Home Indoor Gardening Coffee Grounds for Houseplants- Must Know Benefits

Coffee Grounds for Houseplants- Must Know Benefits

by ThatWoW Editorial Team
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Coffee is my ‘prepare me for the world’ drink and I cling to it every morning, because why not? Isn’t it the most loved beverage in the world? No matter what the answer is, my love for caffeine is eternal. 

Assuming you could relate with me on some levels, you might have lots of coffee grounds as kitchen leftovers. Now, if you also have indoor plants or perhaps an indoor garden, you can recycle the waste to feed your plants! 

So, if you are a regular to the coffee shop or you make coffee at home, you must be familiar with the coffee grounds that accumulate quickly and eventually end up in the dump yard. These grounds can go straight to your houseplant and make themselves useful. They provide nutrients like nitrogen that plants require for healthy growth. 

Whether it is the coffee grounds or the last splash in your coffeepot, there are certain dos and don’ts for using them because we do love our plants and cannot take any risks. I mean, I cannot, can you? 

There are three major relationships between coffee and houseplants. It can be used as compost for the soil, as a fertilizer, and even for watering your houseplant.

Coffee As Compost

Coffee grounds are no doubt healthy for houseplants but those granules become compacted quickly. If you pour it directly over the topsoil, the layer would trap moisture which can lead to mold and fungus growth, and it’s messy and yucky!! Also, if the layer is too thick, it might hinder the water absorption as well. Undoubtedly, this is not a good idea. 

So, instead of adding the coffee grounds directly, make compost and add them to it. You can use other kitchen leftovers like vegetable peels to make a good dish for the plants. Adding coffee would increase the nitrogen concentration in the compost which will attract the microorganisms readily making a richer compost material. 

Once done, it is better to dilute the compost with water and let it sit for 24 hours with proper stirring every 5-6 hours. Filter the solid materials and use the liquid to feed your plants. Use this method at least once a month for good results. 

You can also use the grounds as a slow-release fertilizer by mixing it with regular potting soil while repotting the plant. They can provide essential nutrients to the plant for up to 6 months which is not bad. Although direct mixing might invite problems, with proper care, it can be avoided.

Coffee As Liquid Fertilizer

Similar to the compost option, making a liquid fertilizer out of coffee grounds is also an effective idea. Just like making a compost tea, you need to add coffee grounds in a container full of water. Keep it for 2 to 3 weeks with routine stirring every few days. As the coffee starts to break down in the solution, the granules readily release nutrients that can attract good bacteria. 

You can use this liquid as a fertilizer for your indoor plants and fill them with nutrients. Use a cheesecloth to prevent semi-solid granules from damaging the plant. This would also improve the health of the soil. It is a good deal, convenient and everything! 

Coffee To Water Plants

If you are a regular black coffee brewer at your home kitchen, you might wonder if you can use the cold leftovers to feed the plant. Now here, factors like the acidity of soil and the plant species must be taken into consideration. Houseplants like African violets and impatiens prefer slightly acidic soil and hence, watering them with coffee once a week would be beneficial for them. 

I would recommend that you should dilute the coffee a little bit before pouring them on the topsoil to prevent any adverse effects. With the proper concentration, your plants would do well with the coffee watering! 

You must not use this hack on your plants if you add cream, milk, or sugar to your coffee since they can only invite pests and damage the roots. To prevent any kind of fungal invasion, make sure you only use unsweetened black coffee for plant watering. 

Negative Aspects Of Using Coffee

Plants do require constant care and love from their owner and we cannot afford to take the slightest risk with our houseplants, can we? Using coffee for houseplants surely has lots of benefits but they can become sources for some issues as well. 

As mentioned earlier, excess moisture retention is a huge drawback since the coffee granules which acts like sponges and traps water molecule. This can result in overwatering which might result in root rot. Use coarse sand in the potting mix in a smaller pot so that the soil could dry out faster. 

Fungi can breed well in coffee grounds can this problem might arise if you are watering your plant with coffee. You can reduce this issue by making sure the grounds are well mixed with the soil. Similarly, coffee grounds might attract pests and other insects as well. So, coffee grounds as compost is always better. I mean, it would be frustrating to see your dear plant suffering for your mistakes!

The bottom line is coffee for houseplants might not be the ideal option, but if you use it efficiently, it can be beneficial for your plants. So, what would you do with that cold, coffee leftover tomorrow morning?

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