5 Ways to Use Eggshells for Plants

Table of Contents

Using eggshells for plants can make a great contribution to your home or yard’s health and productivity.

Eggs are one of nature’s wonder foods, packing delicious flavor into a convenient parcel of goodness. But their value doesn’t end once the breakfast dishes have been tidied away. The empty shells can provide a second life in your garden.
Here are five ways to use eggshells in your garden to improve the soil quality, water retention and health of your plants :

1. Eggshells for Natural Soil Improvement

crushed eggshells enrich garden soil

Eggshells are rich in calcium, and this makes them a common ingredient of commercial organic fertilizers. But there’s no need to pay for the nutrients these products could bring to your soil. Simply crumble the empty eggshells roughly, then scatter them over your flower and vegetable beds.
Dig eggshells carefully into the earth, and they’ll release their calcium and other minerals as they degrade. At the same time, they’ll improve the soil’s texture, aeration and drainage.

2. Deter Slugs and Snails with Eggshells

crushed eggshells in garden used to repel slugs

Using crushed eggshells to
deter slugs and snails is actually
a source of controversy among gardeners. The
theory is that the sharp, brittle edges of a crumbled eggshell aren’t a comfortable
surface for slugs and snails to slime their way over. By scattering broken
shells around the base of your seedlings it is thought that you can build a
physical barrier to discourage slugs and snails from making a meal of your
tender plants.
Given that eggshells are a natural (free) byproduct of cooking, and
because they add minerals and help condition soil, it wouldn’t hurt to give this a try, but
it’s probably best to consider broken eggshells as just one tool among your arsenal
for controlling slugs
given that its effectiveness is questionable.

3. Fertilize Outdoor and Indoor Potted Plants with Eggshells

crushed eggshells nourish soil of potted or houseplants

Just like in the garden, finely crushed eggshells provide an organic source of nutrition for houseplants, patio pots and hanging planters. Sprinkle the pulverized shells on the soil surface and they will break down over time whether you are using eggshells for houseplants or outdoor containers.

4. Eggshells Provide Natural Drainage for Container Plants

eggshells in garden used to create drainage in a planter

You can add roughly crumbled eggshells to the bottom of containers to increase drainage. This is perfect for calcium-hungry plants such as tomatoes, as the mineral is delivered directly to the roots as they grow. Tomato plants that develop a calcium deficiency are more susceptible to a common tomato disease called “blossom end rot.”

5. Eggshells are Great Food for Garden Birds

crushed eggshells provide nourishment for wildlife

Crumbled eggshells are valued as a food supplement by garden birds, who need the base mineral content to produce their own eggs. Crush the shells and mix them into your regular bird feed, or place whole shells on the bird table to be pecked at. The grateful avian diners will repay your thoughtfulness by helping keep slugs, aphids and other garden pests in check.

Here’s a list of different techniques to easily crush eggshells to use in your garden:

techniques for crushing eggshells to use in the garden

  • Rolling pin
  • Mortar and pedestal
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Heavy object such as rock, brick or can
  • Place in a heavy plastic bag and crush with hands or step on (wearing shoes)
  • Coffee grinder (you could invest in a grinder just for crushing eggshells)
eggshells are a great addition to a compost pile

Whether you’re an egg enthusiast or an occasional eater, don’t waste the natural resource that egg shells provide for your garden. Either take them into your yard immediately or give them a quick wash and store them until you’ve collected enough to use. Or, our Guide to Direct Composting explains how easy it is to compost eggshells and other kitchen scraps straight into your soil.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Posts You Will Love

All About Garden Soil and Mulch

Find out what types of soil is best for growing plants and what mulch you should use. Along with tips for making healthy soil, use our soil and mulch calculators to find how much you need for pots, gardens, and raised beds.

What is Winter Mulch?

Applying winter mulch is like giving plants a blanket to protect them from harsh winter conditions and damaging spring frosts. Learn more about the benefits of applying mulch before winter sets in.

How to Amend Clay Soil

Clay soil can be hard to work, have poor drainage and lack nutrients plants need to survive. Learn how to amend clay soil into workable, healthier soil.