Is It Safe to Use MSG as Fertilizer?

We use it to make dishes more flavorful but can it help you achieve a thriving garden?

Photography: Delicious Living | Pexels (Main Photos)

Keeping plants healthy is one of the challenges of maintaining a garden at home. While others use compost and egg shells as fertilizer, there are those who experiment with different kinds of fertilizers to care for their green wonders. We’re all for trying new things but have you heard about using MSG as fertilizer? A staple in our kitchens, this distinct white powder is known to enhance the flavor of our favorite meals, making it a cooking essential.

In an article posted on The Sunday Leader, there are farmers in Sri Lanka who mix MSG into their chemical solutions to increase the effect of pesticides. “It is widely used as a dirt cheap method of enhancing flavor in food and growth in crops. I wouldn’t recommend it as fertilizer for your houseplants as you can opt for organic fertilizers,” shares Marvz Conti of Habil Crafts. If you’re curious and want to explore the possibilities of using fertilizers, Marvs shares these tips:

When choosing fertilizers, start by determining the type of soil you have.

“Is it clay, sand, or loam? Loam is considered the holy grail of soil types, but most of us have a combination of all three, with wither clay or sand featured more prominently. Most fertilizers come with information about the nutrients each has known as the N-P-K ratio. Each should contain the volume of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in each product. Note that nitrogen helps plants make the proteins they need to produce new tissues while phosphorus stimulates root growth, helps the plan set buds and flowers, improves vitality and increases seed size. Meanwhile, potassium plays a key role in helping plants digest and manufacture their food. Organic fertilizers are made from naturally occurring mineral deposits and organic material, such as bone, plant meal or composted manure. Synthetic fertilizers are made by chemically processing raw materials. To build a healthy and fertile soil, we recommend using granular organic fertilizers. Supplementing with a water-soluble fertilizer ensures that your plants have the nutrients they need when they're in active growth,” explains Marvz.


READ: What You Need To Know About Fertilizers

Keep in mind that more doesn't mean better.

According to Marvz, not all plants can access the key nutrients available in the soil or in the air. “We need to consider the soil in which a plant is growing as each soil type has its own mix of nutritional ingredients. Too much fertilizer can damage and maybe even kill your plants as it’s possible to overfeed your plants,” he adds. Before you head to the nearest store to buy packs of fertilizer, it’s best to have your soil tested first so you can select the type and formula that suits the needs of your plant.

You can create a DIY fertilizer using compost and food leftovers. If you’re visiting a plant store or a farm, here are fertilizers to keep in mind:


A homemade compost benefit the soil by adding organic matter, providing food for beneficial microbial life, increasing the soil’s water-holding capacity and gradually releasing plant nutrients. “Compost also contains many micronutrients essential for plant growth,” Marvz adds.

Earthworm Castings

A great organic fertilizer if you have a flower or edible garden.

Bone Meal

“This is an awesome source for phosphorus and helps the plant to grow a healthy root system. It works great in conjunction with blood meal.”

Rock Phosphate

This mineral rock powder is an excellent source of phosphorus and calcium. Remember to test the pH level of your soil first before using this.

Vinegar Fertilizer

“Plain white vinegar is an inexpensive and effective fertilizer for acid-loving plants like roses, hydrangeas, and berries. Simply mix a tablespoon of vinegar in a gallon of water. Use this solution in lieu of your regular watering about once every three months. Remember to rest your soil before altering its pH level. While many plants thrive in an acidic environment, too low of a pH can be harmful,” explains Marvz.


READ: 5 Homemade Fertilizers For Your Garden

Main Photo: Delicious Living

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