Are coffee grounds good for plants? Well, they are certainly better than no fertilizer at all. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which raise pH levels (lower acidity) when used excessively. There’s also a risk of over-fertilizing if you’re using only coffee grounds for your garden.
However, it is still possible to grow healthy plants with little or no help from outside fertilizers if you use coffee grounds correctly. Here’s how:
Use a smaller amount of diluted coffee grounds in areas where plants are growing slowly or not producing much fruit; these may include dry areas like desert zones or places that get less sunlight such as near taller buildings and trees.
If you have an overabundance of leaves on your soil surface that are causing mold problems, try adding some composted manure instead – this will help break down dead material while providing nutrients to living organisms underneath it.
Coffee grounds are a very good source of nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plants. They also contain other nutrients that make them beneficial for the soil and potted plants. But coffee grounds can harm some plants and act as a repellent to some insects, so you need to be careful about how you use them. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to do so.
When added to potting soil or compost, coffee grounds help improve soil aeration, drainage and water retention. They also increase acidity in the soil, making them perfect for acid-loving plants like blueberries, azaleas and roses. They’re even suitable for growing mushrooms!
Depending on what types of plants you’re growing in your planter box or raised garden bed — such as vegetables or herbs — add only small amounts of coffee grounds at once. The goal is to raise the pH level by 1 percent each time until it reaches the ideal level of 6.5 (for most vegetables) to 7 (for most herbs).
One of the biggest advantages of using coffee grounds for plants is that it’s organic. Organic waste refers to any matter which was once alive, including anything from animal and plant matter to food scraps and yard waste. Biodegradable waste is any kind of organic matter that can be broken down by living things (microorganisms like bacteria or fungi). Some things are both organic and biodegradable, but not all are. Let’s look at some examples:
- Grass clippings: organic and biodegradable
- Food scraps: organic and biodegradable
- Plastic bags: neither organic nor biodegradable
How Coffee Benefits The Compost Heap And Soil
If you have a compost heap, adding coffee grounds to it can be a boon. Keeping your compost pile in balance is important to getting the best performance from your compost and too much nitrogen can burn plants and cause them to wilt. If you are having trouble keeping up with your kitchen scraps, using coffee grounds as a nitrogen source will help keep your soil in balance.
Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen and can be great for balancing out the carbon-rich foods that have more nutrients for decomposers than plants. However, if you are not sure about adding so many coffee grounds to your compost pile—or if you do not already have an established compost heap—then consider spreading them around the garden and plowing them into the soil after they have dried out completely.
When using coffee grounds as fertilizer, it’s a good idea to mix them with other materials. This helps ensure that the nitrogen from the coffee grounds is released into the soil at a steady rate, rather than all at once.
As a general rule, you should avoid mixing coffee grounds with very acidic substances (such as citrus peel) or salty substances (other kinds of plant fertilizer, for example). Doing so can have unpredictable effects on your plants’ health, and may even shock your plants by changing their environment too quickly.
You should also avoid adding too much coffee grounds to your compost pile all at once, as this can cause serious problems over time if left unchecked. In general, no more than 20% of the compost in a given area should be made up of used coffee grounds. This amount can vary depending on the size of your compost heap and what types of plants you want to use it for.
If you have acid-loving plants in your garden, such as hostas, azaleas and camellias, you can use used coffee grounds to up the acidity of your soil.
Acidic soils help keep plants healthy and free from pests. However, if you add too much coffee grounds to a plant that prefers slightly acidic soil or neutral soil, they may not thrive. Check what kind of soil is best for the plants growing in your yard before adding the coffee grounds to make sure that its pH levels are optimal for their growth. You can check the pH of your soil with a simple kit you can buy at most gardening stores or online.
Which Plants Like Spent Coffee Grounds Most?
Coffee grounds can be used to amend soil for acid loving plants including azaleas, roses and blueberries. They have a high nitrogen content which makes them great fertilizer. However they are also very acidic so they should always be used in moderation (1 cup per 20 gallons of soil).
This question is actually a lot more complicated than you might have initially thought. There are many factors to consider, such as the plant’s pH preferences, whether it likes well-drained or moisture-rich soil, and so on. The answer is most certainly not a yes-or-no. A handful of coffee grounds can benefit many plants growing around your home.
While coffee grounds are great for enriching soil, they shouldn’t be used directly on the plants themselves. They’re acidic, which means they can be harmful to sensitive plants with shallow roots. Coffee grounds can be mixed with soil and compost and then used as mulch around these plants, but never close enough to touch their stalks. Even though some plants thrive in acidic conditions, they may not appreciate having coffee deposits sprinkled on them (who would?).
Certain plants will benefit from coffee grounds more than others. For example, coffee grounds are best suited for acid-loving plants, such as roses, azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Other plants that like coffee grounds include blueberries, holly and cacti. Jasmine, carnations and holly prefer their soil a bit more acidic than most (6.0 to 6.5 pH), which makes them great candidates for used coffee grounds. To add the used coffee grounds to the soil of these plants, mix in one cup of the used coffee grounds with a gallon of water and water your plant with the solution once or twice per month during the growing season (use a half-cup of coffee and one gallon of water if you have sandy soil).
Which plants do not like fresh coffee grounds?
There are a few plants that are not a good match for coffee grounds. These include plants that require more alkaline soil and those that are sensitive to nitrogen:
- houseplants such as African violets
- certain flowers, including delphiniums, begonias, impatiens and cineraria
- vegetables in the brassica group (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale)
- blueberries and corn
As much as coffee grounds are good for some plants, there are some plants that require soil more on the alkaline side. Coffee grounds can acidify the soil and make it unsuitable to grow some of these plants. Certain vegetables like potatoes, avocados and zucchini need an alkaline pH of 6-6.5 to thrive, so refrain from using coffee grounds for these plants.
Additionally, you should never use fresh or old coffee grounds on young seedlings or new transplants as they contain a high amount of nitrogen that can potentially burn and kill your seedlings/transplants. If you want to use them on your newly planted seeds or seedlings, only apply used coffee grounds that have been composted first.
There are only a few groups of plants that will not benefit from coffee grounds. These include plants that require more alkaline soil and plants that are sensitive to nitrogen.
Azaleas, hydrangeas, lilies of the valley, rhododendrons, and blueberries are examples of plants that will do best in a soil with higher pH (another way to say “more alkaline”). Some garden plants will prefer an acid-neutral environment, such as African violets, coleus and certain ferns. Certain herbs like oregano also prefer their soil on the alkaline side. If you’re unsure about your plant’s needs or want to know if your soil is too acidic for a particular plant, consider investing in a simple test kit from your local nursery or home improvement store – it’s helpful for keeping all your garden happy!
What indoor plants are coffee grounds good for?
You can sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of your indoor plants to make them healthier. But there are houseplants that prefer a little coffee in their soil. Plants like African violets, miniature roses, golden pothos, philodendrons, Christmas cactus, jade or cyclamen benefit from a boost of nitrogen provided by coffee grounds. Another plant with a love for caffeine is peace lily. It’s not necessary for you to add coffee directly to the potting soil because it may attract pests and contaminate the water supply with mold growth. However, you can add used coffee grounds as mulch on top of your potting soil.
Are coffee grounds good for grass?
Grass and plants both need nitrogen to grow. You should aim for 10–15% nitrogen when choosing a fertilizer for your grass. Coffee grounds contain 2% nitrogen, which makes them a good slow-release alternative to chemical fertilizers.
When applied to lawns, coffee grounds can help reduce thatch, improve water retention and increase resistance to drought, fungi and insects.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using coffee grounds as fertilizer:
- To get the best results from coffee grounds on your lawn or garden, you should use fresh coffee grounds that have not come into contact with any water (known as spent coffee grounds). Used coffee grounds contain less nitrogen than fresh ones because they have been rinsed by hot water during brewing.
Do coffee grounds kill weeds?
But can you use coffee grounds for weeds (or in general) in the garden?
The answer is yes, but with caveats.
Coffee grounds may affect the germination and growth of weeds, especially when they are still fresh. So you can use it as a mulch on your garden beds to prevent weed seeds from germinating and growing. But don’t rake them into the same area that you will be planting later because they will most likely affect your seeds as well.
I recommend using it on weeds that are already growing if you plan to leave them alone.