What is humus? Benefits and uses of humus soil for indoor plants

Was ist Humus? Vorteile und Verwendung der Humuserde für Zimmerpflanzen - FARBIO® - Nachhaltige Bio-Flüssigdünger aus Hamburg

Nutrient humus is considered the key to nutrient-rich garden soil or a high-quality houseplant substrate. If this organic matter is added, soil fertility, water storage, nutrient supply and structural stability are increased. Find out here how you can improve the growth of your houseplants naturally with humus!

Definition of humus

The term “humus” refers to all dead organic matter in the soil. Soil organisms break down plant remains into tiny pieces. Even the remains of animals and microorganisms are eventually converted into humus.

As a rule, the top 10 to 30 cm of soil in the garden contains a layer of humus. The dark brown to black topsoil has bound many of the important macro and micronutrients.

Humus formation and composition of humus

Humus is created by the breakdown of organic materials in the soil. This process of decomposition is also known as humification. There are various organisms involved in humus formation, including bacteria, fungi, worms and other soil creatures. These convert organic matter into humic substances.

As decomposition progresses, a brown to black, stable substance forms - humus. This has a loose and crumbly structure and contains both insoluble organic molecules and soluble substances. These are called humic acids.

Humus formation is a continuous process that is influenced by various factors, such as the type and amount of biomass, soil moisture, temperature and the activity of soil organisms. In well-aerated and moist soils with a rich diversity of soil organisms, humus formation usually occurs faster and more efficiently.

Humus in hands

Properties of humus: fertility, nutrient availability, etc.

So a dark organic mass naturally forms in the soil, which is rich in nutrients and contributes to the fertility of the soil by storing water, improving the soil structure and supporting the growth of plants.

The humic acid it contains promotes the absorption capacity of roots through increased cation exchange capacity. It also strengthens the health of plants by preventing pests from entering plant cells.

How does humus affect houseplants?

Humus in the soil substrate for houseplants, a real miracle cure, also brings many benefits. Its structure loosens compacted substrate, allowing plants to develop better roots. In addition, roots receive more air and are less likely to rot. The nutrients it contains also improve old potting soil. Humus can provide plants with essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium as an alternative or in addition to a fertilizer.

You can find the right organic liquid fertilizer for your houseplants in our shop.

Worm composter

How humus can be added to the garden and green plants: make compost or buy humus?

Both a home composter and a worm composter offer the opportunity to make humus yourself. Alternatively, you can also buy humus in solid or liquid form.

A home composter collects organic waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and leaves. These materials are layered on a compost heap. To promote the decomposition of the biomass, it is important to keep the compost pile sufficiently moist and to mix or turn it regularly. The process can take anywhere from a few months to a year depending on the conditions and size of the composter.

A vermicomposter uses special earthworms to break down organic waste. The worms are placed in stacked containers with a layer of damp cardboard or newspaper. The top layer of the composter is filled with organic kitchen waste. The worms eat their way through the waste and turn it into worm castings. It is important to keep the composter moist and feed the worms appropriately to avoid odors. After a certain amount of time, the finished worm castings can be removed and used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants.

How humus content is incorporated into the substrate

Humus can either be mixed directly with the soil in solid form, or you can give your houseplants humus in liquid form!

Liquid humus is a concentrated form of nutrients, microorganisms and other substances contained in humus. As a rule, liquid humus is produced by soaking humus materials such as compost or worm castings in water. During soaking, the nutrients and microorganisms from the humus material are released into the water. This water is then strained or filtered to obtain a liquid solution.

Liquid humus can be used as a fertilizer or plant strengthener by mixing it with irrigation water or spraying it directly onto the leaves as a foliar spray.

Philodendron plant

Which plants particularly benefit from humus in the soil

There are heavy, medium and weak feeders among houseplants. The less frugal green plants that have high nutrient requirements include Monstera, Philodendron, Cala and Alocasia. These plants particularly benefit from the addition of humus, as it contains humic substances and important nutrients.

Important tips and tricks for using humus with houseplants

It is important to note that individual plants' soil requirements may vary. It is therefore advisable to take into account the specific needs of the respective plant species and adjust the humus level in the substrate accordingly.

Our most important tips for plant care can be found in this video!