Hostas are beautiful, strong perennial plants that are available in a variety of sizes, heights and colors making these a wonderful addition for any home garden. Perennial plants are known to return year after year naturally with the right care. A good trick to maintaining a healthy garden is the addition of eggshells to the soil. But are eggshells good for Hostas?
Eggshells are good additions to any plant, but especially for Hostas. They act as a natural fertilizer, pest control, and provide nutrients to the Hosta plant among other things.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of adding eggshells to Hostas soil. You’ll learn how to use eggshells, how they protect the plants against their natural enemy the slug, and how to prepare eggshells for your Hosta.
What Do Eggshells Do For Soil?
Eggshells contain exactly 380 milligrams of calcium per gram of eggshell. Adding eggshells to potting soil also means adding that very same calcium, which moderates soil acidity and provides nutrients for the plants.
Calcium is extremely important in keeping the cell wall of the plant healthy and strong. Cell walls can be compared closely to bones in humans and animals, and are vital in not only providing a framework of support in plant growth but also protects the plant from absorbing too much water and falling apart.
Soil acidity is also known as low pH, it affects the plant’s growth by limiting its access to nutrients in the ground. Introducing eggshells as a form of calcium to the plant not only raises the value of nutrients in the soil but also moderates the problem of low pH in general.
It is to be noted though, that eggshells are not an immediate fix to this problem. In order to properly fix this issue eggshells must continuously be added to the soil.
How often should eggshells be added to a Hosta plants soil to make a difference? We’ll cover that next and so much more.
How Often Should Eggshells Be Added To Hostas Soil?
A good rule of thumb to follow is to always add eggshells if the soil is too acidic (pH<5.5). That way that plant has a good foundation to start flourishing from. Read more about what soil pH a hosta prefers in the article Are hostas acid lovers?
Other than adding eggshells to a new plant’s soil, how often should you add them to an existing plant? Well, this really depends on whether you’re dealing with indoor plants or outdoor plants. While Hostas are not commonly known as indoor houseplants, they are still able to thrive if kept under the correct conditions.
If dealing with an indoor houseplant, once a month should be plenty of added fertilizer and nutrients to the plants soil. But if dealing with the traditional outdoor Hosta, it’s best to add eggshells to the soil once a season. If you maintain that practice you’re sure to see a change in plants not doing too well, or in simply maintaining a plant that’s already doing well.
How Do I Use Eggshells For My Hosta?
We’ve already gone over how eggshells contain a high quantity of calcium which aids in strengthening the cell wall of a plant, but eggshells make an excellent added form of fertilization to plants by containing other nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
With all these nutrients, eggshells are an amazing addition to any plant. But what are the best ways to add this nutrient-dense fertilizer to your plants?
There are three main ways to add eggshells to the soil.
Crush the Eggshells
Wash and rinse the eggshells both inside and outside, and then lay them out somewhere in the sun to dry such as on a windowsill or somewhere safe outside. After the eggshells have dried, crush them!
The three easiest ways to do this is to use a traditional mortar and pestle, putting the egg shells in a plastic baggy and then crushing them with a rolling pin, or finally with a food processor. Just make sure the egg shells are crushed to a fine powder so they are easier to be broken down in the soil!
Grind the Eggshells
If you don’t have any of the above tools or machines to crush your eggshells, you can always grind them in a coffee grinder! You can add the ground eggshells to the mulch of a compost bin and add the mixture to your plants for even more of a nutrient boost or you can simply add the ground eggshells directly to the soil.
Steep the Eggshells Like Tea
That’s right! Eggshell tea. Bring a gallon of water to a boil, add at least ten cleaned eggshells and let the eggshells sit overnight in the water. In the morning, strain out the eggshells and pour your new eggshell tea to your plants. Usually, two cups of eggshell tea is enough for each plant.
Can Eggshells Protect A Hosta From Slugs?
Eggshells are a great deterrent for a fair amount of garden pests, but especially for slugs that will try and make your beautiful Hosta into an all you can eat buffet.
When using eggshells to deter slugs you still want to wash them inside and out and dry them, but avoid crushing them into a fine powder. You want to keep them in the form of shards. The sharp edges of the eggshells act like diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is extremely abrasive to an insect’s exoskeleton which can actually kill them if too much damage is caused. So slugs aren’t very fond of the sharp edges of eggshells. But remember, when the rain comes the eggshell will soften and start to break down, losing its effectiveness.
Can Eggshells Harm Hostas?
It’s always possible to have too much of a good thing. And the same thing goes for eggshells. Especially if they aren’t prepared correctly. But what do we mean by prepared correctly?
Having too many eggshells can lead to having too much calcium among other nutrients but this is a very rare occurrence. Also, never use eggshells if your soil is even slightly alkaline. In neutral soil, eggshells can be used in very limited amounts (no more than 1 ounce per hosta per season).
The biggest concern with eggshells is incorrectly preparing them for the garden. Eggs carry salmonella.
If you don’t wash the eggshell correctly and leave that thin membrane on the inside, then the salmonella disease can actually attack the plant and cause it to wilt and die. So it’s always important to wash your eggshells inside and out. Even though it may seem like an unnecessary step, it’s a very important one!
Eggshells are an excellent addition to any Hosta plants soil. It acts as a natural deterrent to pests such as slugs and other creepy crawlies all while providing a handful of nutrients that speed up the plants growth, helps maintain the cell wall, and controls the acidity in the plants soil.
Eggshells are easy to come by since they are a staple in most households, and the process of actually using them for your Hosta is an easy and quick one! So yes! Eggshells are good for hostas when used correctly.