Georgina Terry | Contributing Writer | Saturday, 12 March 2016

A bloody good idea: using period blood to fertilise your plants

Can Period Blood Fertilise Your Houseplants?

The Debrief: Yes, *of course* we put this theory to the test...

Sitting in the office the other week, I blew my colleague’s mind.

That’s a pretty standard occurrence of course, but this time it wasn’t by arranging my desk fruit to look rude (a banana and two satsumas – you can work out the rest) or by surprising her with a deskercise lunge, but with sort of science.

Specifically, by telling her that you can use period blood to fertilise plants.

According to the Royal Horticultual Society (RHS), most fertilisers are based on the three major plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And all three of these beauties are contained in blood.

Organic fertiliser can come from sources including fish blood and bone, bone meal or dried animal blood, so why not use the bounty of our lady gardens in our own gardens?

WATCH: Nik Southern, Founder of Grace and Thorn, Tells Us How To Look After Our Plants


It’s maybe important to note that the information I found on using period blood on plants came mainly from hippy-leaning blogs rather than the RHS or Alan Titmarsh’s website – although I guess the latter kind of makes sense – but let’s remember that once upon a time no-one but hippies could pronounce quinoa, let alone prepare it for lunch, before we start deriding their ideas.

It’s probably no surprise that if you want to use period blood as a fertiliser you are going to have to get very handy with a Mooncup as wringing out a tampon just isn’t going to cut it.

I was a newcomer to Mooncups before this experiment and my initial thought on seeing one was that there was no way it would fit in my vagina. But then I thought of the penises my vagina has known and got over the size issue.

My second thought was that it would leak. As a woman who can get through a supersize tampon in two hours this was a genuine concern. But there was absolutely zero leaking. And, as an added bonus, when you remove the Mooncup it makes an incredible squelching sound as the vacumn seal is broken. Honestly, it’s brilliant.

Simply pour your blood into a jar instead of down the toilet when it’s time for an empty-and-wipe. I used a mustard jar but the type of jar is not important. What is important is a lid, because you probably don’t want blood leaking into your handbag as you trot around town with your new fertiliser friend tucked next to your make up bag. 

And, to my relief and surprise, I wasn’t overwhelmed by a whiff of abbatoir every time I took the lid off the jar to add some more. It smelled of… nothing. Except maybe a slight hint of mustard because my washing up style is slutty.

It didn’t even have the smell there is when you remove a tampon, which suggests that the tampon is the issue, rather than the blood. Food for thought, perhaps.

But back to food for plants.

To make a period blood fertiliser, mix one part blood to nine parts water. In the case of my mustard jar, this meant filling it to the top as I waited ‘til the end of my period to mix it up. But I can’t see a reason for not giving your plants a tasty treat every time you empty your Mooncup.

Remembering lessons from GCSE science, I bought two basil pots from the supermarket so that one could be fed water, as a control. The basil both had the same sell by date and looked the same in the packaging but when I got then home one was decidedly limper than the other. So it’s that one I tied a red ribbon around and fed on the bounty of my vagina.

Sadly, the plant did not thrive. I hoped that my uterus lining would bring the basil back from the brink of herby death but it was not to be. In all honesty though, that plant had the shadow of the Grass Reaper hanging over it the moment I removed its packaging.

I also fed my personal blood meal to a mint plant and it seemed to bloody love it.  It’s still alive, anyway.

So, the BIG QUESTION: did the leaves of the blood-fed plant taste different? No, they did not. 

And the BIGGER QUESTION: would I do it again? Deffo. I recycle newspapers and tomato tins and an amount of wine bottles I refuse to feel ashamed about, so why not my own blood? And it feels pretty cool to find a use for something I’ve been throwing down the toilet for 20 odd years.

But, a note of caution: I used my blood on plants in my own kitchen because I live in London and a garden is a distant dream. The research I did suggests that ants go absolutely wild for period blood fertilised plants, so you may want to restrict your foo fertiliser to indoor plants rather than sloshing it about with wild abandon outside.

Unless your plants have aphids because ants really love to eat aphids. Or you really like ants.

Like This? Then you might also be interested in: 

Weed Headphones Are Pretty Much A Thing. Kind Of

Just How Safe Are The Tampons We Are Buying?

It's Official: Having A Period Can Be As Painful As Having A Heart Attack

Follow Georgina on Twitter: @georginaterry 



Tags: Periods