It is hard to think of an ingredient (other than flour and sugar, of course) as wonderful and essential to baking as cinnamon. The spice can be used in a wide range of dishes ranging from quick bread to cookies, pies to pastries, and everything in between.
Cinnamon adds a bit of flavor to many dishes, even savory ones! But did you know that cinnamon is also good for you outside of the kitchen?
Cinnamon has a number of practical uses in gardening. Although cinnamon can be high in price and inconvenient when compared to other natural remedies that you can use in your garden, there’s still a number of ways you can use it to enhance your flowers or vegetables.
Why Use Cinnamon in the Garden?
If you can’t find cinnamon, you can still find it at your local grocery store or convenience store. Although cinnamon isn’t the cheapest spice, nor is it the most expensive – which means it’s simply more affordable than other garden treatments such as rooting hormones.
In the garden, cinnamon provides a huge advantage because it is easy to use. You do not need to visit an expensive garden supply store or order from a catalog and wait seven days for a product to arrive to be able to use it in your plants. Having everything you need right in your own home kitchen is quite convenient!
It is important to remember that cinnamon powder and not cinnamon sticks are what I write about when I discuss using cinnamon in the garden. While cinnamon sticks are beautiful to look at, they aren’t as effective as I’ll describe below.
Uses for Cinnamon in the Garden
Spending money on expensive things such as hormone rooting powder is unnecessary. Cinnamon saves the day.
Most gardeners believe cinnamon is equally effective when applied to a plant’s stem before planting. Growing plants in this manner will stimulate root development in just about any type of plant, and you only need to apply it once.
A spoonful of cinnamon on a paper towel will work as a rooting agent. Then dampen the ends of the stems and roll them in the paper towel. Your cuttings should be planted in potting soil. The cinnamon will help encourage new growth – and it will also serve another vital purpose, as I’ll describe next.
Prevent Damping Off Disease
Cinnamon can also be applied to cuttings in order to prevent damp root rot, a fungus that attacks healthy young plants as they begin to grow. By treating your vulnerable seedlings with cinnamon, you can prevent fungus from growing.
In addition to fungal infections, it’s also effective at treating other fungal diseases. For instance, it can remove slime mold. You can use cinnamon as fungicide on older plants by adding a spoonful or two in water and letting it steep overnight.
Put the mixture into a spray bottle, then strain it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth, then spray any affected leaves, stems, or other plant parts with this solution. You may need to spritz the soil too if soil-borne fungi are an issue.
Cinnamon is extremely effective in removing and preventing numerous garden pests, ant species being among the most problematic.
Whether in the greenhouse, on the garden plot, or even around houseplants, ants are common garden pests. Cinnamon prevents them from invading the area when they make a barrier they don’t want to cross. It’s easy to use cinnamon on ants. Just sprinkle it as a border wherever they tend to be a problem.
Inside or outside the home, cinnamon can be used to control ants. The best way to do so is to find where the ants are entering and then sprinkle cinnamon along the path. The product will not kill the ants, but it will keep them away from the home.
Adding cinnamon to your garden mulch will help discourage mushroom growth without bothering your plants (usually, in your garden). Mushrooms are awesome – but only when they grow where you want them to (usually in your garden).
In addition to rust, other bacterial infections often affect garden plants, including calendula. They’re spread by fungi Puccinia distincta, and are aggravating for gardeners since they tend to affect the entire plant, including the flowers.
When growing calendula or other similar plants (such as daisies or cineraria) for medicinal use, you cannot use their flowers if they are infested with rust.
In order to prevent rust in your garden, it’s important to know how to remove it. Although good garden hygiene techniques like crop rotation can help, it can be a challenge to remove rust once it’s appeared. Cinnamon can help.
A bit of cinnamon sprinkled in the garden can help prevent rust from taking over. As a powerful antifungal agent, cinnamon works best in concert with other smart measures like spacing out your plants and following good watering hygiene.
Heals Plant Wounds
You probably know how important pruning is for your plants, but over-pruning can deprive your plants of the chance to regain their health and produce new growth. You may also encounter issues when trimming plants with dirty tools and spreading infections to other plants.
In rare cases, you may even accidentally hit a plant with pruning shears or a weed whacker without intending to. Cinnamon is able to remedy the situation. By applying cinnamon to a fresh plant wound, cinnamon can help facilitate healing, preventing fungal infections from developing.
Deters Furry Pests
For those of you who are troubled with furry pests, like mice, rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents, you may want to give cinnamon a try. Although cinnamon has a powerful smell, you may not know how to use it for this purpose. Animals running low to the ground are sometimes confused by its strong odor, causing them to wander away from an area altogether.
It might be helpful to sprinkle a spoonful of cinnamon around the perimeter of your garden if you find that pests are consistently plaguing it.
If you’re ready to get rid of mosquitoes, you can apply a bit of cinnamon around the garden to repel them. Mosquitoes are one of the most irritating creatures. Even though it’s not the most effective insect repellent on the market (Citronella still wins my vote), it can be beneficial when used in conjunction with other agents.
Can Even Be Used on Houseplants
It can be used to kill spider mites, whiteflies, and other pests in greenhouses, but even plants grown indoors can benefit from cinnamon. The remedy consists of spreading cinnamon on the soil around your plants. These remedies can be also used to maintain indoor house plants.
If you care for indoor plants, cinnamon can also get rid of gnats, insects that are not necessarily harmful to the plants but can make your life miserable as an indoor gardener. The antimicrobial properties of cinnamon are also helpful when it comes to controlling mildew and mold on houseplants.
What to Keep in Mind When Using Cinnamon
Although cinnamon holds the solution to many common garden issues, it is not a panacea or an all natural solution. These uses are mostly based on anecdotal evidence, which means scientific evidence is not as abundant as it needs to be.
Nevertheless, none of these techniques will harm your plants if combined with other good gardening practices like rotating crops, watering first thing in the morning instead of late in the afternoon, and fertilizing frequently. You should not use too much cinnamon in the garden, though – it will get very expensive.