana fertilizer is organic in nature and will not burn your plant.
© 2017 Mazlan
Aomilade Paul on July 25, 2020:
Can plantain be used for the production of organic fertilizer instead of banana
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on July 19, 2020:
Yes, it should be OK to add to your compost tea.
James Robert Dill III on July 16, 2020:
I put bananas in a bucket of water last year to break down it smells good just like its fermented and looks great is it safe to add to my compost tea
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 08, 2020:
Hi Chi. Yes, you can apply the water that was soaked in banana peels directly to the plants.
chi on June 07, 2020:
can i use directly to my plants the coming from the banana peals soked in water ?
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on April 10, 2020:
From banana stem? That's interesting and something that I will need to explore and experiment with. I know some people use part of the banana stem (the inside part) as food.
rebecc on April 09, 2020:
thanks .how about making fertilzer from the banana stem
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on May 15, 2019:
Thank you Amisa for the compliment and for dropping by. Come back soon for other new articles.
Amisa SG on May 15, 2019:
Great thanks to your sharing, that's very useful. Waiting for your next articles
Seshnaa on April 14, 2019:
Hi.. Can we use these banana fertilizer to other flowers or only for roses? Thank you...
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on February 01, 2019:
Hi Vijay. I have not tried it undiluted. It can be a bit strong for the plant so I suggest you don't.
Vijay on February 01, 2019:
Can we use it without diluting
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on August 06, 2018:
I have not mixed them up or applied them together or on the same day. It might be OK since they are both natural and organic but in some cases, it might 'react' and may not give the desired result. I guess it is better to apply them on different weeks.
I have kept them for a month as I don't prepare large batches and I don't refrigerate them and it was OK.
Hope this answer your question.
Thanks for dropping by and let us know of the outcome. Cheers
Sathya on August 05, 2018:
Hi, can we use the organic fertilizer (granular type) & this banana juice fertilizer, applied on same day ? Also, how long can we keep the juice & does it need to be refrigerated ? Tqvm.
Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on July 15, 2018:
Dear Love roses. That was my initial fear when I started on this fertilizer but thank God I did not have this problem. I think the fermentation process has converted the sugarly content into another form that do not attract ants.
Love roses on July 15, 2018:
Will the banana juice fertiliser attract ants to the plants that hv been applied with it? I have a lot of ants wondering in my garden even before application.