Is Cigar Ash Good for Plants?

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
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Is Cigar Ash Good for Plants, or is it just a gimmick? Let’s look at its pros and cons, along with how to use it effectively!

Cigar Ash Good for Plants
shutterstock/Fernando Carvalho Silva

Can cigar ash prove to be the secret ingredient your plants are missing? Will it be a good unconventional fertilizer? Time to find out!

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Cigar Ash and Its Composition

As the name implies, it is a byproduct of smoking cigars and includes the minerals left after the leaves of tobacco are burnt. It may have traces of:

  1. Potassium (K) – Around 20-30% – helps in protein synthesis and water movement in plants.
  2. Calcium (Ca) – Approx. 10-15% – improves wall structure and stability.
  3. Magnesium (Mg) – About 2-10% – vital for chlorophyll production.
  4. Phosphorus (P) – 1% or less – promotes photosynthesis.
  5. Trace Elements: Includes copper, iron, and zinc – all these are essential for various plant functions.

Note: The exact composition depends on the type of tobacco leaves used and the growing conditions of the plant – so it may vary.

Benefits of Cigar Ash to Plants

Which Plants Benefit the Most From Cigar Ash?

  • The traces of calcium present in cigar ash can be beneficial for tomatoes and peppers to prevent blossom end rot.
  • As cigar ash is rich in magnesium, it can promote chlorophyll production in foliage plants like pothos, philodendron, and English Ivy.
  • The traces of potassium can enhance flowering production in plants like roses, geraniums, and hibiscus.

How to Use: Add a tablespoon of cigar ash to the growing medium (Mix well in the soil) once every 2-3 months. Do not overdo – it may have negative effects.


Cigar Ash Good for Plants1

Cigar ash also have heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and nickel, which can hamper the growth of plants in the longer run. It can also make the soil excessively alkaline if used in too much quantity and result in salt buildup.

Avoid using it in plants that prefer acidic growing mediums, like blueberries and azaleas.

The Bottom Line

Cigar ash can be good for experimentation (Take two potted plants – use cigar ash in one, and don’t use anything in the other, for comparison), but we strongly recommend not using it on a regular basis (Once in 5-6 months would be a good idea). It will do more harm than good.

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