If you are a coffee lover, nothing gets the day started off properly, like a hot cup of coffee. You may be wondering if you can fertilize houseplants with your brewed coffee grounds if you are a plant owner. Coffee grounds are frequently used by individuals as a quick, inexpensive, and environmentally responsible approach to maintaining healthy plants. Keep reading and find out, do indoor plants like coffee grounds?
But do your houseplants benefit from coffee grounds?
The answer is a resounding yes! Coffee grounds can be used as a mulch, insecticide, compost, or fertilizer, all of which are particularly advantageous to indoor plants. Even coffee may be used to irrigate your plants. Just be careful not to drink too much coffee, as it might impede plant development and raise the possibility of fungus illnesses.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about feeding coffee grinds and/or liquid coffee to your houseplants. So what are you waiting for? Have your cup of coffee and let’s begin!
Benefits of Coffee Grounds For Houseplants
You might be wondering what exactly makes coffee grinds a suitable alternative for your houseplants in light of all the discussions about utilizing them.
There are a few reasons why plant owners choose to take care of their coffee plants other than the fact that it’s a fantastic excuse to make a fresh pot of coffee. Plant owners adore utilizing coffee grinds for four key reasons!
1. Rich in Nutrients
Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two nutrients that plants require the most in order to live. It’s incredible how much nitrogen is in coffee grounds!
In actuality, coffee grounds contain just 2% nitrogen by volume. They are, therefore, a fantastic option for ensuring that your plants receive an extra injection of nutrient-rich sweet nitrogen. Additionally, coffee grounds contain several amazing micronutrients that your plant will like.
Coffee grounds include a variety of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and more.
2. Easy to Access
Coffee grinds are quite simple to locate. You don’t need to run a trip to the neighborhood garden center or spend a lot of time online looking for coffee grinds.
They are easily accessible and frequently present in most homes. So even if you don’t drink coffee, a kind neighbor would probably be happy to offer you their used coffee grounds (although they might be a little perplexed at first).
3. Environmentally Sustainable
Most people think of coffee grounds as trash that will end up in a landfill. Fortunately, some extremely astute gardeners used them better! Utilizing coffee grounds in your usual plant maintenance will prevent them from contributing to the world’s waste issue.
Instead of using what might otherwise contribute to environmental pollution, you will be using them to benefit your plants.
This is another organic method to raise the health of your eco-friendly family without resorting to artificial means.
4. Affordable and Accessible
Let’s face it, gardening may occasionally be a costly pastime. Therefore, any opportunity to reduce expenses is always appreciated.
Additionally, it means a little extra cash to buy additional plants! An excellent way to cut the expense of plant maintenance is to use coffee grinds. It is a very cost-effective choice as they will be thrown out, and it doesn’t cost you anything.
Moreover, it implies that you probably won’t have to spend as much money on additional plant care supplies as you would have to get comparable results.
When Do Coffee Grounds Become Unbeneficial?
Not everyone likes to start their day with a warm cup of coffee or an iced caramel macchiato.
Furthermore, not every plant enjoys using coffee grinds in their daily maintenance. In fact, it may inhibit plant growth in some circumstances.
Potential Excessive Water Retention
Coffee grounds retain water. As a result, the soil becomes damp. In damp soils, certain species will flourish while others may experience stress.
Do not add coffee grounds to plants that require dry soil. Hence, you must be mindful of your plant’s soil preferences.
Overwatering might be the result if you add coffee grounds directly to the plant’s soil. Your regular watering routine might result in a houseplant that is unhappy and soggy due to the additional water retention of the coffee grounds.
Change in pH Levels
Additionally, adding coffee grinds straight to the soil might change its pH. Coffee grounds are mildly acidic when used or brewed.
When coffee grinds are correctly incorporated into the plant’s potting soil, this acidity does not become a problem. However, placing them close to your plant can slightly reduce the pH, which could be harmful to some species.
But do not fret! You can still retain all of the coffee grounds’ nutrient-rich advantages because it is simple to prevent their adverse effects.
Pest, Bacteria, and Fungi Attractant
It’s well known that coffee grounds draw beneficial insects and bacteria to the soil. Sadly, this implies that they also draw undesirable pests.
Coffee grounds can draw a variety of common pests to your houseplants when mixed into the soil or used as mulch. They offer superb shelter to soil-dwelling fungus gnats. Additionally, additional houseplant pests like thrips and mealybugs are attracted by the wetness and humidity.
Coffee grounds are renowned for holding onto moisture, which is known to promote illness, especially fungal infections, which love the warm temps and high humidity that most houseplants like.
If you decide to add coffee grounds to the soil, be vigilant for any indications of a pest or disease issue.
To stop any problems from spreading, be careful to take prompt action with an insecticidal spray, horticultural oil, or fungicide.
Different Ways Of Using Coffee Grounds
1. Plant Compost
Coffee grounds should be composted if you want to get the most use out of them. Composting may appear to be a daunting and difficult task to those of you who are unfamiliar with it.
However, it is a lot simpler than it seems! Composting is actually quite easy. In fact, some gardeners have elevated it to the level of an art.
Composting often employs “greens” and “browns.” Things that are rich in nitrogen are referred to as “greens,” including eggshells and coffee grounds, while “browns” are carbon-rich materials like paper and dry leaves. The “browns” and “greens” are often combined at a ratio of around 3:1.
To do this, you place your composting materials in a compost pile or container and give them some time to decompose. You can utilize additional items that would have otherwise been dumped into a landfill for the compost as long as you keep the ratio around 3:1.
Small compost bins are frequently found in some gardeners’ kitchens so that they may quickly add food wastes to the compost.
In the end, you’ll get a fantastically nutrient-dense plant growth medium. This can be added to standard potting soil or the top layer of plants that have previously been potted when it is necessary to replace the nutrients in the soil.
Remember that since the coffee filter is made of paper, it qualifies as “brown” and may also be composted. With this technique, the rich nutrients in coffee grounds are fully extracted and provided to your indoor plants in the best way possible.
2. Enhancement of Potting Soil Mix
As previously discussed, coffee grounds are excellent at retaining moisture. However, when used directly, this can have undesirable effects. Nevertheless, it may make a fantastic addition to a handmade potting mix!
Coffee grinds may be excellent water-retentive elements to include in a potting mix. Just bear in mind that the components of your potting mix should be evenly distributed. Also, adding coffee grounds to a mixture can require adding a bit of extra sand for drainage purposes.
As a reminder, before potting, it’s crucial to comprehend each of your gorgeous plants’ preferred soil types. Some plants, like cacti and succulents, need dry, well-drained soil. However, many plants want a lovely moist soil to keep them comfy and hydrated.
The second type of indoor plants can benefit greatly from the addition of coffee grounds to the potting soil. Not to mention the small increase in nitrogen that the coffee grounds provide.
3. Coffee Fertilizer
Utilizing your leftover liquid coffee is an additional choice. Use the rest of the coffee that has been sitting in the pot all day rather than tossing it out!
Cooled coffee should be diluted 1:3 with tap water. With this, you have produced liquid fertilizer on your own. For instance, you might combine a quarter cup of leftover coffee with three-quarters cup of water.
However, this will be an acidic fertilizer, so proceed with caution. This will lower the soil’s pH. Not all plants tolerate acidic soil, and only certain species favor this environmental condition. The African Violet is a popular indoor plant that does well in soil that is acidic.
The soil pH will stay low while being replenished with certain essential nutrients if this coffee fertilizer is used no more than once per week. Like compost tea, the coffee liquid is quickly absorbed by plants.
Although it may seem that mulching is simply something you do for outdoor plants, your indoor plants don’t mind it, either. Mulching can help you keep your indoor plants healthy and hydrated, depending on what you add to the mulch.
Straw or compost are two examples of organic matter that make for good houseplant mulch. Of course, you can also use coffee grounds in your DIY mulch mixture, but moderation is key.
This is one situation when drinking a lot of coffee won’t help. Over time, accumulating coffee grinds around seeds or the plants themselves might harm your plants’ health.
Also, the caffeine in the coffee grounds may prevent your plants from growing to their maximum potential. Additionally, the coffee that chokes your plants makes it difficult for nutrients to penetrate.
You should wait till the plants are more mature before mulching with coffee grounds if you’re specifically raising seedlings that haven’t yet sprouted. However, keep an eye on your plant even after it reaches maturity.
5. Organic Pesticide
Using coffee grounds as a pesticide is preferred by some indoor (and outdoor) gardeners. This organic material works well, especially with slugs.
Slugs won’t enter your houseplant as long as coffee grounds are scattered over the soil. The texture of the coffee grounds will, at the very least, deter slugs. This is comparable to sprinkling cracked eggshells across the soil to deter snails.
Effects of Coffee Grounds on Soil pH
Understanding how coffee-focused plant care techniques might impact the pH of the plants’ soil is crucial when talking about this topic.
Maintaining your plants healthy requires a basic understanding of soil pH. On the pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14, 7 is regarded as neutral. Acids have a pH range of 0 to 6.9, while bases have a pH range of 7.1 to 14—a low pH results from strong acidity.
Because it allows for greater nutrient absorption, most plants prefer a pH that is just slightly below neutral. However, going too low might be hazardous. An extremely low pH in the soil might increase the spectrum of nutrients that are available to dangerous levels. This may cause a plant’s development to be stunted.
Coffee grinds that have not yet been brewed are extremely acidic and should never be put on plants. Similar to undiluted raw coffee grounds, liquid coffee is likewise extremely acidic and shouldn’t be applied to plants directly.
Used or brewed coffee grounds have a considerably reduced chance of significantly reducing the pH of the soil. However, it is still wise to be mindful of how their slight acidity may affect the soil of your plants.
Which Indoor Plants Enjoy Coffee Grounds?
The first error you may make is expecting that every indoor plant in your garden would enjoy a generous dash of coffee or some grinds sprinkled among their soil. Due to its strong acidity, only a few types of houseplants like coffee.
Below is a list of indoor plants that benefit from coffee grounds and coffee-based watering.
There are 23 perennial blooming plant species that make up the genus Cyclamen in the Primulaceae family. This houseplant is native to Somalia, eastern Iran, the Mediterranean region, and sections of Europe.
Red, white, and pink-hued cyclamen blooms are stunning and occasionally come in a single lovely bud. Your Cyclamen will appreciate the occasional feeding of coffee grounds.
Schlumbergera, or Christmas cactus, enjoys coffee grounds. These cacti originate from the coastal mountains of southeast Brazil.
The golden pothos also belong to the Araceae family, which explains why it likes coffee. As long as a room has at least one window that lets in some natural light, this lovely Polynesian plant thrives in a planter or a hanging basket and may be found in practically any area of your home.
The African violet, or Saintpaulia, is one of the houseplants you should give coffee to. African violets cannot have enough nitrogen or acid, so you may provide them with coffee more frequently than you can other houseplants on this list.
Miniature roses are the ideal complement to any indoor garden since they are not only attractive and elegant, but also take up a little valuable space.
Mini roses are available in all the hues of their larger counterparts, and despite their tiny size, they are harder to get destroyed.
Coffee grinds at the base of the plant or liquid coffee, sometimes used in place of your typical morning or afternoon watering, can help this plant thrive because miniature roses love nitrogen and acid.
Both gardeners and non-gardeners thrill at the Philodendron’s beauty. It’s impossible not to, since this plant lends a tropical vibe to any house, apartment, or workplace with its huge, vivid green leaves.
Coffee should only be given to the Philodendron occasionally for optimum effects since it doesn’t enjoy being fed frequently.
The jade plant, sometimes known as the money plant or fortunate plant, is another species that enjoys coffee. Its scientific name is Crassula ovata. The jade plant is native to South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province and Mozambique.
A happy jade plant, which is a succulent, may produce white or pink blossoms. You may maintain the happiness of your jade plant by sometimes adding coffee grounds to newly added potting soil or potting mix every 6 to 12 months.
For starters, peace lilies like coffee’s acidity as well as the organic material and nutrients included in coffee grounds.
For a variety of reasons, plant owners choose to incorporate coffee grounds into their regimen for caring for houseplants. They contain a lot of micronutrients and a lot of nitrogen.
Coffee grounds are a widely available resource because they are often present in most houses. Gardeners might be proud of themselves for saving something that would have ended up in the trash and utilizing it to improve their plants.
Even though there are many great benefits to using coffee grounds, you should be aware of any potential risks.
As with any plant care technique, it’s crucial to completely comprehend the special requirements of each of your plant species in order to provide for their optimal growth.