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How to Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

In this article, I will explore how to use coffee grounds as fertilizer for indoor plants, including which plants benefit the most from their use and how to apply them for optimal results.

If you’re looking for a natural and cost-effective way to fertilize your indoor plants, look no further than your morning cup of coffee!

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coffee grounds as fertilizer for indoor plants

Benefits of Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

Using coffee grounds as a fertilizer for indoor plants, you can promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms without relying on expensive store-bought fertilizers. (source)

Coffee grounds are a great source of nutrients for plants, containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Not only that, but they can also help to improve soil quality and repel pests.

Lowers the soil PH

Coffee grounds are highly acidic; they will lower the pH level of your soil, making it more acidic, which can be beneficial to acid-loving plants. Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen and nutrients that plants love!

Rich in nutrients:

Coffee contains a ton of essential nutrients for plants.

Coffee grounds have nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and various trace minerals essential for plant growth.

Nitrogen promotes leaf growth and overall plant health, while phosphorus and potassium help support root development, flowering, and fruiting.

Slow-release nitrogen

Coffee works as a slow-release fertilizer. The nitrogen in coffee grounds is released slowly, providing a steady supply of nutrients to your indoor plants without the risk of over-fertilization.

Improves soil structure

Incorporating coffee grounds into your potting mix can help improve soil structure by increasing aeration, drainage, and water retention.

Attracts beneficial microorganisms

The organic matter in coffee grounds can encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms, which aid in breaking down organic matter and making nutrients more available to plants.

Eco-friendly

Reusing coffee grounds as fertilizer is an environmentally-friendly way to recycle waste! šŸ™‚

Repels insects

Coffee grounds are beneficial for indoor plants as a fertilizer and can be used as a natural insect repellent. The strong scent of coffee grounds can deter pests and insects from invading your indoor plants.

Anti-fungal

Fungal infections can cause root rot! When added to your garden soil, coffee grounds can help stop fungal diseases such as Pythium, Fusarium, and Sclerotinia.

coffee grounds as fertilizer for indoor plants

How to Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

Here are the best ways to use coffee grounds as a natural and cost-effective fertilizer for your indoor plants.

Dry the grounds: After brewing your coffee, spread the used coffee grounds on a tray or newspaper and let them dry completely. This step helps prevent mold growth and makes storing and using the grounds easier.

Add to the potting soil: Coffee grounds make an excellent soil amendment! Mix the dried coffee grounds into your potting mix at a ratio of up to 10-20% by volume. This will give your plants a slow-release nitrogen source and other essential nutrients.

Top-dress the soil: Sprinkle a thin layer of dried coffee grounds on the top of the soil around your indoor plants. Over time, the nutrients will be released into the soil as you water your plants. Be sure not to create a thick layer, which may impede water absorption.

Create a coffee ground “tea”: Soak 1-2 cups of dried coffee grounds in a gallon of water for 24 hours. Then, strain the liquid and use it to water your indoor plants, providing them with a nutrient-rich solution.

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Plants That Love Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a great source of nutrients for indoor plants, but not all plants will benefit equally from using them as fertilizer.

Outdoor Plants That Love Coffee

Coffee grounds are not only beneficial for indoor plants, but they can also be a great source of nutrients for outdoor plants.

Here are some outdoor plants that can benefit from using coffee grounds as a fertilizer:

Roses: Roses thrive in nutrient-rich soil, and coffee grounds provide the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The caffeine in coffee grounds can also stimulate growth and improve soil quality.

Blueberries: Blueberries require acidic soil, and coffee grounds can help lower the soil’s pH level, creating a more favorable growing environment.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes require high levels of phosphorus and potassium, and coffee grounds can provide both nutrients and nitrogen.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons: These flowering shrubs prefer slightly acidic soil, and coffee grounds can help lower the soil’s pH level, promoting healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

Hydrangeas: Hydrangeas require acidic soil to maintain their vibrant color, and coffee grounds can help lower the soil’s pH level to create a more favorable growing environment.

When using coffee grounds as a fertilizer for outdoor plants, it’s essential to apply them sparingly and mix them into the soil to prevent potential harm.

plants that love coffee as fertilizer

Vegetables That Love Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are beneficial for indoor and outdoor plants and can also be a great source of nutrients for vegetable plants.

Here are some vegetable plants that can benefit from using coffee grounds as a fertilizer:

Tomatoes: Tomatoes require high levels of phosphorus and potassium, and coffee grounds can provide both nutrients and nitrogen. This can lead to healthier plants and larger, juicier tomatoes.

Peppers: Peppers benefit from nitrogen-rich soil, and coffee grounds can boost this nutrient. The caffeine in coffee grounds can also stimulate plant growth and help to repel pests.

Carrots: Carrots thrive in well-draining soil rich in organic matter, and coffee grounds can improve soil quality by adding valuable nutrients.

Cucumbers: Cucumbers require well-draining soil and benefit from the added moisture retention that coffee grounds can provide. The caffeine in coffee grounds can also help to repel pests.

Squash: Squash plants benefit from nutrient-rich soil, and coffee grounds can provide the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to promote healthy growth and high yields.

When using coffee grounds as a fertilizer for vegetable plants, it’s essential to apply them sparingly and mix them into the soil to prevent potential harm.

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Flowers That Love Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can be an excellent natural fertilizer for many flowering plants.

Here are some specific flowering plants that love coffee as fertilizer:

Roses and Miniature Roses: Roses love coffee grounds as fertilizer because they are rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The caffeine in coffee grounds can also stimulate growth and improve soil quality, making for healthier and more vibrant blooms.

Miniature roses can also benefit from coffee grounds as they have similar nutrient requirements to full-sized roses.

Lily of the Valley: Lily of the Valley is a delicate, fragrant flower that prefers slightly acidic soil.

Coffee grounds can help lower the soil’s pH level to create a more favorable growing environment for this plant.

Geraniums: Geraniums are a popular flowering plant that can benefit from using coffee grounds as a fertilizer. The nutrients found in coffee grounds can promote healthy growth and improve soil quality, resulting in more vibrant blooms.

Begonias: Begonias are known for their colorful, showy flowers and can benefit from the added nutrients that coffee grounds provide. Coffee grounds can help improve soil quality and promote the growth of begonias.

Marigolds: Marigolds are a popular annual flower that can benefit from coffee grounds as a fertilizer. The added nutrients can promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms, making marigolds a great choice for garden beds and containers.

Impatiens: Impatiens are a colorful and low-maintenance annual flower that can benefit from the added nutrients found in coffee grounds. Coffee grounds can help to promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms for this plant.

Christmas Cactus: Christmas Cactus is a popular indoor plant that can benefit from coffee grounds as a fertilizer. The nutrients found in coffee grounds can promote healthy growth and encourage this plant to produce more vibrant flowers during the blooming season.

coffee as fertilizer for indoor plants

Indoor Houseplants That Love Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a great source of nutrients for indoor plants, but not all plants will benefit equally from using them as fertilizer.

Here are some indoor plants that benefit the most from using coffee grounds as a fertilizer:

African Violets: African violets thrive in nutrient-rich soil, and coffee grounds provide the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Ferns: Ferns prefer slightly acidic soil, and coffee grounds can help to lower the pH level of the soil, creating a more favorable growing environment.

Snake Plants: Snake plants are known for their air-purifying qualities, and coffee grounds can help to promote healthy growth and clean air.

Peace Lilies: Peace lilies are low-maintenance plants that thrive in moist soil, and coffee grounds can help to improve soil moisture retention.

Spider Plants: Spider plants are easy to care for and can benefit from the nitrogen and phosphorus in coffee grounds.

Pothos and Golden Pothos: Pothos plants are popular indoor plants that can benefit from the potassium and phosphorus in coffee grounds.

Philodendron: loved for its lush foliage and easy-care nature. While coffee grounds can be a great source of nutrients for some indoor plants, including pothos and African violets, they may not be the best choice for philodendrons.

Jade Plant: If you use coffee grounds as a fertilizer for your jade plant, it’s important to use them sparingly and monitor the soil’s pH level. Stick to a maximum of half a cup of coffee grounds per month for larger plants and a quarter cup for smaller plants.

coffee grounds as fertilizer for indoor plants

Plants that Won’t Like Coffee Grounds

While many plants can benefit from coffee grounds as a fertilizer, some plants may not respond well due to their preference for alkaline soil or sensitivity to the nutrients in coffee grounds.

Here are a few plants that may not appreciate coffee grounds:

Alkaline soil-loving plants: Plants that prefer alkaline soil conditions may not respond well to the slightly acidic nature of coffee grounds.

Here are some plants that may not benefit from coffee grounds as a fertilizer:

Lilacs: Lilacs prefer alkaline soil, and coffee grounds can lower the soil’s pH level, making it more acidic. This can harm the health of lilacs and prevent them from producing their signature fragrant blooms.

Clematis: Clematis requires specific soil and nutrient requirements and may not benefit from the nutrients found in coffee grounds. Over-fertilization can also harm the health of clematis, making it essential to use a balanced fertilizer routine.

Lavender: Lavender requires well-draining soil and may not benefit from the added moisture retention that coffee grounds can provide.

Additionally, coffee grounds can lower the soil’s pH level, which can harm the health of lavender plants.

Dianthus: Dianthus requires specific soil and nutrient requirements and may not benefit from the nutrients found in coffee grounds.

Over-fertilization can also harm the health of Dianthus, making it essential to use a balanced fertilizer routine.

Baby’s Breath: Baby’s breath prefers well-draining soil and may not benefit from the added moisture retention that coffee grounds can provide.

Additionally, coffee grounds can lower the soil’s pH level, harming the health of baby’s breath plants.

Sensitive plants: Some plants may be more sensitive to the high nitrogen content or other nutrients in coffee grounds. Overusing coffee grounds on these plants can lead to issues like nitrogen burn or nutrient imbalances.

Examples of such plants are:

  • Succulents (e.g: Aloe, Echeveria, and Sempervivum)
  • Cacti
  • Aloe vera
  • Herbs like thyme, oregano, and sage

When using coffee grounds in your garden, observing your plants’ response and adjusting the application accordingly is crucial.

If you have plants that prefer alkaline soil or are sensitive to the nutrients in coffee grounds, it may be best to avoid using coffee grounds as fertilizer or sparingly.

Instead, consider alternative organic fertilizers or soil amendments that are better suited to the specific needs of these plants.

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Tips for Using Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when using coffee grounds as fertilizer for your indoor plants:

Please don’t overdo it: While coffee grounds are rich in nutrients, too much can harm your plants. Stick to a maximum of one cup of coffee grounds per week for large and half for smaller plants.

Use them as a supplement: Coffee grounds should not be the sole source of nutrients for your plants. They should be used as a supplement to a balanced fertilizer routine.

Choose the right plants: Some indoor plants, such as succulents and cacti, may not benefit from coffee grounds due to their unique soil requirements. Research the specific needs of your plants before using coffee grounds as a fertilizer.

Experiment with composting: Consider adding your coffee grounds to the mix if you have a compost bin.

The coffee grounds will break down over time, adding valuable nutrients to your compost.

Monitor your plants: Keep an eye on your indoor plants after using coffee grounds as a fertilizer. If you notice any adverse effects, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, stop using them immediately.

FAQs: Using Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

Q: Can I use coffee grounds on all house plants?

While coffee grounds can benefit many indoor plants, it’s important to research the specific needs of your plants before using them as a fertilizer. Some plants, such as succulents and cacti, may not benefit from coffee grounds.

Q: How often should I apply coffee grounds to my indoor plants?

Stick to a maximum of one cup of coffee grounds per week for large plants and half a cup for smaller plants.

Q: Can I use coffee grounds as a sole source of nutrients for my plants?

No, coffee grounds should be used as a supplement to a balanced fertilizer routine.

Q: What if I notice adverse effects on my plants after using coffee grounds as a fertilizer?

If you notice any adverse effects, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, stop using coffee grounds immediately and switch to a different fertilizer.

Q: Can I compost coffee grounds?

Yes, coffee grounds can be added to a compost bin, which will break down over time and add valuable nutrients to the compost.

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Conclusion: How to use Coffee Grounds as a Fertilizer for houseplants

Using coffee grounds for indoor plants can be an excellent natural fertilizer! They provide a rich source of nutrients that can promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

However, it’s important to note that not all plants will benefit from coffee grounds as a fertilizer, so it’s crucial to research the specific needs of your plants before using them.

We hope this article has helped provide you with valuable information on using coffee grounds as a fertilizer for your plants.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I love to hear from my readers, and I’m always happy to help!

Happy gardening!

XO, Christine

Christine Mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. šŸ™‚

I’m a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, self-care enthusiast, and I’ve been obsessed with all things beauty and makeup my entire life!

When not typing away on my blog, I can be found spending quality time with the family, making a mess in the art room or kitchen, or getting my hands dirty out in the garden.

Iā€™m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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