Your Orchid Needs You To Eat Some Eggs, Here’s Why

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Your Orchid Needs You To Eat Some Eggs, Here's Why

Your Orchid Needs You To Eat Some Eggs, Here’s Why

Mariia Boiko/Shutterstock

If you’re someone who enjoys eggs for breakfast, you may want to share the wealth with your orchid plant. Eggs not only contain valuable nutrients for your body, but their shells can promote healthy orchid growth, as they are an excellent source of calcium, which is a vital nutrient for orchids and many other plants. Calcium plays a crucial role in cell structure and division, as well as in strengthening cell walls. For orchids, strong cell walls are essential for the development of sturdy leaves, stems, and roots. So, while you savor the delights of your morning eggs, we’ll show you how you can turn the discarded shells into an eco-friendly and cost-effective fertilizer that will help your orchids thrive.

Ready to prepare your homemade eggshell one-ingredient orchid fertilizer? All you need are some eggshells, a mortar and pestle, or a blender. But first, make sure you remove any remnants of egg whites or yolks in the eggshells and leave them to dry completely. Alternatively, you can bake them for about 20 minutes before making the fertilizer. Dehydrating the eggshells before use will prevent them from developing a foul smell in your garden.

Make your own eggshell orchid fertilizer

Applying eggshell fertilizer

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With the eggshells ready, you can now grind them finely into a powder using a mortar and pestle or blender. This eggshell powder is a slow-release source of calcium for your orchids. Simply sprinkle a small amount on top of your orchid potting mix during repotting or add it to the surface of the soil in your orchid containers. Alternatively, you may steep the crushed eggshells in water overnight. This way, the water will gradually absorb the calcium from the eggshells. After soaking, strain the eggshells and use the infused water on your orchids once a week. This calcium tea will provide a gentle, consistent supply of calcium to your plants. Remember not to overdo the fertilizing. You want to provide your orchids with a steady, balanced supply of calcium, not overwhelm them. 

Besides using crushed eggshells as a fertilizer, you can place some of them on the surface of your orchid pots to deter pests like snails and slugs. The sharp-edged shells will make it difficult for these unwanted visitors to reach your orchids. And it’s not just orchids that can benefit from eggshell fertilizer. You can use it to enrich the soil of your entire garden. So, the next time you enjoy eggs for breakfast (or any time of the day), remember the hidden treasure in those shells that can contribute to the health and vitality of your cherished orchids.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.