Hello all, I have been soaking these banana peels for a couple of days now and wondering if it look ok and I am doing this right? It seems like it’s still pretty clear or is that normal? Thanks.
What is the source of this article? I have read plenty of articles that disagree with thisYou might want to read this article, throws a little cold water on the Banana Tea craze, and scientifically makes a lot of sense, make your own judgement:
Banana peels are great for your plants, or at least that is what the internet says. You should bury some peels in the bottom of the hole when planting roses. You can add them to water and let them sit for a few days to make banana peel tea, an excellent fertilizer for indoor plants. Try drying them into a black leather and then crushing them to make banana skin powder which is great for the garden. I even found one web page that makes a fertilizer spray out of them.
Eating banana peels is also a hot topic and they reportedly provide all kinds of health benefits and even whiten teeth.
Lets have a look at the reality of banana peels for plants. Are they better than just another source of organic matter?
The Magical Powers of Banana Peels in The Garden
Banana Peels for Plants – The ClaimsThis blog started when I saw a YouTube video that claimed banana peels have an NPK of 0-25-42.
When you see claims like this it is critical that you give them a quick sniff test for reality. Does it make sense? Does it seem realistic? If not – run for the hills because the rest of the advice is now suspect.
A banana peel is part of a plant. A plant needs protein to function – all living organisms have this requirement, and protein contains nitrogen. Clearly the number zero for nitrogen is complete nonsense. No living organism, including all plant material has a nitrogen level of zero.
All living organisms contain water, and in fact they contain a lot of water. You probably know humans are mostly water and so are plants. This number is around 80%. If a banana is 80% water, how can the potassium level be 42%?
Even if you didn’t know the 80% moisture value, the above NPK number says that 67%, or 1/3 of a banana peel is phosphate and potash. Does that make any sense at all? NO!
This is not the only site that claimed a 42% potassium level, which is completely ridiculous.
The Question to AskAll organic matter is good for soil and plants. They all provide a carbon source and plant nutrients as the organic matter decomposes.
The important question is, are banana peels significantly more nutritious than other sources of organic matter. Do they provide any unique beneficial chemicals? If they do, they might be a superfood for plants.
Vague Claims for Banana PeelsDo a bit of Googling and you quickly find all kinds of claims saying banana peels have a “high” nutritional value. Some even say the peel has higher nutrients than the banana. This sounds convincing, but you may have noticed that there are no numbers included in these statements.
What does “high’ mean? And how much higher is it compared to other organic matter? Without numbers, these are just fancy words to try and convince you to believe a story.
Dry or Wet Weight?Even when numbers are supplied, there is still a big problem with the data. Is this based on wet weight or dry weight? When someone says a banana peel is 42% potassium, is that based on a normal wet peel or a dry peel? This is a crucial point since most of a banana peel is water.
Chemists get around this problem by reporting chemical content on a dry weight basis. But many sources take these numbers, if they even bother to look it up, and present them as a wet weight, which exaggerates the value by a huge amount.
Chemical Analysis of Banana PeelsSeveral nutritional experts made the claim that banana peels have not been studied for nutrients, but I had no problem finding some studies.
Note: Except for the moisture values, all percent values are based on dry weights.
Sources: Source A, Source B, Source C, Source D
The average nitrogen in protein is 16%, so the 3.5% protein in banana skins is equivalent to 0.6% nitrogen.
The above table reports values for potassium and phosphorus, but NPK uses values as potash and phosphate. The potash and phosphate in banana peels is 11.5% and 0.4%.
The NPK value for banana skins is 0.6-0.4-11.5. But this is the value for dried banana skins since all of the above values are calculated on a dry weight basis. The NPK of fresh banana peels is 1/5 of that, making an NPK of 0.1-0.1-2.3.
For comparison, purchased bagged manure is around 1-1-1.
Are Bananas High in Potassium?Not really. Bananas have more potassium than some other food, like grains and meat, but all fruits and vegetables are higher in potassium – “there is nothing special about bananas. Tomatoes, potatoes, and beets also have potassium and often more potassium than your average banana.”
One cup of chocolate milk contains the same amount of potassium as a banana.
Magical Properties of Banana PeelsThere are also some vague claims of other important chemicals in banana peels that might be beneficial to plants, but I found no specific claims that could be reviewed.
There are many more claims for our health, including things like antioxidants, but a cursory look shows that the science is not there for the benefit of these, at least not yet.
Banana peels are just another source of plant organic matter.
Banana peel tea is NOT a good fertilizer, photo source: Pinterest
Banana Peel TeaSome claim you can steep banana peels in water, either using hot water, or just letting them sit for several days in the sun.
I have reviewed the value of using left over tea before and this tea would be no different. There is limited decomposition during the process of making it, which means that most of the nutrients remain in the peels.
Potassium leaches out of organic matter more quickly since it is not chemically bound, and banana peels have a higher level of potassium, so the tea might add some potassium, but not much else.
Don’t get conned by tea claims for plants.
You are right about there being plenty of articles disagreeing. Lately though several other articles have started showing up that are claiming the benefits of a banana peel tea are overblown.What is the source of this article? I have read plenty of articles that disagree with this
The Magical Power of Banana Peels in The Garden - Or Not - Garden Myths And this one: Please Don't Make Banana Peel Compost Tea Fertilizer For HouseplantsWhat is the source of this article? I have read plenty of articles that disagree with this
I guess I still have to ask what makes the author of this article a expert? I would like to see more test results
I guess I have to wonder about all the Amendments that people use to top dress like kelp or worm castings etc? People water them in correct? Doesn’t the water help get the nutrients into the soil? I just figured soaking banana peels would work the same wayMy issue is that most of the claims of Banana tea are based on ancdotal evidence only, no data whatsoever. At least this guy used a fairly scientific method. Certainly the %'s of NPK are wrong. IMHO marijuana growers are like duck hunters, they'll buy of believe anything that someone says will help, irregardless of if there's any scientific evidence that it works. I can remember when the genral concensus was to starve a plant for water at end of flowering to increase trichrome production, no longer the case. Or "flushing", that was a hot button issue, had to flush to remove ecess nutrients, then they actually did testing, it don't work!
I guess I have to wonder about all the Amendments that people use to top dress like kelp or worm castings etc? People water them in correct? Doesn’t the water help get the nutrients into the soil? I just figured soaking banana peels would work the same way
It does. The issue is that the peel tea is not the 'be-all end-all' stuff that people claim it is. While it contains some Phosphorus and Potassium as the peels break down it is unlikely to have as much as some people think it does. Does not make it wrong to use the stuff, just that it will not be as good as they think.I just figured soaking banana peels would work the same way