Help Your Plants Grow with Wine
By Indira Vegel Published March 2021
With the amount of time most of us spent indoors during the pandemic, having anything related to nature inside became a must. For a while, I spent time exploring nature trails for their calming effect, but as things returned to some “normalcy,” my walks became less frequent. So, I bought my first plant to brighten up my home. That plant quickly turned into a baby jungle of more than 25 indoor plants. Seeing how much life they brought into my space, I began taking my plant mom journey seriously, learning all the tips and tricks to help them grow. After many experimentations, I nailed down a few tricks, two in particular, that included some of my favorite drinks – wine and vodka.
How to Fertilize with Wine
Wine is life… literally. With that being said, I’m not telling you to go buy a bottle of ABC’s finest wine and pour it straight into your plant, that would be an expensive way to kill them. The trick is to save any leftover red wine (it must be red wine) you won’t be drinking and let it go bad. Letting it spoil turns the wine to vinegar. This process releases the nitrogen from the wine, activating good bacteria that helps plants grow. Once the wine has turned, add it to your compost base. If you don’t have a compost base, try my personal recipe below. Amounts will vary depending on the number of plants you have. I keep it refrigerated and use it to feed my plant babies about once a month. You can mix the compost into your soil or blend it together to moisten your plants.
Indy’s Compost Recipe:
¼ cup red wine
Eggshells, thoroughly washed, baked and blended
Carrot peelings, thoroughly washed, baked and blended
Potato peelings, thoroughly washed, baked and blended
Mix all ingredients together. Add to soil as needed. Store in refrigerator.
Pro tip: If you rarely have leftover red wine (who could blame you), mix different leftover wines together and set aside until you have enough of the mixture reserved.
How to Clean Plant Leaves with Vodka
Cleaning your plants is essential to keeping them healthy and beautiful. Rubbing alcohol is a great way to clean your leaves, but if you’re like me and use it up quickly on other household duties, then discover the power of good ol’ vodka. To avoid using all the good stuff on your plants, dilute it by adding ½ cup of vodka to 4 cups of water. Mist your plants with the concoction and let it sit for an hour. Then, using a microfiber towel and water, clean off the residue. Make sure to clean off the vodka mixture to avoid “burning the leaves.” This process helps deter bugs and keep your plant leaves healthy.
Pro tip: You can also use the solution to clean your gardening tools and help kill unwanted weeds by updating the ratio to 7 parts vodka, 1 part water.
*ABC Delivers available in select markets.