Do’s and Don’ts: Using Finished Compost on your Houseplants 

By: Sara Mack, Marketing Manager

As we wrap up our Fall Compost Back program, we know that heading into September many of our subscribers may be spending less time preparing your vegetable garden than you do during our Spring rotation. Even without a garden, though, there are still plenty of ways to get the most out of your finished compost at this time of year. One of our favorite ideas is using finished compost in your house plants to stimulate soil health and plant growth! 

This is a Compost Crew favorite because it doesn’t require a big backyard and it can be used on any plant! This being said, we wanted to share a few guidelines you should follow to make the best use of your nutrient-rich black gold with your houseplants. 

DO apply the correct amount of compost. 

It’s important to use the right amount of compost to make sure your plant is receiving enough nutrients, but not so much that damage is taking place. 

When using finished compost you can either apply a few inches of compost on top of the soil, or repot the plant in a mix of 30% finished compost and 70% your usual soil mixture. 

DON’T use too much compost. 

If a house plant is potted with too much finished compost, it may experience root burn due to excess phosphorus being trapped in the soil and overwhelming the plant. The easiest way to tell if this is happening to your plant is to keep an eye out for browning leaves and overall slowed growth. Root burn will also cause browning roots, but that’s trickier to notice from the surface. The best way to tend to plants experiencing root burn is to clean the nutrient-saturated soil from its roots and to repot the plant in a more balanced soil mixture. 

DO apply compost on a seasonal basis. 

In order to maximize the benefits of using compost in your house plants, apply one or two times a year. 

DON’T mix compost with other fine soils. 

Because the particle size of finished compost is generally fairly small, it makes sense to mix it with soils that have larger pieces in order to allow for drainage and to avoid soils compacting. 

Although not everyone thinks about houseplants when it comes to using finished compost, this can be an easy way to improve the overall health of your plants and to stimulate growth. Finished compost can also help your houseplants to retain nutrients and moisture, which is good for their long term well-being. No matter how you use your finished compost, we always love to see photos of how you’re putting the compost to work. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to order your soil amendment on our customer portal in the Spring!