What Plants Like Bone Meal: (7 Plants + Benefits)

Growing houseplants or vegetables means you must be careful with what you feed them. Read what plants like bone meal and how they benefit from this fertilizer!

Looking for a fertilizer that’s both natural and safe for your plants? If that is the case, you might want to consider using a bone meal.

This type of fertilizer is made from finely ground animal bones and is packed with nutrients that plants need to thrive. But which plants benefit most from bone meal? Let’s find out.

What is Bone Meal?

It’s important to know about the right fertilizer for your plants. Bone meal is a type of fertilizer that is made from animal bones.

The bones are processed and turned into powder, which is why it contains many nutrients that can benefit plants.

How is a bone meal made?

Traditional bone meal is typically made from beef bones, while seafood-based options are also available.

Fish, blood, and bone meal are other types of bone meal fertilizers that can be made from fishbone and blood.

Applying bone meal fertilizer can benefit fruit trees, vegetable gardens, flower beds, rose bushes, shrubs, and certain trees.

Benefits of Using Bone Meal

Benefits of Using Bone Meal

One technique of making organic fertilizer is grinding animal bones to make the bone meal. This material may include high levels of the plant-growing elements phosphorus and nitrogen.

Phosphorus is important for root growth, whereas nitrogen is crucial for leaf development.

Bone meal is an organic fertilizer that provides a slow release of nutrients and does not harm plants the way certain synthetic fertilizers may.

It’s also not too expensive and can be found with little effort. It’s widely available in garden centers and on the web.

Here are some of the benefits of using bone meal in the garden:

  • Promotes healthier and stronger root growth in plants.
  • It encourages more flower and fruit production.
  • Makes the soil nutrient dense for the plants.
  • It makes plants more drought-tolerant.

What Plants Like Bone Meal?

Plants thrive with bone meal. Bone meal is a great organic fertilizer containing phosphate and nitrogen. Animal bones are ground up to make the powder.

Root growth requires phosphorus, whereas leaf health and vitality are maintained by nitrogen (but watch out too much nitrogen is harmful).

Calcium and magnesium, two abundant elements in bone meal, may assist in warding off frequent problems like blossom end rot.

You can get a bone meal at your local garden center or nursery. In fact, even a small quantity of it may significantly impact your plants’ health.

Complete Gardening Bone Meal (1400 g)

A. Flowering Plants like

Different plants have different nutrient requirements, so it is important to know what your plant needs before adding anything to its soil.

However, if you are looking to add bone meal to your garden, here are some flowering plants that will benefit from the extra nutrients:

1. Roses

Roses are one of the most popular plants in the world and one of the most popular plants to use bone meal on.

Bone meal is a great source of two essential nutrients for a plant: phosphorus and nitrogen.

When to Use Bone Meal on Roses

The best time to use bone meal on roses is early spring before new growth begins. You can also use it after the leaves have fallen off in late fall.

How to Use Bone Meal on Roses

To use bone meal on roses, sprinkle it around the base of the plant. If you’re planting new roses, you may mix them into the soil before you do so.

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However, remember that too much bone meal might harm your roses. The standard recommendation is half a cup per plant.

2. Dahlias

The herbaceous perennials of the genus Dahlia are known for their tuberous blooms and their place of origin in Mexico and Central America.

They come in several sizes and colors, including white, yellow, pink, red, and purple, and may grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall.

Dahlia looks like zinnia but it is a low-maintenance plant that improves the whole look of your garden!

Before planting dahlia seeds, the bone meal should be mixed into the soil. Bone meal is perfect for plant development, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

Phosphorus promotes root growth, whereas nitrogen promotes leaf development. A decent rule of thumb is to use one pound of bone meal per 100 square feet of planting space.

3. Tulips

The tulip is a well-liked and simple-to-cultivate springtime flower. They need just a sunny location with well-drained soil.

A bone meal makes for great tulip fertilizer. It gives them the phosphorus they need for strong root growth and blooming.

Work a handful or two into the soil around each bulb before planting.

4. Lilies

Lilies are flowering plants that can have bone meal added to their diet and help promote blooming.

Bone meal is high in phosphorus, essential for lilies (and other plants) to grow and develop strong root systems. Bone meal works its magic best when used near the plant’s roots.

B. Root Crop Plants Like

Root crops like onions, carrots, and turnips love bone meal. The nutrients in this organic fertilizer help these plants flourish.

Bone meal also helps to keep the soil loose and aerated, which is important for root crops.

5. Onions

Leeks, shallots, and garlic also belong to the allium family of vegetables. Their life cycle is two years long, making them biannual plants.

Onions spend their first year growing a bulb below ground.

They bloom and generate seeds in the second year. Onions thrive in warm, sunny conditions with good drainage.

They may grow in a wide range of soils but do best in neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 6.0 to 7.5).

  • Growing onions from seed sets (small bulbs) or transplants are possible. (Larger bulbs).
  • Seeds should be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. That said, planting in the fall is also viable in areas with mild winters.
  • Planting seeds is best done in the late spring or early summer.
  • As heavy feeders, onions need consistent fertilizer applications throughout their growing season.
  • At planting time and once every four to six weeks afterward, apply a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 8-8-8.

How to apply bone meal to onions plant

A bone meal is great for onions because it contains phosphorus, which promotes healthy root growth.

Half a cup of every 10 square feet of garden space, or one tablespoon per plant, bone meal should be worked into the soil around onions.

6. Radishes

Radishes are one of the many vegetables that love bone meal. Radishes are a cool weather crop that can be planted as early as two weeks before the last frost in spring.

They’ll germinate and grow quickly, allowing you to harvest them in just a few weeks.

Bone meal contains what the plant needs to grow, phosphorus and nitrogen. Phosphorus is especially important for root development, while nitrogen helps the leaves to grow large and green.

How to apply bone meal to Radishes plant

A few tablespoons of bone meal added to the planting hole or bed will give your radishes the boost they need to produce a bountiful crop.

7. Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of nourishment in addition to having the potential to be a delectable treat for your gardening companions.

Phosphorus and nitrogen are two elements that are crucial to the development of healthy carrots, and bone meal is a wonderful source of both of these minerals.

When you add bone meal to your carrot patch, you’re giving your plants a little boost of energy that will help them grow big and strong.

bone meal fertilizer dos and don’ts

Bone meal is a type of organic fertilizer that is high in both phosphorus and calcium, which plants need to grow.

Here are some things you should and should not do with bone meal fertilizer:

bone meal Dos:

Put It Right on the Soil: When you plant a new plant or tree, put bone meal right on the soil in the hole. You can also put it around plants that are already growing and water it in a well.

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Do Use Bone Meal for Bulbs and Root Crops: Bone meal is especially good for bulbs and root crops because they need a lot of phosphorus to grow strong root systems. Before you put flowers or seeds, sprinkle them in the hole.

Do Test Your Soil: Before you put any kind of fertilizer on your soil, it’s a good idea to test it to find out what nutrients are in it. If your earth already has a lot of phosphorus, adding more could stop other nutrients from being taken in.

Do spread it again every so often. Bone meal breaks down slowly, so it can take plants a few months to use the nutrients. Follow the instructions on the package or do it about once per growth season.

bone meal Don’ts:

Don’t use too much: If you use too much bone meal, the earth will have too much phosphorus, which can make it hard for plants to get other important nutrients, like nitrogen and potassium.

If your soil is acidic, don’t use: Since bone meal is alkaline, it can make your soil more alkaline. If your soil is already alkaline, this could cause a nutrient lockout, a situation in which plants can’t get the minerals they need.

Don’t put it on the roots or seedlings directly: Bone meal is strong and can burn the roots of young plants or seeds that are still soft. It works best if it is mixed into the dirt before you plant.

Don’t Use Around Pets: Bone meal can attract pets, especially dogs, who may dig up your plants to get to it. If they ate a lot of it, it could block up their digestive system, which could be dangerous.

Don’t think that bone meal is enough: Bone meal gives plants phosphorus and calcium, but plants need many other nutrients to grow well. Depending on the type of soil you have, you may also need to use other types of fertilizers.

What is the recipe for bone meal?

You can make your own bone meal at home, but it takes a few steps and care because you’ll be working with animal bones, which can have germs on them. Here’s a simple way to do it:

What You’ll Need:

Animal bones: You can use bones from almost any meat you eat, like beef, chicken, or fish. You can ask your neighbourhood butcher for bones or save bones from meals you’ve already made.

  • Large jar
  • Oven

Grinder: To grind the bones, you’ll need something very strong. If the bones are small and weak enough, a blender or food processor might work, but there’s a high chance that it will break. A heavy-duty grinder would be better.


Clean the Bones: If you are using bones from a meal you have already eaten, take off as much meat and other muscle as you can.

Boil the Bones: Put the bones in a big pot, cover with water, and boil for about 30 minutes to kill any germs. This also helps get rid of any meat or muscle that is left.

Dry the Bones: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, which is usually around 200°F (93°C). The boiled bones should be spread out on a baking sheet and put in the oven. It can take several hours to bake until everything is dry.

Grind the Bones: The bones are ready to be ground when they are dry and hard. Care needs to be taken with this step. If you can, use a heavy-duty cutter.

Store the Bone Meal: Store the bone meal in a safe place. Use a jar that seals well and puts it somewhere cool and dry where pets can’t get to it.

Please keep in mind that you can make bone meal at home, but it is usually easier and safer to buy it from a yard store. Commercial bone meal is cooked to make sure it is free of germs and to get more nutrients out of it.

The process of making bone meal can also make a strong smell, and if the bones aren’t cleaned well, they could be contaminated or spread diseases.

So, for most people, it’s best to buy bone meal already made by a business.

What Plants Don’t Like Bone Meal?

Many plants benefit from bone meal’s phosphorus and calcium.

Some plants don’t need much of these nutrients. Overuse of bone meal can cause soil phosphorus levels to rise, preventing other nutrients from being absorbed. These plants may not benefit from bone meal:

Plants that prefer acidic soil: Bone meal gently alkalizes soil. Bone meal may not work for acid-loving plants like azaleas, blueberries, and rhododendrons.

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Plants in phosphorus-rich soil: Adding bone meal may disrupt nutritional balance. This may harm plants that prefer a balanced diet.

Nitrogen-fixing legumes: Peas, beans, and clover, which fix nitrogen from the air, have a unique connection with soil microbes. They don’t need as much phosphorus, therefore bone meal may not help them.

Plants that favour low-phosphorus soil: Native plants and adapted wildflowers flourish in low-phosphorus soils and can be injured by too much phosphorus. For instance, proteas and banksias.

Plants sensitive to fungus or disease: Bone meal’s high phosphorus levels can accelerate plant development, weakening them and making them more susceptible to disease. It’s crucial to feed plants well.

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Bone Meal Fertiliser FAQs

Q: How Can I Use Bone Meal On Indoor Plants?

Mix bone meal with 1 cup per gallon of water.
Add the bone meal to the watering can and water the plant’s roots.
Apply every 2-3 weeks or as needed.

Q: How To Use Bone Meal On Outdoor Plants?

The bone meal should be sprinkled around the plant’s roots.
Be careful not to touch the leaves.
Once done with fertilizing, add water to cover the entire area fully.

Q: Can Excessive Bone Meal Harm Plants?

This should not harm your plants if you fertilize the soil following the given directions.

Be careful to have a soil test done to determine the ideal pH level for your soil.

Before you begin to mix it, make sure that the value is less than 7. You can use one tablespoon of fertilizer per two square feet of soil.

On a grander scale, this equates to 10 pounds of soil for every 100 square feet of garden space you have.

Q: how much bone meal to add to soil?

The amount of bone meal you give to the soil depends on the plant’s demands and the soil’s nutritional level.

Apply 1 tablespoon of bone meal per square foot of soil surface. Check the packaging directions because concentration might vary.

Q: Can Bone Meal Be Used On All Plants?

Remember that bone meal can help many plants, but not all plants need or benefit from it.

Before you fertilize, you should always test the soil and learn what your plants need.

Q: How Much Bone Meal Per Tree?

When planting trees, add 1 to 2 cups of bone meal into the soil. Established trees need different amounts.

Bone meal can be sprinkled around the tree’s base and watered.

Q: Can You Mix Bone Meal With Water For Plants?

Bone meal is insoluble in water and doesn’t produce a suitable liquid fertiliser. It releases nutrients slowly when applied directly to soil.

Q: Do Tomatoes Like Bone Meal?

Phosphorus in bone meal helps tomatoes establish roots and blossom and fruit.

Phosphorus can limit the intake of other nutrients, so don’t abuse it. Tomatoes love somewhat acidic soil, thus bone meal can boost pH

Q: Can We Use Bone Meal For Grass

Grass may use bone meal. Root growth requires phosphorus. You’ll want to use a balanced fertiliser since grass requires nitrogen for leaf development.

Q How Long Does Bone Meal Last?

Bone meal releases nutrients slowly in soil. In most soils, it can supply phosphorus and calcium for 4-6 months.

You may store it indefinitely because it doesn’t “go bad” or expire. Store it in a cool, dry location away from pets.

Q: What is the substitute for bone meal?

Alternatives to bone meal exist. Phosphorus and calcium are found in soft rock phosphate.

Vegan alternatives include rock phosphate or composted manure. Remember that nutrition levels may vary, so modify your application rates.


A bone meal can be a great way to provide your plants with the phosphorus and calcium they need for healthy growth.

It’s an excellent organic fertilizer that can give your garden or indoor potted plants the nutrients they need to thrive.

Many different flowers, vegetables, and herbs enjoy fertilizing with a bone meal, including roses, dahlias, lilies, carrots, onions, radishes, and tulips.

With a little planning, you’ll be able to ensure that all your plants are receiving their essential nutrients safely and naturally.