A Garden Expert Explains Why You Should Be Watering Your Azalea Plants With Cola

If you're a lover of all things gardening, chances are that you have azalea plants somewhere in your own display. Not only are they beautiful, but they're one of the easiest to grow because they're extremely low-maintenance. Obviously, watering your azaleas the normal way is sufficient for their growth, but there's another way to quench their thirst that you may not know about. Franca Akenami, garden expert and lifestyle reporter for The Sun, says that watering this specific plant with cola is the best thing you can do for them.

"You'll find that it will help your azaleas grow like crazy," Akenami writes. "You can use this carbonated beverage in place of expensive soil and feeding." Indeed, why spend tons of money on pricey garden soil when you can grab a can of cola for less than $5? As an added bonus, this method works really well for gardenias too.

How to use cola for your plants

Before you dump an entire one-liter bottle of Coke on your azaleas, hold up. You don't want to kill the plants. In order for this cola idea to work, you have to know how much to pour, and how often. If you don't have a specific brand of soda at your disposal, no problem. Franca Akenami says, "The drink doesn't have to specifically be Coke." Once you have your cola of choice, all you're going to do is pour four ounces of it directly into the soil. Do not pour it directly onto the plants.

This isn't something you ought to be doing on a daily basis. At most, you should give your azaleas a cola bath every once in a while. The reason cola helps azaleas grow is because of its genetic makeup: the beverage contains elements like potassium, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, and sodium, which work together to keep these plants healthy and thriving.

Other benefits of using cola in the garden

In addition to helping azalea plants grow, you can also use this carbonated drink for things like getting rid of bugs and wasps. Bugs can do severe damage to your plants, so to get rid of them, all you have to do is leave an opened can of cola outside. The bugs will make their way into it, but won't be able to get out. To create a wasp trap, poke holes in a liter bottle of cola and hang it somewhere in the garden. The wasps will flock to the sweet beverage and drown.

Cola is also great for composting because of its acid nature. The acid in the beverage works to decompose the organic materials, and the sugary taste attracts micro-organisms, which help speed up the composting process. All you need to do is pour one 12-ounce can of cola onto the compost heap once a week for this hack to work.