Cinnamon for Houseplants: Why and How to Use It

Last Updated: October 24, 2023

Cinnamon for Houseplants

Cinnamon for Houseplants

Who knew your favorite spice and kitchen staple could do so much more than just enhance flavor in food? Cinnamon turns out to be beneficial for houseplants too! Below we will walk you through what cinnamon can do for your houseplants, as well as how to use it and what to be cautious of.

Understanding How Cinnamon Works as a Natural Fungicide

Cinnamon isn’t just for your favorite baked goods and savory dishes, it can also be great for plant care, particularly as a natural fungicide.

Cinnamon contains a chemical compound known as cinnamaldehyde and this little component is known to have antimicrobial properties, and it’s exactly what makes cinnamon a potent natural fungicide.

When applied to the soil, Cinnamaldehyde inhibits fungal growth and prevents the disease from spreading to other parts of the plant or contaminating the neighboring plants.

One of the best things about using cinnamon as a fungicide is that it’s totally non-toxic to plants. There’s no risk of harming your green friends if used correctly.

How often should you use cinnamon as afungicide?

The answer depends on the degree of the fungal infection. For minor issues, sprinkling cinnamon once every month or so should do the trick.

But if your plant has a more severe infection, it might require more frequent applications, perhaps once every week until the fungus clears up.

You’ll need to observe your plants closely and adjust the treatment frequency as needed, keeping in mind not to overuse it.

What about cinnamon oil?

Can you use cinnamon oil instead of the powdered form? Absolutely.

Cinnamon essential oil has a higher concentration of cinnamaldehyde, making it even more effective against fungus. However, it must be diluted; otherwise, it could harm your plants.

Just add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and you’ve got yourself a homemade, highly effective anti-fungal plant spray.

Using Cinnamon to Boost Root Growth and Development

Cinnamon has proven to be quite effective in boosting root growth and development for houseplants by producing hormones that spur root proliferation.

But how do you go about using cinnamon for root growth? You simply sprinkle the ground cinnamon around the base of the plant where the roots begin.

The plant absorbs the cinnamon, which then catalyzes root development. It’s that easy!

Top tip: Mixing cinnamon with warm water and letting your plants have a drink can also work really well.

Aiding Cuttings and Seedlings Using Cinnamon

Beyond mature plants, cinnamon can also aid cuttings and seedlings. Dipping the stem of a new cutting or the roots of a new seedling into cinnamon can help them take root more quickly.

It’s important to remember though that while cinnamon is a powerful and natural supplement for your houseplants, using it should be balanced as you don’t want to overload your plants.

Enhancing Nutrient Absorption with Cinnamon

Cinnamon improves the nutrient uptake process by promoting beneficial soil bacteria while inhibiting harmful ones.

How to Use Cinnamon for Better Nutrient Absorption?

The application process is surprisingly simple. Sprinkle a light layer of cinnamon on the top soil and gently mix it in. Over time, your plants will benefit from the increased availability of necessary nutrients.

However, it’s essential to remember that cinnamon is best used as a complementary aid to plant nutrition. It should not replace a balanced fertilization regimen exclusive for your indoor plant species.

Combined with regular watering, adequate sunlight, and the right soil, cinnamon can be the extra boost your indoor plants need to thrive.

Protecting Houseplants from Insects and Pests Using Cinnamon

While insects and pests can be a considerable problem for indoor plants, cinnamon can often be the answer to fighting and preventing them.

Why Do Insects Hate Cinnamon?

It turns out that many insects greatly dislike the strong aroma of cinnamon. Although researchers are not fully confident about why this is, they believe it’s due to cinnamon’s potent scent, which can be overwhelming.

How to Use Cinnamon for Pest Control

Using cinnamon as a pest deterrent is surprisingly simple. You can sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon powder on the surface of the soil surrounding your plants – a thin layer is enough.

This creates a barrier that will repel many types of insects. Alternatively, you can mix five to six sticks of cinnamon in a liter of water, let it steep overnight, and use this cinnamon-infused water to water your plants.

This method not only deters pests but also offers the additional benefits of cinnamon to the plant’s roots and soil.

Limitations of Cinnamon as a Pest Deterrent

While cinnamon is a natural and safe method to deter pests from your houseplants, it’s important to note that it may not work on all species of insects so it’s not a definitive solution.

Promoting Healthy Soil with Cinnamon

Cinnamon is not just great because it wards off pests and disease-causing fungi, but it also enriches the soil, which leads to healthier and happier houseplants.

Cinnamon aids in controlling and preventing certain soil-borne diseases. It makes the environment safe for your plants to get nutrients without the threat of being invaded by harmful microbes.

Another useful quality of cinnamon is its ability to retain the soil’s moisture by reducing the rate of evaporation.

How to Use Cinnamon for Soil Health

To prepare a soil mix, sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon powder in the soil or compost you’re about to use for planting. Mix it well to ensure the cinnamon is well distributed.

Another way to introduce cinnamon to your soil is by making a cinnamon solution. Mix a spoonful of cinnamon powder in water and use it to water your plants. You can use this solution once a week or less, depending on the needs of your plants.

Choosing the Right Type of Cinnamon for Your Houseplants

The Basics: Ceylon vs. Cassia

There are mainly two types of cinnamon readily available in the market: Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon. Although both are beneficial for your plants, they have different aspects which can be more suitable depending on your specific needs.

Ceylon Cinnamon, often referred to as “true” cinnamon, is mildly sweet and is the recommended choice if you are mainly focusing on enhancing your plant’s root growth and boosting nutrient absorption.

Characterized by thin and fragile layers, it’s easy to grind into powder – making it easy to mix with soil.

On the other hand, the stronger, spicier Cassia Cinnamon makes an excellent choice if your primary concern is fighting fungal diseases or warding off insects thanks to its antifungal properties.

This type of cinnamon comes in thick and rough chunks, which work well when sprinkled on the soil’s surface or within it.

Other Considerations: Organic vs. Regular Cinnamon

Organic cinnamon is harvested and processed without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, making it the best choice for our eco-conscious gardeners.

Plus, it’s also good practice to cross-check that your cinnamon hasn’t been irradiated, as this process can kill the beneficial elements that are beneficial to your plant.

Applying Cinnamon as a Topical Treatment for Plant Wounds

It can happen from time to time that our houseplants suffer from accidental injuries like cuts or scrapes which could occur when pruning your plants, repotting, or even due to pets in the house.

High humidity can make these wounds prime real estate for fungal infections. However, this is another area where cinnamon can be really handy for houseplant care.

Cinnamon: ANatural Antiseptic for Plant Wounds

Cinnamon can act as an antiseptic due to a compound known as cinnamaldehyde, which is found in cinnamon and gives it its characteristic warm, spicy aroma.

This compound has antifungal and antibacterial properties making it an excellent choice for treating plant wounds.

Applying Cinnamon to Houseplant Wounds: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here is how you can go about it.

  1. First, clean the wound. Remove any dirt or debris from the injured area meticulously.
  2. Then, sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon powder directly onto the wound.
  3. Ensure that the wound is entirely covered with the cinnamon.
  4. If necessary, you can reapply cinnamon every few days until the wound appears to be healing properly.

Safety Measures and Considerations

While cinnamon is generally safe and beneficial for plants, it’s important to bear in mind a couple of things.

Firstly, always handle your plants with care to prevent unnecessary wounds and injuries. Secondly, not all plants may respond to cinnamon in the same manner, so it’s worth doing a small test patch first, especially on sensitive plants.

Downsides of Using Cinnamon for Houseplant Care

Cinnamon might seem like a miracle spice for struggling greenery, but as with everything, moderation is key and it’s essential to understand that not every plant problem can be solved with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Overuse of cinnamon can prove harmful. Using too much of it, especially directly on plant parts or in the soil, could disrupt the natural balance and potentially burn plant tissues.

Another point to consider is that cinnamon is not a quick fix. While it does have amazing properties that benefit your houseplants, these effects are not immediate. It’s a preventive and a slow healer, not an instant remedy.

If a plant has a severe infection or infestation, a stronger course of treatment might be necessary rather than just cinnamon.

It’s also good to keep in mind that it’s not useful against all pests. While it is effective against certain types of fungus and pests, not all pests will be deterred by cinnamon. You’ll need to identify the type of pest and then decide the most effective form of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of cinnamon for my houseplants?

Typically, both Ceylon and Cassia types can be used for houseplant care. However, it’s essential to note that each gives a slightly different set of benefits.

Ceylon Cinnamon is the recommended choice if you are focusing on enhancing your plant’s root growth and boosting nutrient absorption.

The stronger, spicier Cassia Cinnamon is great if you’re fighting fungal diseases or warding off insects thanks to its antifungal properties.

While deciding, consider whether organic or regular is more fitting for your needs, and don’t forget to check the freshness!

Will cinnamon harm my houseplants if I use it too often?

Cinnamon, just like any other plant treatment, can have counterproductive effects if overused. Though it’s a natural substance, overapplication could stress the plant. It’s best to start off lightly, observe how your plant responds, and adjust accordingly.

Is cinnamon effective against all types of pests?

Unfortunately, no. While cinnamon can ward off several insect species, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to all insect-related problems. This spice mostly deters ants and fungus gnats. For larger pests and a wide range of insects (or a very serious case of an infestation), a tougher solution might be necessary.

Can Iuse cinnamon in conjunction with other treatments?

Yes! In fact, that’s one of the advantages of using cinnamon. It’s safe to mix with most organic and artificial treatments. However, as always, it’s important to first test a small dose and observe your plant’s reaction before proceeding with larger applications.

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