Milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that’s good for people, but is milk good for plants? Houseplants, just like humans, need calcium and other nutrients in their diet to stay strong and healthy. Milk contains proteins, sugars, and nutrients we need to power our bodies for our day-to-day, and adding several drops to your houseplants in the right way can be beneficial for their wellbeing as well. We will go through how to clean plant leaves with milk, the benefits of dosing your plant with natural fertilizer, and what you might be able to do with spoiled milk.
Benefits of Watering Plants with Milk
Watering plants with milk can add some benefits in the form of calcium and trace amounts of nitrogen hailing from the protein content in the milk. While this is something that can’t replace fresh water, you can add this to your monthly care routine in small amounts.
- Use up leftover milk: if you have leftover 2% liquid, then you can easily dilute it with equal parts of water and pour it into your flower’s soil. Do not use milk without water or sweetened milk solution as these can cause excessive rot and attract pests.
- Help plant growth: providing calcium and vitamins, the beverage can aid in defending against blossom-end rot, a common calcium-deficiency symptom that can be seen in peppers, apples, or crucifers.
- Low-dose fertilizer: The proteins get broken down into small amounts of nitrogen which is good for growing foliage. This low dose can help prevent you from over-fertilizing your plant.
Is Milk Good for Plant Leaves?
Milk can be used to clean leaves as well as deter some common issues such as powdery mildew or aphids. Soil milk dilution sprays can be used on the leaves as a method of foliar feeding, which means allowing nutrients to be sprayed on and absorbed by the leaves. This can allow for more direct absorption of important macro and micronutrients for the plant. Much like fertilizing, this method is noticeably quicker to give results and can be done once monthly.
To feed using this method:
- Set up your 2:1 solution of water to milk in a spray bottle
- Mist your plant from top to bottom, on both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Take care not to soak your green friend.
- Let the spray dry for about 30 minutes.
- Wipe off your plant’s leaves using a damp, soft cloth to get any leftovers off.
Thoroughly clean your spray bottle after each use to avoid spoilage or contamination of a future foliar spray.
How to Clean Plant Leaves with Milk
Keeping your houseplant’s leaves clean is an essential part of caring for and maintaining it. Here is how to prepare a mixture to aid in cleaning plant leaves with milk.
- Prepare the mixture in a 1:1 ratio. Add to a spray bottle and shake to mix.
- Spray leaves with diluted milk and water mixture. Let this liquid sit on leaves for about 30 minutes.
- Using a soft, slightly damp cloth, wipe off your leaves gently. Support the back of the leaf with your hand, so you don’t cause damage to the leaf.
It is important to remember to wipe off your plant’s leaves of the leftover as it can leave behind a sugary residue that can cause odor and attract pests or fungi.
Is Milk Good for Trees?
It can definitely benefit trees as it benefits other types of plants like houseplants and vegetables. The addition of calcium and nitrogen can help the greenery as well as the soil’s overall health. Take care not to overdo this treatment, as too much of a good thing can cause damage to your tree, while a typical dose can help your tree and the soil’s health.
How Do You Use Milk as Fertilizer?
Another benefit of using the drink on your house inhabitants is using milk as fertilizer. Containing small amounts of nitrogen and calcium, adding it to your soil can give your plant a boost in nutrition.
- Dilute your liquid with the same amount or more in water. To sufficiently reach the roots, you will want a solution about the same in volume as you use to water your plant normally.
- Shake or mix your solution
- Add the solution to the soil and water it normally.
How to Use Milk and Molasses for Plants?
Milk and molasses for plants don’t seem like the most intuitive combination. Molasses contains nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are essential for plant functions and can help improve your soil quality and even increase yield.
A mixture of equal parts water and milk with 1-3 tablespoons of molasses per gallon of water.
Pour this mixture into the soil, such as nightshades and other fast-growing plants. Do not use it on greenery that cannot tolerate acidity, as sugar acidifies soil and can hinder its nutrient absorptions if it cannot perform well in these soil types.
Does Milk Help Plants Grow Faster than Water?
Greenery still needs regular, fresh water to aid in photosynthesis, which fuels other physiological processes. Milk, like fertilizer, can aid in your flower’s growth by contributing to soil health and its overall vigor, but the beverage is not a replacement for watering with fresh water.
Is Milk Good for Money Plants?
Milk can add benefits to a Money plant as it would to any other. Money trees prefer more basic soil, and the beverage can tip the scale towards the more alkaline (or basic) side.
Is it OK to Pour Milk on My Plants?
Do not pour undiluted, full-fat milk or any milks/beverages containing sweeteners, such as sweetened condensed milk. Diluted in at least a 1:1 ratio with water is the best way to use the beverage to water your green friends.
Can I Pour Milk on My Tomato Plant?
You can spray your flower’s leaves with a diluted milk/water spray or pour the same mixture into the soil. It is not recommended to pour the mixture directly from the jug into your plant, nor is it advisable to use whole fat or any kind of sweetened milk.
Is Spoiled Milk Good for Plants?
Spoiled milk can be used the same as a fresh beverage. Always dilute the milk and shake to break up any solids that have formed. The spoiled drink will be more acidic than the fresh one, so take that into consideration when applying it to your houseplants.