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Coffee Grounds for Houseplants: Curse or Blessing?

Coffee Grounds for Houseplants: Curse or Blessing?

Coffee and your plant can make a marriage like none other! Coffee works perfectly for houseplants such as peace lilies and even roses!

You can use both ground coffee and liquid coffee in your plants, though this article will focus on ground coffee. Though it may seem unnatural, coffee may just be what your houseplants need to thrive!


So, do houseplants like coffee grounds?

Houseplants love coffee grounds! There are many ways these grounds can be used as well as seen below.
1. Coffee grounds are a great substitute for mulch! This helps to keep your plants healthy and hydrated.
2. Coffee grounds can keep pests away from your houseplants, especially slugs!
3. The most common use for coffee grounds with your houseplants is as a fertilizer as they are full of nutrients.
4. Coffee grounds can go in compost to help it break down, to later be used in your houseplants.


What Types of Houseplants Like Coffee Grounds?

Before discussing the ways in which you can use coffee grounds on your houseplants in more detail, it is important to understand what plants like coffee grounds. You can see a list below!


Peace Lillies (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are partial to coffee grounds. The acidity of the grounds helps this beautiful flower to thrive.



All 23 houseplants that belong to the cyclamen family can benefit from coffee grounds. Coffee grounds can help the beautiful reds, whites and pinks look extravagant.


Jade (Crassula Ovata)

This lucky plant is a succulent that requires minimal care. Add coffee grounds on a biannual basis with a potting mix to help it sprout its flowers.


Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

The Christmas cactus looks delightful when it gets enough moisture and shade. The coffee can help all nine species to grow as well.



The Philodendron is a tropical plant that loves coffee. Only give this plant minimal amounts though.


Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

This flower does well in a hanging basket by natural light. It has a love for coffee as a member of the Araceae family though.


Mini Roses

Mini roses are small and have a variety of color options. Coffee grounds are full of acidity and nitrogen which can help these beauties.


African Violets (Saintpaulia)

African Violets also thrive on acidity. This is why coffee grounds are such a great option for them.


How to Use Coffee Grounds on Your House Plants

When you are giving your houseplants coffee grounds, it is important to supply them with just the grounds or just black coffee.

You can use black coffee occasionally on the houseplants listed above, but ensure it only goes in the soil. This will serve as a form of hydration for your plants that gives added nutrients.

Make sure no additives are in the coffee you are giving your plants though, as these can harm your houseplants.


1. Help Your Houseplants with Mulch

Though it is most commonly used for outdoor plants, mulch can be beneficial to your houseplants as well. Only add the mulch that contains coffee grounds to your developed plants, however, as the coffee can suffocate seeds.

Only add a small number of coffee grounds to your organic mulch mixture though in order to see the best results in your healthy and beautiful houseplants.


2. Avoid Pests with Coffee Grounds

The second way that you can use coffee grounds on your houseplants is as a pesticide. Slugs will not eat at the leaves of your plants, leading to a detrimental ruin for them, if you only sprinkle the grounds on the top of the soil.

The texture of the coffee grounds will deter the slugs as they will not enjoy crawling over it when trying to get to your houseplants.


3. Fertilize Your Houseplants

The best way to use coffee grounds on your houseplants is to use them as a type of fertilizer. This is especially important for your plants that enjoy nitrogen and acidity, as coffee grounds are full of it that can nourish your plants.

Coffee grounds are full of other nutrients as well that are good for your houseplants such as potassium and phosphorous, but remember to only start by using a small number of grounds.


4. Mix Coffee Grounds to Your Compost

The final way to use coffee grounds for your houseplants is to add them to your compost. The grounds can help your compost to break down faster due to the acidity, and you will most likely only receive the nutrients after the breakdown is complete.

Make sure that only around a fifth of your compost is made of the grounds, however.


Other Considerations

You have seen it mentioned throughout this article that coffee grounds should be used on a rare basis or that you should only incorporate a small amount on your houseplants.

This is due to the dangers that coffee can present to your houseplants if you use too much. Below, you will find more tips regarding the proper use of coffee grounds.


Check the Plant’s Acidity

You should only use ground coffee on a plant that enjoys acidity. These plants typically have a pH level that is between one and six.


Always Make Compoost

In the list found above, compost was only of the ways to use coffee grounds for your houseplants. Though you can use the coffee grounds in the other ways listed as well, make sure to always use them in compost.

Make sure that you see the growth of earthworms and that it is the perfect mix of green and brown.


Keep Pets Away

Make sure that you safeguard your houseplants from your pets if you are using coffee grounds. Caffeine is toxic to cats and dogs alike, and it can make them sick and requiring a visit to the vet.


Make Coffee Ground Use Rare

Ground coffee should only be a treat to your houseplants and not an every time replacement for water. This means that you should not use it on your houseplants on a daily basis, but try to add it when you add fertilizer.


Watch for Risks

There are some risks that ground coffee can pose to your houseplants. Caffeine can prevent plant growth if it is used in excess. You may also attract insects other than slugs to your houseplants if you have your windows open.


Watch for Plant Health

The final tip after you start using ground coffee for your houseplants is to monitor your houseplant’s health. If you see that the plant’s leaves are dying or turning brown, stop ground coffee use. It is so important to try other methods if coffee does not sit well with your houseplants.



Ground coffee can be a great treat for your houseplants if you only put it on a plant that appreciates acidity. You can use it as a fertilizer, in your compost, as mulch, or as a pesticide in order to keep your plants healthy.

Make sure to keep it only as a treat though, and monitor your plant’s health after you begin the utilization of coffee. This will ensure that it is working and that it does not provide unnecessary health problems to the houseplant that you want to care for.

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