Using SCOBYs and Kombucha For Plants: Does It Really Work?

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It is widely known that kombucha has several health benefits for people and pets, but did you know it can also be great for your garden? Rich in organic acids like citric, malic, lactic, and acetic acids, SCOBYs and kombucha can give your garden the extra boost of nutrients it needs to flourish.

What Are the Benefits of Kombucha for Plants?

Because of its acidic qualities, this fermented tea helps to release nutrients into the soil, aids in water retention, enhances plants’ growth, and increases the availability of minerals in the soil. It has also been shown to help control pests and plant diseases.

Can You Make Plant Fertilizer With Kombucha?

If you already brew kombucha, making a DIY plant fertilizer is easy. All you have to do is dilute your kombucha tea (about one cup of kombucha with a gallon of water) and mix it with soil and other organic matter, such as manure or plant residue.

Another option is to mix equal parts raw kombucha and molasses. Spray this mixture directly on the leaves of your plants to help them grow and become stronger.

Kombucha is also thought to help compost piles by regulating their acid levels, making the pH more neutral. Your extra SCOBY can also be a great addition to your compost pile, as it can help speed up decomposition and boost the nutritional value.

Be sure not to use it on plants that prefer more alkaline soil, such as lavender, lilacs, coneflowers, and hostas. Also, ensure not to overdo it with the booch fertilizer, as it could mess with the pH levels and damage or kill your plants.

3 Ways to Use Kombucha Tea in the Garden

  • Mix one cup of kombucha with a gallon of water and water your plants (only ones that like high acidity).
  • Use it as a fertilizer.
  • Make a pesticide spray (one part kombucha to two parts water).
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Watering plants with diluted kombucha

Can Kombucha Kill Plants?

In short, kombucha can kill plants if they prefer alkaline pH levels. However, there are some plants that like acidic pH levels, including:

  • Rhododendrons
  • Blueberries
  • Magnolias
  • Dogwoods
  • Gardenias
  • Begonias
  • Nasturtium
  • Japanese Pieris
  • Daffodils

Any of these plants will be happy to have the added nutrients and acidity of kombucha or an extra SCOBY.

Can You Put a Kombucha SCOBY in the Garden?

Yes, you can put kombucha SCOBYs in the garden!

There are several ways your garden can benefit from the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). If you home brew your kombucha, you probably have some extra SCOBYs lying around (hopefully kept in a SCOBY hotel for safe-keeping!), so why not put them to good use?

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Kombucha SCOBY

Similar to kombucha tea, only acid-loving plants will benefit from SCOBYs. Certain plants will suffer if you add a SCOBY to ones that prefer alkaline soil (such as geraniums, lavender, daylilies, and asparagus).

SCOBYs are a great source of nitrogen, which helps plants capture sunlight and grow. This addition will help acid-loving plants absorb nutrients, making them healthier, more resilient, and more impressive.

6 Ways to Use SCOBYs in the Garden

  1. Cut up and lay pieces of SCOBY around your trees and shrubs as mulch to prevent weed growth (if you don’t cover the pieces with dirt, they may begin to attract fruit flies because of their vinegary smell).
  2. Puree SCOBY and add it to the soil around your acid-loving plants.
  3. Dilute the SCOBY puree and use it to water the plant’s soil.
  4. Add pieces of SCOBY to the soil where you will plant your new garden plants (or at the bottom of the pot if growing indoor plants).
  5. Dig small holes in the dirt of your current garden and houseplants and insert pieces of the SCOBY.
  6. Add SCOBY pieces to your compost for more nutrients and faster decomposition.


Margaret has been drinking kombucha for its health benefits since 2010. Not only does she love drinking it, but she also enjoys brewing her own homemade booch. Her favorite combination so far is mint-strawberry, but she is always experimenting with new recipes.

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