Using Avocado Peels as an Organic Fertilizer

Most people simply throw away the peel and pit after removing the creamy green flesh. What many don’t realize is that the skins and pits can be repurposed as an organic fertilizer for houseplants or gardens.

Avocado peels are packed with nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. They can be composted, dried and ground into a powder, or used fresh in various ways. Utilizing food scraps like avocado peels reduces waste, saves money on store-bought fertilizers, and nourishes plants in an all-natural way.

Why Use Avocado Peels as Fertilizer

There are several advantages to using avocado peels and pits as plant food:

Nutrient Content

Avocado skins contain good amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and other minerals. The pits are rich in phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients are vital for plant growth, flowering, fruiting and overall health.

Natural and Organic

Homemade fertilizers utilizing food scraps are completely natural and safe for organic gardening. Avocado peels break down and release nutrients slowly without the use of harsh chemicals.

Reduces Food Waste

Americans generate up to 40% food waste annually. Reusing avocado leftovers eliminates waste and takes advantage of their fertilizing abilities instead of tossing them in the trash.

Cost Effective

Making your own fertilizer with items you already have saves money spent on commercial products. And avocados provide free nutrients for your plants.

Easy to Use

Avocado peels can be used fresh or dried and ground into a powder for convenient application. There’s minimal work involved to reap the benefits.

With so many advantages, avocado peels are one of the best food scraps to make use of in your garden.

How to Prepare Avocado Peels for Fertilizer

To unlock all the nutrients and maximize the fertilizer potential of avocado peels, they need to be prepared properly before using:


The simplest way to prepare avocado peels is drying. After removing the flesh, thinly slice the skins lengthwise into 1-2 inch strips. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet or drying rack.

Place near a sunny window or use a food dehydrator. Allow the peels to dry completely for 2-3 days, flipping occasionally. The skins will turn brown and become brittle when ready.

Store dried peels in an airtight glass jar out of sunlight until ready to use. Grind them into a fine powder for easiest application.


Avocado peels can be composted alone or with other fruit and vegetable scraps. Chop the skins into smaller pieces first to aid decomposition. Bury them into your compost pile or bin.

They will break down in 1-2 months along with other organic matter to produce nutrient-rich compost for your plants. Turning and aerating the compost regularly will speed the process.


For a fertilizer “tea”, place chopped avocado peels into a glass jar or bucket. Add a bit of water to cover. Secure the lid and allow it to sit for 1-2 weeks until a bubbly liquid develops, stirring occasionally.

The beneficial microbes formed will create a concentrated fertilizer to pour at the base of plants. Strain out the solids once finished fermenting.


An easy peeling method is freezing avocado halves before scooping out the flesh. The skins will come off smoothly. Save frozen peel pieces in a bag to add to compost later.

Preparing avocado peels properly helps concentrate their nutritional content and makes application easier.

Uses for Avocado Fertilizer

Once your avocado peels are ready, they can be used to fertilize plants in a variety of ways:

Mixed into Soil

The simplest use is mixing dried, ground avocado shells directly into potting soil or garden beds. The nutrients will be slowly released as the peels break down. Use 1-2 tablespoons per square foot of soil.

Top Dressing

Sprinkle dried avocado powder around the base of plants as a top dressing or mulch. This method prevents rapid nutrient leaching from rain or watering. Scrape it gently into the top 1-2 inches of soil.

Compost Tea

Water your container plants or garden with finished avocado peel compost tea. The steeping process extracts more nutrients versus using peels alone. Pour the liquid directly onto soil.

Foliar Fertilizer Spray

For a quick boost, soak dried avocado powder in water for 1-2 days. Strain out the solids and use the nutrient-rich liquid as a foliar spray on leaf surfaces.

Soil Amendment

Work some chopped fresh avocado peels directly into garden beds or pots when transplanting or re-potting plants. As they decompose, nutrition is released into the surrounding soil.

Potting Mix Additive

When creating your own potting mix, substitute dried, powdered avocado shells for up to 20% of the total volume.

Avocado fertilizer can be applied in many ways to provide natural nourishment for your plants.

Best Plants to Fertilize with Avocado Peels

All types of plants can benefit from avocado peel fertilizer. But some are especially effective:

  • Fruit trees – like citrus, apple, mango. Improves flowering and fruit production.
  • Vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens get a growth boost.
  • Herbs – rosemary, basil, cilantro thrive with extra nutrients.
  • Flowers – fertilize blooming annuals and perennials.
  • Houseplants – nourish common varieties like orchids, ferns, peace lily.
  • New transplants – add peels to the hole before planting.
  • Container plants – enrich potting mix by substituting dried powder.
  • Shrubs and hedges – encourage healthy growth and prevent disease.

Any edible or ornamental plants that need a nutritional boost are perfect candidates for avocado peel fertilizer.

Application Rates and Tips

Follow these guidelines when using avocado skins and pits:

  • Use peels immediately or dry/compost them first. Fresh peels may mold before decomposing.
  • Apply fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the active growing season.
  • For potted plants, use 1 teaspoon of dried powder per 6 inches of container size.
  • In gardens, apply 1-2 tablespoons per square foot, mixed into the top few inches of soil.
  • Water plants well after any fertilizer application to help it absorb into the soil.
  • Combine with high nitrogen fertilizers to balance the nutrient ratio. Avocados are high in phosphorus.
  • Use less if also using compost or well-rotted manure which contain nutrients.
  • Stop fertilizing 2 months before expected harvest for fruiting plants.

Following the proper rates ensures plants get the right amount of nutrients from avocado peel fertilizer without any risks of burn.

Storing Avocado Fertilizer

To keep homemade avocado fertilizer fresh for many months:

  • Dry peels completely before storage to prevent mold growth.
  • Grind them into a fine powder for easier use.
  • Keep in sealed glass jars or plastic bags in a cool, dark place.
  • Use within 6-12 months for best nutrient levels as they degrade over time.
  • Refrigerate avocado compost tea for up to 2 weeks or freeze larger batches.

With proper storage methods, you can stock up on this homemade fertilizer to have it ready to nourish plants as needed.

Benefits of Avocado Fertilizer vs. Commercial Products

Using avocado peels and pits offers some clear benefits over store-bought plant foods:

All natural: Contains only natural nutrients withoutsynthetic chemicals, fillers or preservatives. Safe for edible plants.

Slow release: Nutrients are released over time as the peels break down, providing prolonged feeding.

Soil improvement: Acts as an organic amendment, improving soil structure and microbial life.

Versatile uses: Can be used alone or mixed into potting blends, composts, top dressings, and teas.

Cost effective: Free to make from leftover peelings versus purchasing commercial fertilizer.

Renewable: Continually produce more fertilizer from your kitchen scraps.

Environmentally friendly: Reduces food waste in landfills. Reuses byproducts versus disposal.

For gardeners seeking a safe, effective and inexpensive way to fertilize plants, avocado peels are the perfect solution!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about using avocado peels as fertilizer:

Can the pits be used too?

Yes, the large seed inside the avocado can also be dried, ground and used. It contains higher levels of phosphorus and potassium than the peels.

Do peels need to be composted first?

No, but composting them first allows the nutrients to break down into more readily available forms for plants. Fresh peels take longer to decompose in soil.

How long do dried peels last?

Stored in airtight containers out of sunlight, dried avocado powder will remain effective for 6-12 months. After that, nutrient levels start declining.

Can excess fertilizer burn plants?

Yes, using too much avocado fertilizer can damage roots and leaves. Follow recommended application rates based on soil or container volume. Start with less if unsure.

When should it be applied?

Fertilize plants every 2-4 weeks during the active growing season of spring through fall. Stop 2 months before harvesting edible crops.

Does it need to be reapplied after rain or watering?

Yes, avocado fertilizer is water soluble so some nutrients will leach out with excess irrigation. Reapply after heavy rain or every few weeks for container plants.

Can it be combined with other fertilizers?

Absolutely. Pair with a nitrogen fertilizer to create a more complete balanced nutrient profile optimal for plant growth.

Is avocado fertilizer safe for all plants?

Yes, it can be used safely on all food crops, flowers, trees, shrubs, houseplants etc. Always follow dosage guidelines to prevent fertilizer burn.