Adding banana peel to the soil around your roses this summer might sound slightly mad, but it’s being touted as an easy and organic way of providing potassium, which all plants need to boost their immune system, helping them to resist disease and grow strong and healthy.
Banana peels are also a great source of calcium, magnesium, phosphates and sulphur, which all plants need to survive.
So if you're learning how to grow roses, could this be a useful method for boosting your blooms?
When to use the banana peel rose hack
Whatever type of rose you've chosen to plant in your garden, the advice on the best time to add banana peel is when you’re planting it.
John Dempsey, gardening expert at Housetastic, (opens in new tab) a home advice service says. 'You should put a chopped banana peel in the bottom of the hole before inserting the plant and mixing the rest with compost and soil around the new plant.'
You can also lay banana peels in the soil around established plants.
Save those blackened bits
Dr Andrew Plasz, a US rose educator, is also a fan of using banana peel on roses and saves up his dried peels throughout the year.
'Crisp, black, dried peels are easily broken by crushing them with your hands into several pieces of paper,' he says, adding that he stores them in sealed envelopes, saved from junk mail, marked with the date.
'When planting, use the oldest dated peels first. All you are doing is spending a little time and putting to good use two things you would normally throw away, peels and envelopes.'
Does the banana peel trick work?
Some experts warn that too much potassium can be detrimental to plants as all nutrients should be balanced out carefully when fertilizing plants; the general advice is to not use more than three banana peels at a time around a single plant.
A spokesperson for specialist rose growers Peter Beales (opens in new tab) says she hasn’t heard of the banana peel trick, but believes that a similar use of nitrogen-rich coffee grounds can be beneficial.
Never go too close to a rose’s roots with coffee grounds, however, as too much nitrogen can be toxic, causing a plant to collapse. The best way to use coffee grounds is to dilute them in water and carefully water in.
Will you be saving up your banana peels this summer and giving this rose care tip a go?
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning freelance gardening, homes and property writer who writes about everything from swimming ponds to skyscraper apartments, for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. Awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021, she has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and a lifelong love of homes, interiors and gardens. Her first memories include planting potatoes with her grandfather and drawing houses. Her own garden - her fourth - at home in a 1920s house in Yorkshire, is south-facing and on the side of a valley. It’s a constant challenge
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