Using eggshells as a natural fertilizer has become quite popular over the years, but is this a viable option for pothos plants?
Eggshells are great for supplying calcium to pothos plants and increasing the pH of the soil, but in the majority of cases, it is unnecessary. This is because a regular fertilizer product will not only add calcium, but also other essential nutrients, and most of the time your pothos soil will be at the right pH anyway.
There are still some situations where you can use eggshells for pothos, but you need to know what you’re doing or you’ll do more damage to your plant than good.
- What Are Eggshells Made From?
- How To Add Eggshells To Pothos
- Important Things To Be Aware Of
What Are Eggshells Made From?
Eggshells are made almost entirely from calcium carbonate – around 94% – with the rest comprising of magnesium carbonate, calcium phosphate and other organic matter and proteins.
Calcium carbonate is used to supply calcium to plants and to reduce soil acidity.
Do Pothos Need Calcium?
If you’re a plant owner like me you should be aware of the three letters NPK, which stand for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
These are the three main nutrients that (most) plants require and without these three nutrients, a fertilizing product cannot be complete. Plants such as pothos do still require calcium, however, but in smaller amounts than these main three nutrients.
Do Houseplant Fertilizers Contain Calcium?
Pretty much every reputable houseplant fertilizer product will contain calcium as standard.
If you decide to supplement your pothos with eggshells you will be adding mostly calcium, and if you do this alongside adding a fertilizing product you can add far too much than your plant needs.
This can lead to calcium toxicity which can reduce the growth rate of your pothos, so it’s not worth doing.
How To Add Eggshells To Pothos
There are some situations where adding eggshells to your pothos is a good idea, specifically when you haven’t used any fertilizer before and if you suspect that the soil is quite acidic.
Pothos prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.1 to 6.8, but if the soil becomes too acidic it can become an issue. Remember that if you are already using a balanced fertilizer there is no need to add eggshells, simply check the label for calcium and that’s it.
Test Your Soil First
Use a home soil testing kit to get an accurate pH level for your pothos soil before you decide to add any eggshells to it.
If your soil has a pH lower than 6.1 then you can add small amounts of eggshell using the method below to increase the pH into the suitable range.
Clean Your Eggshells
Before you add eggshells to your blender give them a good wash.
This will remove any egg yolk that could be a spot for mold development. Once you’ve washed them out pat them dry.
Blend Them Up
Add your eggshells to a clean blender and blend them up until you form a fine powder.
This step is crucial as it greatly increases the surface area of the eggshell making it easier to add to the soil.
Add Small Amounts To The Soil
Once you have your eggshell power you can add it directly to the soil.
I recommend adding a very small amount evenly on the top of the soil and gently mixing it into the soil rather than leaving it to settle on top.
Monitor the health of your pothos over the next few weeks and repeat the pH test. If you’re successful your soil’s pH should’ve increased into the suitable range.
Important Things To Be Aware Of
While I don’t recommend using eggshells for pothos, they can have their uses. You just need to make sure that you consider the points below before you add them to the soil so you can avoid problems further down the line.
Don’t Use Eggshells As The Only Fertilizer
If you decide to only use eggshells as fertilizer you will only be adding significant amounts of calcium.
Pothos require the three main nutrients present in pretty much every fertilizing product in order to thrive, and calcium is not one of these. It would be similar to only using coffee grounds for your pothos in the sense that you would be avoiding the key nutrients needed for pothos growth.
Always Check Your Soil’s pH Beforehand
Adding eggshells to your pothos plant soil will increase the pH, so use a home testing kit to figure out the pH of your soil before you add them.
What To Do With Acidic Soil If You’re Already Using Fertilizer That Contains Calcium
If you’re already adding calcium to your pothos via fertilizer and get an acidic reading back from the pH test then don’t worry, you can still add eggshells to balance the pH.
Pothos are incredible hardy and the addition of some eggshells is not likely to cause pothos to suffer from calcium toxicity.