Do Aloe plants like eggshells?
If you have been growing Aloe Vera at home, you might have thought of adding eggshells to this plant at some time.
Eggshells have always been considered beneficial for plants, but you need to be careful while using them. If you use them inappropriately, it can cause damage to your plants. So, should you be using them in your Aloe pot? And what's the right way to use them?
Let's learn more about these things in the following guide.
Are Eggshells Good For Aloe Vera Plants?
Yes, eggshells are good for Aloe Vera plants. You can surely use them without any issues.
Eggshells are a rich source of calcium, which can strengthen the root system of the Aloe plant. Besides, they can also be useful for deterring certain pests that cause damage to the plants.
If you have a slug problem in the garden, you can use them to keep these pests away from the plants.
Having said that, there are a few things you need to remember when you use the eggshells for the Aloe plant or any other plant in the garden.
Otherwise, you might end up attracting a whole lot of new issues to the plant. In the next section, you will find more insights into these guidelines. So, let's check them out below.
Things You Should Know Before Using Eggshells For Aloe Vera Plant
Here's a list for you -
1. Eggshells Do Not Decompose Quickly
Eggshells are tough, and they take a lot of time to decompose in the pot.
If you simply put them in the soil, your plant will take months to benefit from the nutrients released by them. Therefore, you should plan accordingly.
If you want to see quick results, you might feel disappointed with the eggshells. It's more of a slow-release fertilizer, and the decomposed elements will not reach the plant quickly.
This is also the reason why many people prefer adding them to the compost bin instead of the planters.
Once you dump them in the compost bin, the bacteria present in the bin will expedite the process of decomposition. Also, you will not have to deal with any foul smell, which is a part of this process.
If you put them directly in the pot, you may experience the odor coming out of the shells. Now, this may be good for the decomposition process, but it can also attract flies and bugs to the planter.
Hence, you should consider this factor whenever you plan to use them in the soil.
2. You Need To Clean Them Thoroughly Before Using
That's right! You should never add them directly to the pot.
Since the eggs contain organic matter, the shells need to be cleaned well. If you ignore this task, you will have to put more effort into saving your plants later.
As you know, the rotten eggshell will easily attract bugs that can easily transfer to the Aloe plant. So, it's better to clean them off before using them as a calcium fertilizer in the pot.
Apart from cleaning, the other important step in this process is drying. Yes, you need to dry the eggshells too.
When you dry them completely for a couple of days, they become crisp. This helps in drying out the surface area of eggshells, as it's important to have them dry and clean.
For the drying process, you can either put them in the sun or oven. The microwave oven will do the job in a quick time, so it's definitely a better option to save some time.
3. You Should Consider Using Them In The Powdered Form
As I mentioned earlier, eggshells take a lot of time to decompose entirely.
If you just crush them and use them as it is, you will have to wait for a really long to see them vanish from the pot. The solution to this problem is to crush them down to the powdered form. When you powder the eggshells, you essentially reduce the surface area of the particles.
Due to this, it becomes easier for the bacteria and other helpful bugs to munch on the eggshell powder. Ultimately, it helps speed up the decomposition process, and your Aloe plant gets nutrients much faster.
Note: If you want to use eggshells for the slugs problem, you shouldn't crush them into the powder. But make sure you rinse them in the soap water properly.
4. Eggshells May Not Help Grow Your Plant Vigorously
Eggshells are made up of calcium, and that's what we use them for. If you think they will make the plant grow at a faster rate or fix any existing issues in your Aloe, it's not going to happen for sure.
At the most, they will provide enough calcium to the plant, which won't be as useful as some of the well-known fertilizers and nutrient elements.
Also, if you use them in crushed form, you won't see any results in a month or two. It will at least take 5-6 months or sometimes even more to see some benefits of using eggshells in the pot.
Overall, don't expect to see any magical change to the plant. You may get disappointed in the end.
How To Use Eggshells For Aloe Vera Plant
Well, it's not a difficult task to use eggshells for your Aloe Vera plant.
But if you are a new gardener or someone who has never used them before, here's a quick step-by-step guide for you.
1. Clean the eggshells and store them in an airtight jar.
Since you will need at least 10-12 of them, it's better to clean them properly and store them for later use.
While cleaning, it's important to use dishwashing soap. The soap will help remove any organic matter from the shells.
2. Sun-dry the eggshells or put them in the oven for a few seconds.
This step is quite necessary before you store them in the jar.
If you prefer drying them naturally, you should consider keeping them in the direct sun for at least a couple of days.
3. Once you collect enough eggshells, crush them into the powder.
Now, this is entirely up to you as to how you want to use them for your Aloe plant.
Since eggshells are good for Aloe Vera plants, you can use them in whichever way you want. It won't make much difference when it comes to the number of nutrients provided to the plant.
But ideally, you should put them in the grinder and turn them into powder form.
Important: If you use the regular grinder from the kitchen, don't forget to clean it thoroughly. You shouldn't leave any eggshell particles in the grinder jar.
4. Spread the eggshell powder or crushed eggshells on the topsoil.
With the help of a spoon, you can spread this powder and cover it with a light layer of soil.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of powder to the pot, and the rest of it can be used for other plants in your home garden.
If you are going to use crushed eggshells, you will also need to cover them with some soil. This will help prevent any bugs from getting attracted to the plant.
And that's pretty much about it! If you haven't watered the plant in a while, you can water it after the last step.
Now, you just have to wait a little longer for the completion of the decomposition process.
Meanwhile, I have shared some FAQs and answers in the following section. Do take a look at them.
It'd be difficult to name one fertilizer as the best fertilizer for this plant. In general, you can use homemade compost to see excellent growth in the plant.
But if you want lush green leaves, you can resort to nitrogen-based fertilizers. Vermicompost can also be a great fertilizer for this type of plant.
Fertilizers are the best way to increase the growth of your plant.
Other than that, you can also harvest some of the leaves from the Aloe plant. It will help the plant produce more leaves in the future.
The Aloe Vera plant prefers well-draining soil.
So, you should prepare a mix of perlite and cocopeat/peat moss for this plant. You may also add some compost to it. If you don't want to prepare this mix, you can simply get succulent-specific soil from the garden center.
You can select any all-purpose fertilizer and feed the plant every month or so. The frequency of fertilizing your plant will depend on its size.
If the Aloe plant is relatively old and rootbound, you can feed it every 3-4 months too. This way, the plant won't grow too much and will still receive enough nutrients throughout the period.
So, you will need to follow the plan according to the age and size of your plant.
No, the Aloe plants do not need direct sunlight. At best, you can keep them in the sun for a couple of hours, but not more than that.
For better growth, you should place them in indirect sunlight or a well-lit location in your home or garden.