Minecraft showcases many items obtained through crafting, while some items are obtained through other means such as trading and farming. However, some items can be obtained using multiple ways at once. And among those items is a special item called bone meal which can be obtained from crafting and other methods.
Bone meal is an everyday item used in many things but mainly to hasten the growth of plants in the game. Bone meal can easily be obtained from bones, but since Minecraft does not show any item description and what you should do with the item, most new players wouldn’t know what to do with it once they have it.
So if you are one of those players who is wondering about the uses of bone meal in Minecraft, then not to worry because we have got you covered. This Minecraft guide will show you what bone meal is and its uses in the game.
What is a bone meal in Minecraft?
Bone meal is an item that mainly acts as a fertilizer for most plants in the game. As an item in the game, it visually looks like a crumpled piece of white paper, but in real life, a bone meal is used as a fertilizer that provides nitrogen and phosphorus to plants. As a fertilizer in the game, it will hasten the plant’s growth rate it is used on. However, the bone meal has other uses beyond merely using it on plants and crops for farming.
How do you obtain a bone meal in Minecraft
1. Bone meal obtained from crafting
Bones are obtained as a mob drop from killing skeletons and corresponding mob variants, and bone blocks can be mined from fossils found beneath the desert biome. You can obtain bone meal by easily crafting bones and bone blocks on a crafting table or in your inventory’s crafting grid. One bone can craft three bone meals, while one bone block can craft nine bone meals.
2. Bone meal obtained through mob drops
As a direct mob drop, bone meal can be obtained by killing any fish mob in the game. In Minecraft Java Edition, fish mob variants such as salmon, cod, tropical fish, and pufferfish have a 5% chance of dropping one bone meal upon death. In Minecraft Bedrock Edition, however, killing fish will drop bones instead.
3. Bone meal obtained from composters
Composters are commonly found next to a crop farm inside a village. These are often used as a job block by farmer villagers, but the player can also use the composter. A composter will slowly fill up every time the player or a villager places a food or plant item inside. Once the composter is filled, it will convert its contents into bone meal and thus, will drop one bone meal for every filled composter.
4. Bone meal obtained by trading
By chance, wandering traders may sell three bone meal in exchange for one emerald. However, this is only applicable in Minecraft Bedrock Edition.
How to use a bone meal in Minecraft
1. Bone meal is used to grow plants and trees
Bone meal is most commonly used to hasten the growth rate of plants and trees in Minecraft. For example, if a crop has three growth stages starting at stage 0 from the time it is planted, and using one bone meal on the crop will increase its growth stage by 1, then you will need a total of 3 bone meal to grow the crop in its fullest form. This also means that this can only be used on a single crop per bone meal. Hence to grow multiple crops at once, you will need a lot of bone meals.
The same rule goes for all the tree saplings in the game except for dark oak saplings, as you will need to use bone meal in a group of 4 dark oak saplings to grow one full dark oak tree. Otherwise, the bone meal will not take effect and will be wasted.
However, note that some plants in the game, especially on Minecraft Java Edition, such as vines, cactus, nether wart, sugar cane, and chorus plants, will not be affected when a bone meal is used. Hence, it is better not to waste it on those plants and better be used it on crops for farming instead.
Aside from regular plants in the game, bone meal can also be used on an empty grass block to grow multiple flowers and grass in a large area. If you plan to obtain flowers in this way, use the bone meal in the specific biome that the flowers grow in. This method also works on other blocks that grow plants, such as any underwater block and mycelium.
2. Bone meal is used as a crafting ingredient for dyes
Depending on which version of Minecraft you are using, bone meal can be used as an alternative to white dye. For example, in Minecraft Bedrock Edition, you can use the bone meal to dye an item directly without the need for white dye, while in Minecraft Java Edition, you cannot do this method.
Instead, you can place the bone meal into your inventory’s crafting grid to change the bone meal into the white dye and use it to dye your items white. You can also use the bone meal as a substitute for white dye when mixing and crafting different colored dyes as it still acts just like white dye to create dye colors such as gray, pink, light blue, and lime dye.
3. Bone meal is used to create banner patterns
Depending on which version of Minecraft you are using, you will need a bone meal to decorate your base with custom banners. You can use bone meal to dye a banner white. Using bone meal which acts as a white dye in itself, you can create various white designs on banners if the background color on your banner is different. For example, you can create a white cross pattern using a bone meal on a black-colored banner.
Alternatively, you can use bone meal to remove the current design from your banner by simply overlapping the same design on it. Do note you will need to use a loom first to create banners, and you must place the banner and the bone meal in the loom’s crafting grid to choose the design or pattern you want.
4. Bone meal is used as an ingredient for other crafting recipes
Depending on which version of Minecraft you are using, bone meal can be used as a substitute for the dye to create a white variant of a specific item. Aside from using bone meal to create dyes, you can also use bone meal as a crafting ingredient to make items such as concrete powder, beds, and more. These item recipes include crafting a white bed, white concrete powder, white firework star, white shulker box, white stained glass, white stained glass pane, white terracotta, and white wool.