Creating Compost for Indoor Plants


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The application of compost can boost your plants significantly. There are many types of compost for indoor plants that you can buy at your local garden center or at a large store that sells gardening supplies.

Decayed organic materials, such as apple cores, ground-up eggshells, coffee grounds, and other organic materials make compost when mixed with carbon and allowed to decay. Compost is one of the secrets to hearty indoor plants.

Why Use Compost for Indoor Plants?

Compost enriches the soil and helps plants to develop properly. Even the best potting soil will eventually lose its nutrients. Fertilizers cannot supply all the benefits of compost for indoor plants, and compost helps them grow stronger and healthier by providing all necessary nutrients.

Compost is organic; it does not contain chemicals as fertilizers do. You may want to choose compost for indoor plants since it only needs to be applied twice a year to feed and enrich the soil.

How to Use Compost for Indoor Plants

Most professionals recommend one of two ways to use compost for your indoor plants. One way is to repot the plant with 70 percent of the original potting soil mixed with thirty percent compost.

The second method is to add two to three inches of compost on the topsoil. It is best to add compost to the top of a plant when you bring it home from the store so that it’s not forgotten.

Ready-Made Compost for Indoor Plants

Garden centers and large stores that sell garden products usually sell a variety of compost for indoor plants. Various plants do best with compost made especially for them. For example, gardenias do not do well in lime compost, but you can buy lime-free compost.

Compost for indoor plants can be bought in small bags since it is best not to keep it longer than six months; there is no need for an ample supply at once. Store it in an airtight bag so that bugs do not get in it.

Knowing Which Compost to Buy

Indoor and outdoor composts are two different types of material. Be aware that using the more potent outdoor type on your indoor plants could kill them. Indoor plants need a gentler compost made for them. It is possible to make your compost, but keep in mind that it will take several months for the organic materials to decompose.

Also, plants need a balance of materials to supplement the plant with nutrients. Many plants have special needs. Store-bought compost is sometimes the best to use since you can avoid certain nutrients that are harmful to their growth. Beginner gardeners may want to use this type of compost.

Almost every garden store and gardening center has helpful and knowledgeable workers who will help you decide which compost is best for your plants.

An Easy Way to Make a Compost Container

It is possible to make your own compost bin for your indoor plants, but it is much more work than opening a bag of pre-mixed compost. Composting is good for the environment because it cuts down on the organic materials in your garbage.:

Compost bin easy steps to follow:

1 – Find appropriate containers, such as a small and large garbage can with a tight lid. The size of the cans depends on how much mulch you plan to make. A smaller can will need to be inserted into the larger can.

2 – Drill holes in the bottom and sides for drainage. A mesh material can cover the holes to keep the contents from escaping while still allowing water drainage.

3 – Wrap the trash can with insulating material. Be sure to poke through the holes.

4 – Place a second garbage can inside the larger can, such as a small or medium-sized one.

5 – Place twigs or wood chips around the smaller can.

6 – Begin composting.

Alternative Compost Bin

It is also possible to make your bin from wood. Someone experienced in making wood items will have an easy job doing this. Others may find this project is too much work. Wood planks can be purchased at a home improvement store.

There are many patterns for cutting out and making a compost bin. You can find these in your garden center or online. With some wooden pieces and a few tools, you will be able to make your compost bin.

Add Items to Your Compost Bin

Compost for indoor plants may contain coffee grounds, vegetable leftovers, skins from vegetables and fruit, shells from nuts, tea bags, and other materials. Newspapers and other forms of paper and cardboard should also go in your compost.

Additional items for the compost bin are leaves that fall from other indoor plants, ashes from the fireplace, animal and human hair, grass clippings, wrapping paper, used notebooks, old mail, and cardboard boxes.

What Not to Add to Your Compost Pile

Grass clippings from a yard that has been chemically treated should never go into your compost. You cannot add toxic or contaminated items like paint cans or oil. There are quite a few items that should not be added to your compost pile.

Items to avoid might also include the parts of a shrub that you cut down, including leaves, stems, and other yard waste that has been treated with toxic chemicals.

Dog, horse, or other manure should not be added to compost.

More Items to Avoid in Your Compost for Indoor Plants

Any meat or dairy products should be avoided. These two things attract bugs and rodents, and they may smell horrid. Charcoal ash from a grill and leaves or branches from a black walnut tree are other odd things to keep out of a compost bin.

Be aware that a compost pile should be organic. Keeping this in mind will help you know what to toss in the compost pile and what to steer clear. If you apply toxic or nonorganic materials to the compost, your plant health could be affected.

Turning Your Compost in the Bin

The helpful bacteria in the compost bin need to reach all areas inside. By turning it over several times, oxygen gets in all compost areas. Turning also prevents problems like compacted compost and turning aerates the compost and promotes the development of the compost.

The items in the bin should be rotated and turned as the green color of the items turn brown. At the beginning of the compost, it will require frequent turning, but it will need less turning as it matures. Gardeners typically use a shovel or pitchfork to turn the compost.

Compost for Indoor Plants – The Wrap-up

Many plants can survive without adding compost, but they will be small and undergrown without it, keeping them from reaching their fullest potential. They may eventually wilt and die for no apparent reason, but the answer is that the soil did not contain the right portions of nutrients for the plant.

Successful gardeners realize the importance of compost. They find out what type of compost is best for their plants, and they take care in applying the compost. Too little may not help your plants much, but too much can seriously harm them by burning their roots.


No, if your dog gets into your compost bin, it is not much different than when he sniffs around and eats outside items. If your child or pet is attracted to your compost bin, it may be better to store it in a cabinet that your pet cannot easily reach. It should not smell, so it may be able to be stored in a pantry or other places in your kitchen.

When the pieces get smaller, about medium size, the compost is probably ready to use. It should be a dark brown throughout the bin. It usually takes a few months to transfer from organic kitchen and yard trash to compost.

Composting has several benefits for your plants. The most important is that compost helps the soil hold water and nutrients for the roots. Also, it keeps plants healthy and helps them grow. Some research has shown that plants may develop fewer diseases if compost for indoor plants is added to their soil.

Yes, it would be best not to compost plants more often than every six months, and it is possible to damage plants if too frequent applications. Scientists and gardeners have tested the best frequency for applying compost, and they have learned from experience.

Both types of compost should benefit your plants. If you buy bagged compost from a reputable store and compost company, there should not be a noticeable difference between packaged or homemade compost. Without a nearby lab to test both types of compost, there is no scientific way to tell which one is the best. You may be able to have your compost analyzed at a nearby university with an Agricultural Department.


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