34 Free Plant Tricks to Improve Your Green Thumb

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Follow these 34 Free Plant Tricks to Improve Your Green Thumb at zero cost! They are really easy to implement!

Are you looking for Free Plant Tricks to Improve Your Green Thumb? Well, we have handpicked some of the best ones for you!

Check out  the best TikTok Plant Care Hacks 2022 here

Free Plant Tricks to Improve Your Green Thumb

1. Banana Peel for Wiping Plant Leaves

shutterstock/Tatiana Foxy

Banana peels can be used for wiping the leaves. They will also leave some slime behind that can deter aphids and leave shine!

2. Hard-Boiled Egg Water for Plants

Eggshells contain calcium which can neutralize the pH in the soil. When eggs are boiled for a long, they end up with some calcium in the water.

Use this for watering your plants when it cools down, once in 6-8 weeks.

3. Water Plants with Overnight Drinking Water

Drinking water on your nightstand can be used each morning for watering your plants. This will create a no-waste routine. Do this only when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch.

4. Chopstick for Supporting Young Plants

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Use a wooden chopstick to support droopy or young plants. Poke them into the soil, and use plant tape or twine to string up the leaning stems.

Here are the best cheap gardening tricks you should know

5. Start Seedlings in Empty Egg Cartons

Empty egg cartons are great for starting seedlings, as they are biodegradable in nature. Follow this process indoors.

6. Eggshell Halves for Starting Seeds


Yes! You heard it right! Eggshells are great for starting seedlings, and once they grow a little, you can transplant them into the garden along with the shells.

7. Sprinkle a Dash of Cinnamon on the Seedling Soil

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Cinnamon has many uses in the garden, and you can use this kitchen ingredient to keep fungal problems at bay by sprinkling it on the seedling mix.

8. Start Seeds in Citrus Halves

Use half peels of grapefruits, oranges, or any other citrus as seed starting containers. Scoop out the contents from the rind and fill it with soil. Sow the seed, and once it grows a little, you can transplant it into the pot or garden along with the citrus rind.

Here are Bizarre Houseplant Tricks Worth Noting

9. Scatter Eggshells on Soil

Crushed eggshells can be sprinkled on the plants to supply calcium to balance soil pH. They will deter critters like slugs and snails. Do not use more than 3-4 teaspoons per pot, once in 6-8 weeks.

10. Ice Cubes for Watering Plants


Leave 3-4 ice cubes on the topsoil. They will melt slowly, releasing water. You can follow this easy trick to water hanging plants easily.

Note: Cold water can shock the roots of tropical plants.

11. Upside-down Water Bottle for Watering Plants During Vacation

Fill the water in a bottle, take the cap off, and bury it upside down into the soil of the pot. The water will gradually seep into the soil, keeping the growing medium moist for a long time. This is a great hack if you are traveling.

12. Give a Treat to your Plants with Club Soda

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Club soda contains minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and sulfur that plants love; it helps the houseplants to grow bigger and green.

Use club soda to water the plants once in 4-6 weeks.

Learn How to Kill Plant Fungus with Baking Soda here

13. Onion Skin Fertilizer


Prepare an organic potassium-rich fertilizer for indoor plants rich in calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium from onion skin. Take 2-3 handfuls of onion skin and soak them in 1-liter water for 24 hours after stirring properly.

Feed the plants with it 1-2 times a month.

14. Use Cat Litter For Succulents

Succulents and cacti grow well in well-draining soil. You can make it in your home by mixing half regular soil and half cat litter. Make sure the litter is unscented and clay-based.

15. Raise Humidity by Grouping Plants Together


With this trick, you are not required to invest in a humidifier! Just group humidity-loving plants together, and they will create a mini micro-climate, keeping the moisture level high.

16. Use Honey as Rooting Hormone

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Protect your new plants from fungal and bacterial problems by dipping the ends of stem cuttings in raw honey.

Follow easy planting hacks to grow vegetables for FREE here

17. Use Leftover Pasta Water on Plants


Make your plants lush and healthy by using leftover pasta water on plants as it is rich in starch, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Read here for directions to use it.

18. Put a Coffee Filter in the Base of the Container

If you are worried that the growing medium will spill out from the drainage holes of the planter, then place a coffee filter at the base of the pot before filling the soil in it.

19. Use Leftover Rice Water on Plants

Rice water contains a total N of 0.011%; P of 15.30mgL-1; K of 0.03me/mL, and Vitamin B1. Not to mention the fact that it also has iron, manganese, and other plant elements.

It also stimulates foliage growth. Use it once in 3-4 weeks after diluting it with water in a ratio of 1:1. Read more here.

20. Use Old Newspapers to Start Seeds

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Take 2-3 pages of an old newspaper and roll each to form a round cup. Now fold the edges at the bottom to close the end, and your biodegradable seedling pot is ready!

Here are the Top 7 Tricks to Get More Variegation on Plants

21. Secure Vining Plants with Zip Ties


Save the climbers from dangling by securing them with zip ties on trellis, railings, or anywhere you want them to climb.

22. Banana Peel Fertilizer

Bananas are a great source of potassium and phosphorus. Dried banana peels can be used as fertilizer for plants. You can use them for side-dressing garden plants, too.

23. Start Seeds in Used Plastic Clam-shell Containers

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Instead of trashing the plastic clam-shell containers where you receive salads or lunch, reuse them to start seeds or grow micro-greens in a compact space.

24. Make a Greenhouse with a Plastic Bottle

Cut used plastic soda bottles, put them upside down over the little seedlings, and make a mini greenhouse for them.

Check out some homemade liquid fertilizers here

25. Clean Clay Pots from Vinegar

Make a solution of 1 cup of 5 percent acidic white vinegar in 3-4 cups of water, and soak the pots in it for 20-30 minutes. Scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush.

26. Use Old Sponges for Layering


Use old sponges for layering the bottom of the container – they will prevent root rot by absorbing extra water that runs down the bottom.

27. Charcoal as Soil Additive

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Thanks to its high potassium content and low cost, charcoal is a suitable replacement for lime in soil additive mixes. It is rich in potassium and can also be used as a mulch or additive.

Use activated charcoal with water to detoxify the soil as it clears the buildup.

28. Use a Diaper


Diapers comprise a permeable barrier of cotton fiber and moisture-absorbing crystals. This incredible mix allows the disposable diaper to retain moisture for an extended period. See details here.

Learn Using Diapers for Gardening here

29. Misting with Epsom Salt Works Wonders!


You can use Epsom salt to improve your houseplants’ appearance at zero cost. Plants require sulfur and magnesium; these nutrients exist in Epsom salt.

Mix one tablespoon of it into a gallon of water and use it to mist the leaves of your plants. It will encourage bushier, healthy, and more blooms.

Check out 20 Epsom Salt Uses In Garden That’ll Amaze You here

30. IKEA Offers Some Good Choices

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Don’t worry if you don’t have enough space; make smart use of the IKEA VARIERA bag dispenser and use it as a wall planter.

Check out 22 DIY Ikea Pot Hacks to Display Plants in Style here

31. Use Water Wick While You are Away

Use this easy trick for watering plants when you are out of town. Simply take a cotton rope with one end tucked into the plant’s soil and the other hanging down to the bottom of a water-filled container.

Due to the capillary action, water will slowly reach the soil through the wick and save the plant from drought stress. Read in detail here.

32. Crushed Soda Cans to Improve Drainage


Place 4-6 crushed soda cans at the bottom of the large planter. They’ll help encourage air circulation, helping with drainage.

Note: Make sure the cans are clean before use.

Check out 21 Interesting and Wacky Outdoor Plant Parenting Hacks here

33. Use Forks to Till the Soil in Small Pots


If you don’t have an additional tool to till the soil in your pots, then don’t worry! Head to the kitchen cabinet and get the forks and spoon to get the job done. They are as effective in tilling the soil as a pro tool.

34. Support Plants with Electric WiresFree Plant Tricks to Improve Your Green Thumb 34

As electric wires can be shaped into different forms easily, you can give them any shape you want and then train the vining plants and vegetables onto them. They act as great supporters.

Here are Absolutely Amazing DIY Chicken Wire Projects For The Garden

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