As a lover of coffee, I have conducted heavy research into the relationship between houseplants and coffee grounds. This article reveals whether or not your plant appreciates coffee as much as we humans do. Specifically, I will highlight how coffee benefits houseplants, why some people use coffee as fertilizer, and if coffee grounds work as well as some believe. Let’s dive in…
Do Houseplants Like Coffee Grounds?
Houseplants like coffee grounds because they provide extra nutrition and act as a natural fertilizer. However, the benefits of using coffee grounds as fertilizer are overrated, and I would recommend using worm castings instead. Use coffee grounds on your houseplant if you want to give your plant a little treat, but don’t expect any miracle results.
Can Coffee Grounds Be Used as Fertilizer?
Yes, you can use coffee grounds as fertilizer for your houseplants. In fact, many plant owners love using their leftover coffee grounds as plant fertilizer. Again, the power of coffee grounds as fertilizer is overrated, and I prefer to use worm castings.
The theory is that coffee gives nitrogen to our plants. Nitrogen is an important factor for producing chlorophyll, so our plants need lots of it. Coffee grounds contain Nitrate, Nitrogen, and Ammonium.
This is good, as plants need nitrogen to thrive. It can be hard for plants to absorb the nitrogen in the air, so the best way to take in nitrogen is through the soil. Adding coffee grounds to your soil can increase the nitrogen uptake.
If action is not taken to give your houseplants the nitrogen they need, then you will notice the leaves losing color, the stems are thinner, and the plant stops to grow. In fact, the plant will wilt and finally die.
Do Coffee Grounds Cause Acidic Soil?
No, coffee grounds won’t cause acidic soil. They have a pH of 6.8, which is slightly more acidic than alkaline, but still not enough to be considered acidic. In fact, coffee grounds are only 0.2 away from being officially pH neutral.
Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds on Houseplants?
There are some benefits to using coffee grounds on house plants. Now, coffee grounds aren’t a miracle ingredient for plants, but they can be used if you’re on a budget or want to reduce waste as much as possible.
One of the main benefits is how coffee grounds are able to loosen the soil in your pot and keep it moist, although it doesn’t work quite as well as perlite. Below are the most common statements made by people who love mixing coffee grounds with soil for plants.
It is thought that coffee grounds hold microorganisms that reduce the chances of pathogenic fungi growing. As such, you will be directly reducing the chance of rot.
The coffee grounds hold water and release it slowly into the soil. This means coffee grounds act like a self-watering tool, meaning you don’t have to water your houseplants as often.
If slugs are somehow sneaking into your house and enjoying your plant, you can cover the soil with coffee. Both slugs and snails hate coffee, so it is a good way to keep pests away from your beloved plants.
Coffee grounds release nutrients to the plant’s soil. Specifically, your plant can enjoy increased potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. You can even use coffee grounds as houseplant fertilizer.
If your cats are interacting with your plants, you can stop them by sprinkling coffee grounds over the soil.
Why Not to Use Coffee Grounds on House Plants?
The main reason not to use coffee grounds on your plant is because they tend to attract fungus gnats. These gnats won’t damage your plant, but they can get very annoying when present in large numbers.
Fungus gnats are a problem with most DIY fertilizers as they love food. You may get away with using coffee grounds, but bananas are a big no-no! Otherwise feel free to use coffee grounds on plants. You can be confident that adding coffee grounds to potting mixes won’t damage your plant.
How Often To Put Coffee Grounds on Houseplants?
This is completely up to you. I recommend putting coffee grounds on your houseplants once a month or so. It can be tempting to put coffee grounds on your houseplant after every morning coffee, but you run the risk of unbalancing the nutrients.
Doing this allows your plant to take advantage of the coffee benefits, but won’t overwhelm the plant and soil. It allows means you are being environmentally friendly.
So, now you know that houseplants love coffee grounds, but the effectives are overrated. You can give your plant coffee grounds if you wish, as it certainly won’t hurt. You can use them as soil fertilizer, but you will have to use a lot of coffee to have any noticeable effect.
You can use coffee grounds for plant drainage and minimize the chance of soil disease. This means they could be used instead of charcoal and perlite when creating potting mixes for houseplants.
If you’re not going to use the coffee on your plants, but don’t want to waste the coffee grounds, you can always spread them over your outdoor plants to keep slugs away (they hate coffee).
Please do drop me a message if you do use coffee grounds on houseplants. I would love to read about your personal experiences. It’ll help the other readers too!