Banana peels

I was advised to use chopped banana peels on my ferns and have had beautiful results. Are there any other plants, indoor or outdoor, that would like banana peels? Also, Can I cut back my eupatorium chocolate now and still get blooms later? Thank you.
Em
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Emerald wrote:

IIRC, it's the potassium in the bananas that's the good stuff. So any plant that needs more potassium will be happy.
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What plants like potassium?
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Emerald wrote:

All of them. :-) Potassium is especially good for the roots. Nitrogen is for the stems and leaves (that's why it greens up the lawn), and phosphorus is good for flowers and fruits. You'll see that fertilisers formulated for different plants are higher or lower in these nutrients, depending. This probably doesn't do as much good as one might think. At best it makes up for lacks in the soil, but temperate climate plants generally take up only as much as they need, so giving them too much is a waste. My bro-in-law, who is an agriculturist, uses 20-20-20 agricultural fertiliser, which he buys in 100lb bags at the co-op.
But indoor plants are different: many potting soils are poor in micronutrients, so giving them some MiracleGro or similar stuff from time to time is a good thing. Also, the plants will use up all the nutrients in the pot, after all there isn't that much soil, and there are no new nutrients being produced as there are in the garden. Potting soil is (nearly) sterile.
To figure out how much to fertilise, look at the plant's natural habitat. Eg, dryland and alpine plants don't need much fertiliser, and may be killed if you over-fertilise. They are adapted to take everything they can get when they can get it (ie, when it rains.) No restraint. Some wetland plants are the same - wetlands are poor in nitrogen, for example, because nitrogen salts are water soluble, so they don't accumulate in swamps. Eg, Venus flytrap gets its nitrogen from the insects it catches, so giving it a fertiliser will kill it -- too much nitrogen. But ferns like to grow in damp duff, although many ferns are adapted to tolerate quite severe wet-dry cycles. Duff is fertile, hence ferns like to be fertilised.
Another factor is the acidity of the soil, which affects the solubility of the fertiliser, and hence the ease with which the plant takes up the nutrients. Plants are adapted to different acidities, so read the labels, and group acid-loving plants together, for example.
And so on.
In general, it's better to underfeed than to overfeed. A good rule is to fertilise at half the recommended rate and see what happens. That's because soil already has a lot of good stuff in it already. If the plant doesn't thrive, give it a little more (or a little less). It's also better to fertilise lightly and often, especially indoor plants. Give just enough to keep them happy. Some people recommend a little fertiliser in every watering, at 1/4 or less of the recommended concentration.
I probably told you too much. I recommend you buy a gardening book and absorb new information at your own pace. You sound like a beginner, there are lots of good books out there for beginning gardeners.
HTH&GL
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Thanks, Wolf. Great info and advice.. Your response is much appreciated :)
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Banana plants ;)
Seriously, Wolf, do you have any sources for Potassium, Nitrogen or phosphorus besides chemicals at the store?
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Mike wrote:

Firstly, my list of what's good for what was in error: fast typing, I guess. I apologise. Here's the real scoop:
Nitrogen: stems and leaves Phosphorus: roots Potassium: flowers and fruits.
The sequence of numbers of fertiliser labels is N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). Or "shoots, roots and fruits."
Secondly, um, er, all fertilisers are chemicals. In fact, you and me are made of chemicals. :-)
Compost is a low-level source of pretty well everything (on the order of 0.5-0.5-0.5). But the main value of compost is that it loosens the soil and increases water retention, as well as introducing all kinds of beneficial critters into that sandy patch you're trying to change into a rose garden. :-) Compost is essential for a good garden. But beware: compost sold in bags at your friendly local box store may be sterilised, which is both good (doesn't introduce strange critters into your garden) and bad (doesn't introduce any critters into your garden.) (BTW, peat moss is nutrionally empty and acidifies the soil. Use it only to improve water retention, and add limestone or dolomite if necessary.)
Composted manure is somewhat better as a fertiliser source (in the range of 1-1-1 to about 3-3-3, depending on source). Straight manure tends to be high in nitrogen, so use it carefully. Fish emulsion is high in nitrogen and phosphorus. (I've used smelts as fertiliser here - one year, I grew marigolds in pure gravel laced with dead smelts.)
Downside of composts is that some seeds survive the composting process, and you will have to do a lot more weeding.
Potassium and phosphorous sources in artificial fertilisers are usually ground up minerals: crushed rocks, actually. (Potash is mined in Saskatchewan - most of the potash in North American fertilisers comes from there. It's dissolved, pumped up as a brine, which is evaporated to retrieve the mineral for shipment.) Guano (bird s**t) is still a significant source of phosphorus worldwide, as are bones from our hamburger animals, and fish, in addition to minerals. Nitrogen sources in artificial fertilisers are usually ammonia compounds made from petroleum, but animal byproducts are also used (eg, blood in blood-and-bone mneal.) Rain (esp. during a thunderstorm) is a surprisingly significant source of nitrogen.
The major drawback of artificial fertilisers, especially the cheap ones, is that they tend to be poor in micronutrients. NB that fertilisers made for agricultural use may have micronutrients (mostly metals) added - farmers know what they need. MiracleGro is one of many fertilisers with micronutrients added, which is why it works so well. But you pay extra for its brand name. Housebrands are just as good. Read the ingredients.
The notion that "organic sources" are better for plants is a myth. Plants are mineral eaters. The only advantage (minor, IMO) of organic sources is that they may contain enzymes, which are sometimes beneficial, and they may contain those micronutrients. The downside of organic sources is heavy-metal concentration, especially in animal sources.
But the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium have to be broken down into pure mineral salts before the plant can use them. Some plants can do this to a limited extent themselves, but most rely on bacteria and/or the effects of water and oxygen to do the decomposition, hence the need for a healthy soil. If you feed a plant a diet of pure minerals dissolved in water, it will be very, very happy. Just ask the growers of hydroponic tomatoes. :-)
HTH
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What about the algae blooms one sees from airplanes, how I was told it was from excess chemical fertilizers.

Any problem with composting scraps in your refrigerator (can't leave it out) and burying before it has broken down? Can you just bury it, or should it be mixed in with the dirt.
(BTW, peat

How does one purchase those?
. Fish emulsion is high in

Fish emulsion being merely chopped up tuna etc?

Upside is the surprise when I came back from vacation and found a 4 inch avocado sapling where I buried one months table scraps.
Guano (bird s**t) is still a

Too bad the Townhouse association had to take down the nest outside my door; unfortunately the building was also getting hit.
as are bones from our

Sounds like calcium too.
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My Irish grandma tossed her banana peels under her rose bush -- and they were always covered with luxurious blossoms. Potassium maybe?
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vio wrote:

What do banana blossoms look like?
;-)
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Do a Google search for banana and all will be revealed.

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yellow on the edges, white inside!
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Travis wrote:

It was a fricking joke. Luxurious blossoms on a banana peel. Get it?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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The answer was a joke ---- guess too subtle and not "fricking" enough
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Maybe you think it was funny because you spend too much time smoking banana peels?
Timothy Leary would have slapped your silly face.

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