Can you imagine a world where a barista doubles as a horticulturalist? Well, when coffee grounds can be used as a natural fertilizer, then the world may be changing.
Don’t imagine that you can finish a good cup of coffee and simply empty the grounds into your houseplants, though, as not all plants will respond well to this.
Houseplants that Like Coffee Grounds
Plants that prefer acidic soil are Azalea, Cyclamen, Snake Plant, African Violet, Pothos, and Christmas Cactus because the grounds bind with the soil and enable it to hold more water. They also contain a high percentage of nitrogen, which is acidic, so houseplants that prefer acidic soil will also respond well to the coffee in the soil.
6 Houseplants that Thrive with Coffee Grounds
Plants that are acid-loving are those that will like coffee grounds.
Some of the more popular houseplants that do grow well in more acidic soil are Azalea, Cyclamen, Snake Plant, African Violet, Pothos, and Christmas Cactus.
Azaleas are pretty houseplants that look particularly attractive in ceramic pots. They prefer moist, acidic soil, so coffee grounds are useful as a fertilizer and to bind with the soil, to keep it moist.
You can put the grounds into the hole before you place the plant into it, or you can spread coffee grounds on the surface of the soil around the stem.
Because cyclamen is succulent, it makes a great houseplant that needs little ongoing care.
You can sprinkle some coffee grounds on the soil in the pot every so often to make the soil just slightly more acidic, which will help the plant to flourish.
Snake plants prefer acidic soil, so it’s possible to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer.
Don’t spread them on the surface, though, rather mix them with compost, so that the end product is not too strong.
African violets are a very popular houseplant. They don’t grow too large and you can put a few pots together.
As a plant, they prefer slightly acidic soil, so you can use coffee grounds mixed with eggshells and some compost as a mulch or fertilizer.
Pothos prefers slightly acidic soil (a pH of about 6), so you can use coffee grounds to supplement the plant.
However, as coffee contains quite a lot of acid, then don’t overdo the amount you give your plant. Rather mix a low portion into compost and sprinkle this around the plant.
If your Christmas cactus shows signs of wilting or even dying, sprinkling some coffee grounds on the soil in the pot can give the plant just a little more of the nitrogen it prefers and it will recover.
Coffee grounds can also enhance the plant in the flowering season.
Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds on Houseplants
Apart from helping the environment and saving on costs, the reason it is beneficial to use coffee grounds on plants is quite simple: coffee beans contain nitrogen, which is an important element for growth.
In fact, just about 10% of a coffee bean is nitrogen, which is very important in the germination of seeds. It also affects the growth of plants, including their height, chlorophyll content, and development of the roots.
This points to the benefits of using coffee grounds on your houseplants, especially when they are still young.
The coffee grounds also help to act as mulch, which means that the soil they are mixed with will retain more moisture and the minerals and nutrients have more to cling to. They can also help to keep the temperature of the soil constant.
This sounds like a good thing, which it is for some plants, but there are plants that specifically need looser soil that is well-drained.
These plants would be negatively affected by having coffee grounds in the soil and too much water retained around their roots.
Coffee grounds are also wonderful natural pesticides to use.
Type of Coffee to Use
Coffee is coffee, isn’t it? Not if you ask a coffee connoisseur — and not if you want to use coffee grounds on your houseplants.
Different coffees contain different levels of the basic ingredients, so the grounds of one type of coffee may work with your plants, while another may not.
What also matters is in what state the grounds are when you use them. The answer is simple: only use used coffee grounds on your plants.
Fresh coffee contains a lot of acid and will actually harm most plants, even those that prefer acidic soil.
Can Coffee Grounds Harm a Houseplant
Coffee is quite acidic, so it will increase the pH of the soil it is added to. This can stunt plant growth.
Don’t use coffee grounds on plants that prefer alkaline soil, including lavender, orchids and aloes, because this will change the pH of the soil radically and the plants will not tolerate it well.
How to Give my Houseplants Coffee Grounds
It’s really important to apply the coffee grounds to your houseplants carefully, because you shouldn’t increase the acidity of the soil too much.
Don’t just put the grounds directly onto the plants, or the soil in their pots. This can introduce too much acid into the soil, which will harm most plants, including those that like acidic soil.
To keep the balance for your plants, mix the coffee grounds with compost, to neutralize the acid slightly.
Frequently Asked Questions about Houseplants that Like Coffee Grounds
What are the benefits of using coffee grounds on my plants?
On one hand, using coffee grounds on your plants is a way to reduce waste and save money. On the other, the grounds themselves can act as a mulch and fertilizer for your plants.
Do all plants benefit from coffee grounds?
Coffee grounds contain a lot of nitrogen, but they are also quite acidic. This means that it is plants that prefer acidic soil that will benefit from them. Plants that prefer alkaline soil will not do well with coffee grounds.
Using coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer makes sense as a way to avoid waste and even to save money.
Not all plants can tolerate the acid that coffee contains, though, so make sure that your houseplants prefer acidic soil before using the grounds as a fertilizer.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.