Use These Garden Plants to Make Your Own Liquid Plant Feeds

These species are good at transferring nutrients from soil to other plants.

woman pour homemade liquid fertilizer into a plastic jar

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I use a range of plants from my garden to make liquid plant feeds. Today, I thought I would share some of the plants that I use in this way—ones which are numbered among the best "dynamic accumulators." This term, which is commonly used in permaculture, refers to a plant's ability to absorb and store nutrients and minerals from the soil in higher and more bioavailable concentrations.

First of all, it should be stated that dynamic accumulation is a complex topic. Nutrients within the plants themselves, and the liquid feeds you make from them, can vary considerably depending on the soil where you live and the conditions in your area, among other factors.

But making liquid plant feeds by adding plant materials to water can help you maintain fertility in your garden, and keep plants healthy and growing strong. I find that these are beneficial when used on their own or in combination with each other.

Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are one of the most abundant "weeds" where I live. But for me, they are one of the most useful plants in my garden. I eat them, use them to make twine, and value them as a boon to native wildlife.

I also use them to make a nitrogen-rich liquid plant feed, which is particularly beneficial to leafy, nitrogen-hungry crops. The nettles bioaccumulate a range of other macro and micro plant nutrients. They grow quickly, too, and can be harvested more than once throughout the growing season.

If you do not have stinging nettles, then glass clippings and many other leafy materials can also produce a high-nitrogen liquid plant feed.


Comfrey is the best known plant for liquid feeds, famed for its ability to gather potassium and other nutrients from deep below the soil with its long taproots. Comfrey makes a wonderful feed for fruiting plants, which require a potassium boost, but its properties are well-suited to a range of different plants as well.


Another abundant, deep-rooted plant for liquid feeds is the dandelion (Taraxacum). These can add potassium and trace nutrients to a formulation to feed a range of plants. I typically do not use dandelions on their own, but rather add them to a general purpose "weed feed" along with other plants from my garden. 


Yarrow is a deep-rooted, nutrient-rich perennial which can be a particularly great addition to a "weed feed." Yarrow concentrates phosphorus, potassium, copper, sulfur, and a number of other nutrients that plants require to grow and thrive.

Lamb's Quarters

Another of the plants which I particularly prize for liquid feeds is Chenopodium album, also known as "Lamb's Quarters," "Fat Hen," or "Goosefoot." It is not only great for the three main plant nutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—but also for other nutrients including calcium and magnesium.


A plant that I particularly prize for liquid feeds is borage. This self-seeding annual is beneficial in a garden for a wide range of reasons, including accumulating potassium.

These are by no means the only plants from a garden that can be beneficial when added to an organic liquid fertilizer. Some other particularly beneficial "weeds" for mixed liquid plant feeds include:

  • Galium aparine (cleavers, sticky willy)
  • Plantago ssp. (plantains)
  • Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
  • Rumex ssp. (curly dock) 
  • Sonchus ssp. (perennial sowthistle)
  • Stellaria media (chickweed)
  • Tanacetum vulgare (tansy)
  • Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)


One more useful ingredient for liquid plant feeds comes not from the garden but from the coastline. Seaweeds can be sustainably harvested in small quantities in some areas, and where this is permitted and done responsibly, these can also make a great liquid plant feed. Seaweed contains a raft of micronutrients that foster healthy and productive plant growth.

These are just some examples. Exploring ways to make liquid feeds from different plants can help you maintain fertility in your garden and increase yields over time. Don't be afraid to give it a go and to conduct your own experiments to determine which solutions and dilutions are best for where you live.