Saturday, October 13, 2012

Coffee and Plants?

As I sip my morning coffee to wake my groggy self.  I search ways to give my plants the nutrition that it needs.  I'm really hoping to save my plants from the depths of the ground... wait.. it belongs in the ground.  So the depths of... OK I'll have to think about this.

So I stumbled upon an article.  "Are coffee grounds good for plants?"  So it's not only me that needs some caffeine in the morning but my plant too!??!!  Well I do a search and made sure this article was telling me the truth.  Or is this one of those "it's good for plants" but.... DUN DUN DUMMMMMM!!!

So this is what I found so far on the Internet.


"According to The Composting Council of Canada, adding coffee to soil not only increases the nutritional value, but also betters the texture and fertility of the soil and aids in attracting earthworms."Global Healing Center

"Coffee-ground mulch has the added benefit of deterring veggie and flower-munching slugs and snails."Global Healing Center

"Outside, the grounds will attract earth worms who like to eat them. The worms will burrow through the soil, aerating it and leaving castings behind in their wake. This is a good way to make a hard clay soil more friable."

"Coffee grinds are high in nitrogen and make a great addition to the organic matter around your flowers or vegetables."

"I had a friend who had 2 Hibiscus plants outside of his shop, He would pour his old coffee out on 1 and old soda on the other and the Coffee fed plant grew and the soda fed plant died.. I thought it was a good thing to know"Anonymous

"It will not substitute for proprietary fertilizer, but it can give your plants an extra shot of nitrogen and acidify their soil a little."

"Coffee and tea are also slightly acidic, and many houseplants (especially flowering ones, I think) enjoy a soil pH on the acidic side."


"In case you didn’t know, approximately 60% of the worlds coffee beans are sprayed with potentially harmful pesticides."Global Healing Center

"Coffee is okay, but you should dilute the coffee first" - MB

"One more caveat: if you add cream, milk, or sugar to your coffee, don't pour it into your plants. Ditto for flavored coffees. The sugars and fats can not only harm your plants and invite pests, but can eventually result in a stinky mess."

"Gardens Alive had coffee grounds tested by Will Brinton, founder and Director of the Wood’s End Research Laboratory in Maine. He found the grounds were too acidic, even for acidic loving plants.  He also cautioned the grounds should not be added to the soil in raw form."

"Coffee grounds are solely a soil amendment and not a fertilizer."

"we can’t recommend their raw use; the acidity could be high enough to damage even acid-loving plants" -

"This effect seemed to be due to an ingredient in coffee grounds that acts as an allelopathic chemical, which inhibits the growth of some plants. Fresh coffee grounds can tie up nitrogen that the plant might otherwise take up."

"Using coffee on potted plants is definitely not a good idea. Coffee will make the soil more acidic. As that happens, the essential nutrients are "bound up" and no longer available for use by the plants. Then the plants start to suffer from anemia and that cannot be remedied by adding fertilizer, only by making the soil less acidic." - Will Creed commented on


So I'm still on the fence on this one.  It looks like you have to make sure that your plant likes acidic soil and the soil needs to be PH balanced.  Now I might have to do my own test but as for now I think I'll be using the coffee grounds for the plants.  I always have coffee grounds and would love to use them for something else besides land fill.  Umm wait I am using it for land fill.. umm damn I'll shut up now.  

What do you guys think?  Anyone used it already?  How are your plants doing?  I would love to hear your experiences.  


  1. I am not sure I would use the coffee in potted plants because it might disrupt the drainage process. I did this with a plant, and it died. Otherwise, as you know, I use coffee around some of my plants outside as well as the compost.

    1. Oh that's a very good point! Since my coffee grounds are usually a very fine grind. I'll just share my coffee grounds with the community garden. As always Anna thanks for the great advice!

  2. I have used left over coffee for years on potted plants...they have thrived! NOTE! Do not use it on will kill them.