Beer as Plant Food

Written by Lisa Larsen for


The idea of using beer as plant food has been around for decades. For many it is believed to be the perfect pick-me-up for their garden. However, there are those who consider this just another old wives’ tale. There are ingredients in beer that seem useful to plants, such as yeast and carbohydrates. However, upon closer examination, these two items aren’t of much benefit to plants.


There are only four ingredients used in the beer making process. They are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. Ninety percent of beer is water.


Beer doesn’t contain any ingredient, other than water, that is truly helpful for nurturing plants. There are some who believe the carbohydrates in beer act as food for plants. However, plants need complex carbohydrates in order to thrive, not simple sugars such as those found in soda or beer.


Because beer contains yeast, many gardeners consider it a benefit to their plants. However, yeast is a fungus, and not only produces an unpleasant odor, but will also begin to grow around your plants. The fungus will eventually die, contributing nothing to the plants.

Uses for Beer in the Garden

Although beer is not useful as a food for plants, it can serve a purpose in the garden.

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