Many people throw their coffee grounds away after using them, missing a prime opportunity to make further use out of them. Coffee grounds have antimicrobial properties and can suppress some forms of fungus, wilts and rots.
What plants like coffee grounds? There are over 30 plants that like coffee grounds. Those plants include blueberries, azaleas, strawberries, carrots, peppers, hydrangeas, African violets, roses, golden pothos and snake plants. Most plants that prefer acidic soil will do well with coffee grounds as a fertilizer.
If you’d like to learn more about the plants that like coffee grounds and how often to fertilize them, keeping reading because we will explore further.
Coffee Grounds: What to Understand
Because coffee grounds contain two percent nitrogen in volume, this can improve the soil fertility for the right plants. Coffee grounds also contain 0.6 percent potassium and 0.06 percent phosphorous.
All of this combined fosters a better soil environment for the right type of plants. What are those plants? We’re going to cover that….
For the right plants like blueberries and azaleas, coffee grounds can boost plant growth. It adds organic material to the soil, improves water retention and drainage.
However, remain aware of how if the soil already contains high levels of nitrogen, the extra from the coffee grounds will stunt the growth of many plants. When you apply coffee grounds as a fertilizer, do it sparingly except with certain plants.
You can spot too much nitrogen in the soil if the plants look luscious and green, but they don’t exhibit much growth.
While coffee grounds can boost the growth of certain types of plants, don’t over-rely on them either. You can easily overdo it.
Expert Tip: Some people mistakenly think that you can use coffee grounds for all plants. We advise against this because of the high acidic content in coffee grounds. Not all plants can handle the high levels of acid found.
What Kind of Plants Like Coffee Grounds
In the coming article, we will cover the types of plants that like coffee grounds. However, we would first like to show you the types of plants that like coffee grounds because we can’t list all of them, despite our best efforts. You need to research the plant that you want to put it on.
For example, plants that like acidic soils like lily of the valley, hydrangeas, azaleas, blueberries, daffodils, nasturtium and rhododendrons will like coffee grounds. Think of any plant that likes acidic soil, and coffee grounds may boost its growth.
Some of the useful nutrients that coffee grounds give to plants include:
Plants That Like Coffee Grounds
Now, let’s have a look at the plants that like coffee grounds. First, we will look at indoor house plants that like coffee grounds.
Some of the potential houseplants that love coffee grounds include:
- Peace lilies
- Miniature roses
- African violets
- Golden pothos
- Christmas cactus
- Ghost man
- Snake plants
- Spider plants
- Elephant ear
Important to note: Sprinkle the coffee grounds onto the houseplant with care. Don’t put too much or you can stunt the growth of your plant. With coffee grounds, less equals more.
Use of coffee grounds in peace lilies comes with multiple benefits. You can add coffee grounds to peace lilies once a month. Adjust the amount of coffee grounds based on the plant’s reaction. Most peace lilies love coffee grounds.
You may not want to do this too much more than that because it can stunt growth.
Miniature roses do like coffee grounds. Don’t use too much coffee grounds on miniature roses, or they can suffer nitrogen burn, which shows up as yellowing, browning or wilting of the plant. Never sprinkle the coffee grounds right next to the plant.
We would recommend a mixture of both coffee grounds and eggshells for African violets. You will want to apply the mixture to your soil every couple of months.
African violets like their soil acidic, which makes them get along well with coffee grounds. They usually want the pH in the soil between 6.0 to 6.5.
When used correctly, coffee grounds act as an excellent fertilizer for golden pothos. For the application of a coffee ground fertilizer with golden pothos, we would advise that you apply it as either liquid compost or compost.
You might add coffee grounds to your golden pothos every two to three months.
The coffee grounds promote a thick stem with Jade plants and better water retention. While Jade does well with coffee grounds and in fact, thrives with a little bit sprinkled on, don’t put the coffee grounds directly on the plant. In fact, this is not advisable with any of the plants mentioned because it can nitrogen burn them.
Coffee grounds will work on most succulents and many cactuses. We would advise you to look it up first, but coffee grounds work well with the Christmas cactus. Coffee grounds can restore the right level of pH in the soil for what your Christmas cactus likes to feed on.
Only use black coffee grounds on a Christmas cactus, and make sure that you use cold coffee grounds on it.
You can sprinkle on some coffee grounds to accelerate the growth of a slow-growing philodendron. Philodendrons like the addition of the acidity in the soil and the extra nitrogen. Mix the coffee grounds into the top inch of the soil.
You can either mix it into the soil, or you could use a half-coffee/half-water solution applied to the plant.
Cyclamen prefer soil on the acidic side at around 6.0 pH. You can mix a little coffee grounds into this succulent’s soil to boost its growth. This plant will flourish and show as extra green because of the coffee grounds. You might sprinkle coffee grounds over the soil of the cyclamen every four to six weeks.
Like many succulents, the ghost man likes coffee grounds. The ghost man likes acidic soils between 3.5 to 5.0 pH. The indoor plant doesn’t like as much acidity, however, so you may not want to put too much for coffee grounds in the soil.
Popular for its low-maintenance requirements, snake plants like coffee grounds as either mulch, liquid or compost. Don’t add the grounds directly by the plant because it can cause fungus, pests and stunted plant growth.
You might add coffee grounds to your snake plant every six to eight weeks. Beware of how you need to use coffee ground correctly with snake plants or it can lead to stunted growth.
If you choose to compost with coffee grounds, beware because the compost can hold moisture in the soil. Snake plants and succulents prefer dry soil, or it can lead to root rot.
Because of the rich nitrogen and other micronutrients, spider plants love coffee grounds as a fertilizer. The perfect choice here is to make compost because spider plants like moisture.
Don’t use too much, however, because while they like moisture, they don’t like to be wet. Also, they prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.2 pH.
The elephant ear likes coffee grounds, but you need to use it very sparingly, and we mean very sparingly. Don’t overuse it. The elephant ear likes the nitrogen that it puts into the soil, but you may tip the scale so that it inhibits its growth.
With the bugbane, you might use coffee grounds as a type of compost because they thrive in moisture. Bugbane loves dense shade and highly acidic soil, which makes it the ideal choice for coffee grounds.
However, don’t put the coffee grounds too close to the plant because it can harm it.
Plants like the iris even need acidic soil if they will thrive. They prefer a soil pH between 6.8 to 7.0. In fact, you may find that applying coffee grounds to the soil of your iris makes its flowers more colorful.
You have an advantage when you compost the coffee grounds here: It attracts the worms immediately. Don’t use the coffee grounds in high amounts with this plant because it can form mold, which can endanger your plant.
Meadowsweet like dry soil, which means that you probably don’t want to use the compost form of coffee grounds for this plant. It doesn’t do well with held-in moisture.
Outdoor Plants That Love Coffee Grounds
We covered the indoor plants that like coffee grounds, but now we should have a look at the outdoor plants that prosper in coffee grounds.
Some of the outdoor plants that love coffee grounds include:
- Lemon trees
When it comes to using coffee grounds on blueberries, you will sprinkle 4 to 5 cups beneath each blueberry bush. Once you have laid down the coffee grounds, you will rake them into the soil.
You can do this every two to four weeks. Pay attention to how your blueberries like the coffee grounds and give it to them accordingly. Blueberries prosper in acidic soil.
Raspberries prefer soil with a pH balance between 5.5 and 6.5. This makes them a good candidate for coffee grounds.
They love the nitrogen that it puts into the soil. Berries in general need a constant supply of nitrogen because it supports their shoots and root growth while promoting quality fruits.
Any of the roots vegetables like the carrot do well with coffee grounds. You will have a more abundant harvest if you apply some coffee grounds after planting carrots. It gives them tons of nutrients
Working the coffee grounds into the soil will promote a nurturing environment for your carrots to germinate. Mix dried coffee into the soil, and it will keep the pests away as well since they don’t like coffee grounds.
Before watering, sprinkle a little coffee grounds into the soil. Strawberries love coffee grounds. At the same time, the pill bugs and the sugar ants hate it because it scratches their skin. They won’t bother your strawberries as a result.
We wouldn’t advise that you do this with seasonal strawberries, however. Coffee grounds work best with everbearing strawberries.
Lemon trees enjoy a pH balance of between 5.5 and 5.6. This keeps the soil balanced. Coffee grounds add acidity and nitrogen to the soil.
In fact, you might use coffee grounds for citrus trees in general. You may want to let it break down in a compost pile for two to three months before you apply it because this removes some of the acidity.
A good rule of thumb is to stay 12 inches away from the trunk of the tree. You will then mix in 1 to 2 inches of soil with the coffee grounds.
Like carrots, radishes love coffee grounds, and they yield a better crop when you apply it over the top. Sprinkle some coffee grounds over the soil during the planting, and you will see a better harvest.
Another fun fact: Coffee grounds have allelopathic properties, which means that you can suppress some types of weeds with them.
Berries in general, you can’t go wrong with coffee grounds. Gooseberries are no exception.
Use of coffee grounds can make the hydrangeas look even more colorful. They love the extra acidity in the soil, and the seedlings do exceptionally well from the nitrogen that the coffee grounds release.
They work well for the soil as well because it keeps the moisture in the soil.
In particular, the coffee ground compost does especially well with keeping the soil moist. Hydrangeas grow best in that type of environment.
Believe it or not, you can change the colors of hydrangeas by adding coffee grounds. Their blossoms will turn from pink to blue from the change in the soil.
Rhododendrons love acidic soil, which makes them a good candidate for coffee grounds. You don’t need to put much, but it can go a long way.
In fact, pepper plants love the nitrogen that coffee grounds release into the soil. You can either mix the grounds into the soil, or you can spread them over the top of the soil.
The nitrogen ensures that your pepper plants receive good leaf growth. At the same time, it protects your peppers from sun scalding. The high heat and rapid growth of the peppers scald it.
Don’t overdo it on the camellia plant because too much nitrogen can burn it. Less goes farther with camellias. Camellias like coffee grounds for the high acid content and nutrients that it puts into the soil.
Giving this shrub fertilizer at the right moment boosts growth. Do it around the spring of the year after the flowers fade. Pick off the faded flowers to keep the shrub looking fresh. You can fertilize them in July, and again, two months before the first frost from fall.
Camellias like soil between 4.5 to 6.5 pH. Yellow leaves mean that the shrub didn’t receive sufficient fertilizer, or the pH may be too high.
Another one of the acid-loving plants, azaleas thrive off the acid and nitrogen that coffee grounds add to the soil. They respond well to composted coffee grounds. When composting, use coffee grounds, newspapers and dry leaves.
Azaleas prefer low pH levels and coffee grounds keep it that way. Without the proper level of acid in the soil, azaleas fail to bloom.
No matter what method you use to put coffee grounds on azaleas, the effect is almost always the same. They bloom better.
If planting azaleas, drop some coffee grounds into the soil before you plant this flower. Whether using caffeinated coffee beans or non-caffeinated, the effects are always the same.
Lily of the Valley
Plants such as the Lily of the Valley both like acidic soils. Their high nutrient content accelerates the growth of this plant, and it can ward off pests that may take a liking to it.
In comparison to other fertilizers, coffee grounds release into the soil more slowly. That means that it could take between two to four months to see the full benefits. You will take a thin layer and spread it over the top of your lily’s soil.
In some cases, coffee grounds reverse the browning or discoloration of leaves. However, this largely depends on what causes it.
Leafy vegetables like spinach do well in high-nitrogen soil. The deterring effect on pests makes them a popular choice in the garden. Be careful, however, because coffee grounds don’t work well with every garden plant. Especially around certain seedlings, it can inhibit growth. Herbs, in general, for example, don’t do well with coffee grounds. They like dry alkaline soil with good drainage.
People Also Ask
What plants are coffee grounds not good for? Because of the highly acidic nature of coffee grounds, they won’t work as a fertilizer for orchids, rosemary, pothos, yucca, tomatoes, lavender, Madagascar periwinkle, century plant and sago palm. Coffee grounds can be toxic or inhibit the growth of certain plants, and you want to know this in advance.
Are used coffee grounds good for plants? Depending on the plants, coffee grounds can promote growth or interfere with it. However, like the plants mentioned above, they can assist the plant by adding nitrogen and creating more acidic soil. Coffee grounds can also attract earthworms, which result in better drainage, increased nutrient availability and more stable soil.
Do roses like coffee grounds? Roses like coffee grounds, but you need to give it to them sparingly. Don’t overdo it. You may nitrogen burn your rose bush if you use too much. Nitrogen encourages healthy and vigorous leaf growth. The phosphorous from the coffee grounds will improve root development and flower production. Beware of squirrels as well with roses. I wrote about that here.
Plants that like acidic soil will love coffee grounds. This fertilizer makes the soil more acidic and puts nitrogen into the soil. All plants require nitrogen for photosynthesis. Some plants may be able to get by without nitrogen, but others, like garden plants, may require supplemental oxygen. If you don’t drink coffee, you can also request used coffee grounds from coffee shops. Many give it out freely.