You may have heard that coffee grounds can be quite acidic, meaning they have the potential to damage plants that don't favor acidic soil. The bottom line: The pH of coffee grounds changes rapidly, so it's not a reliable source of material to raise or lower your soil's pH. People have been using coffee grounds in their gardens for years with reasonable success so itâs only natural for people to experiment with using coffee grounds to fertilize indoor plants. A relatively common question has to do with people wondering if it's okay to water their plants with leftover coffee or to add coffee grounds to the compost pile. You can use coffee fertilizer on your potted plants, houseplants, or in your vegetable garden. Although coffee grounds are widely believed to be an acidifying agent when added to garden soil, the pH of grounds usually tends to be closer to neutral. Coffee is a good home remedy for perking up slow-growing philodendrons, whether the grounds are mixed in with the potting soil or it is simply watered with a solution of half coffee, half water. Itâs a habit that Iâve picked up. Sometimes, people do things that arenât necessarily good for their houseplants in a misguided attempt at giving them an extra dose of love. But using old tea that will not be drunk, will provide some nutrients for plants, and provided it is not done in excess, should not affect the pH of the soil or cause any other harm to the plant. Rumors of coffee grounds repelling deer may be overstated. Since diversity is important for good soil health, coffee grounds should make up only about 20 percent of your compost material. Putting coffee grounds and brewed coffee into the container your plant is growing in may seem like a good idea, but it really isnât. But I want to be sure that it's OK to put coffee around plants. I give left-over coffee to our houseplants and they love it! Coffee grounds have a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 20:1 and should be treated as green material. If the foliage starts yellowing or the tips of the leaves start turning brown, it's a sign that the coffee is adding too much acidity to the soil. The absolute best way to use coffee grounds on your houseplants is â¦ Diluted coffee is an all-natural fertilizer for houseplants. Bean and gone and done it: the caffeine in coffee â¦ But are coffee grounds actually good for your houseplants? Use equal parts cooled plain coffee and water, and water your plants as you normally would. How to Use Coffee for Houseplants Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen, encourage the growth of the beneficial microorganisms in the soil, and help plants that prefer acidic growing medium. When you ask are coffee grounds good for houseplants, the answer is dependant on the plant. Plants & Shrubs That Like Coffee Grounds. Using coffee grounds on indoor plants is also a good way to reduce household waste production. Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Coffee grounds acidify soil slightly, so although that may benefit gardenias and azaleas, which prefer acidic soils, it won't help an African violet. Coffee grounds can have a beneficial effect on some houseplants; however, you can drive most of these benefits if you first turn coffee grounds into compost. You can work fresh coffee grounds (used coffee grounds lose their acidity) into the soil to raise the acid level. The same "brewing" process, using organic materials, also can help â¦ 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. Similarly, coffee grounds might attract pests and other insects as well. I have always found that placing coffee grounds in a pail of water and leaving over night makes a very good "drink" for my plants and toss coffee grounds in my compost. What Do Coffee Grounds Do? Many people feel that coffee grounds lower the pH (or raise the acid level) of soil, which is good for acid loving plants. In some offices, the only "watering"Â plants received is from working emptying leftover coffee into the pots, and they often do quite well.Â, One caveat: if you add cream, milk or sugar to your coffee, don't pour it into your plants. Whether you make coffee at home or you're a regular visitor to the local coffee shop, you've probably seen how quickly coffee grounds can accumulate. It also makes for an excellent houseplant due to its hardy and resilient nature. Coffee is pretty potent stuff, and youâll need to go slow when you first start adding coffee to your plants. Part 1 It is probably better than just dumping it â¦ Or, can the remaining half cup of cold coffee in your mug be poured into that potted pothos plant next to yourÂ desk? You can also use the grounds as a top dressing, if you have a good draining soil the grounds will sink into the mix. Coffee grounds are particularly good for tomato plants, which thrive on nitrogen. Coffee grounds are an efficient source of nutrition for plants, but they must be used in moderation. Itâs the number 1 thing I do with leftover coffee and it has nothing to do with me drinking it! I doubt it is cost effective and brewing the water wastes hydro. A real-life test and all the science explodes this popular myth. Cooled vegetable cooking water is fine to add to houseplants. Yes! Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. There's such a thing as too much of a good thing for both people and plants! A plant watered with sweetened or flavored coffee may soon be overrun by fungal gnats.Â. Coffee plants make for great houseplants because they are a striking evergreen addition. Put finished compost -- which appears dark, crumbly and earthy-smelling -- and water into a bucket at a 1-to-1 ratio. Water your plants with the solution about once a month. The answer: yes, in some situations this is not only acceptable but a good idea. Coffee grounds won't provide a burst of nitrogen to houseplants or garden plants immediately; they only produce nitrogen over time as they are composted. Ditto for flavored coffees. Coffee was once considered unhealthy, but new studies have shown coffee to have powerful health benefits. If I'm doing houseplants, I add 2/3 potting soil to 1/3 perlite with a handful of coffee grounds/pot. When used for planting, the grounds create a natural acidic form of bacteria, which boosts the growth of acid-loving plants like tomatoes, roses, blueberries and evergreens. Before you pour, dilute it with the same amount of water and make sure to use only black coffee or tea. Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to your compost pile. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Microorganisms and earthworms love the stuff and quickly gobble it up, which can result in a richer compost material. read more. She said it was good for them. My plants seem happy enough. You may have heard that coffee grounds will alter the pH level of your garden. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds. Then strain out the solid material and use the liquid to water your plants, adding enough liquid to soak the soil down to its bottom roots. It's not a bad idea to dilute your coffee with water, especially if you prefer your daily cup of java on the strong side. Best Answers. Coffee grinds are high in nitrogen and make a great addition to the organic matter around your flowers or vegetables. Planting coffee is a good idea because this plant will stay full and vibrant throughout the year. Washed coffee grounds have a pH level of 6.5, which is almost neutral. Coffee grounds sprinkled over the ground around acid-loving plants serve as a mild acidÂ fertilizerÂ for them.Â And worms seem to love them, either in your garden or outdoor compost pile or in a vermicompost bin.Â, And coffee grounds are regarded as an effective natural deterrent forÂ slugs and may prevent roaming cats from messing around in your garden. You can use coffee grounds for your houseplants -- but gardening experts tend to recommend not adding the grounds directly to the soil. Gardens: so you think coffee grounds are good for plants. Coffee contains quite a few nutrients which such plants will love, including potassium, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorous and other minerals. If added in fairly large amounts, they can raise the acidity level of the soil for acid-lovers such as blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons. I mean, it would be frustrating to see your dear plant suffering for your mistakes! However, the acidity levels in coffee grounds tend to vary widely based on the level of decomposition. Used coffee grounds may benefit plants in several ways. âThe best way to use coffee grounds for plants is adding it to your compost pile, and then mixing a little bit of that compost in with your potting soil,â Marino says. Some plants love coffee grounds and some that do not respond well to them. This might be possible when you're potting a large house plant but is not really feasible for plants already in pots. Let it sit for about 24 hours, stirring it at least every few hours. Are Coffee Grounds Good for Magnolia Trees? The good news is, all those grounds don't have to end up in the trash and then go on to the landfill. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer. Oregon State University: Compost Specialist Coffee Grounds and Soil Trial November 2008-September 2009, Oregon State University: Douglas County Master Gardeners: Compost Tea, Washington State University: Whatcom County Extension: Compost Fundamentals, How to Make a Nitrogen Solution at Home for Plants. Coffee grounds can usually be used on plants that need more acidity but how to use them is important. If you brew coffee by the pot, you may wonder if the cold leftovers can be used to water plants. Coffee grounds may be somewhat more effective as a rabbit repellent, though here, too, a more aggressive repellant, such as blood meal, will be more effective.Â. Here are some suggestions on how to make good use of coffee and tea: Mix your coffee grounds and old tea bags in a compost bin. 5 Simple Ways to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden, Pinterest's Most Popular Home Gifts All Have One Thing in Common This Year, 10 Tips for Watering Plants Growing in Containers. If the foliage starts yellowing or the tips of the leaves start turning brown, it's a sign that the coffee is adding too much acidity to the soil. You can use coffee grounds for your houseplants -- but gardening experts tend to recommend not adding the grounds directly to the soil. To prevent plant diseases and repel pests that might attack your houseplants, use your compost to make a compost tea. If you add them to the top of the potting soil around your houseplants, they could create a layer that traps moisture, leading to fungal overgrowth. Colleen Vanderlinden is a freelance writer and the author of Edible Gardening for the Midwest. If you're concerned about changing the acidity levels of your houseplants' soil, adding grounds may not be the best choice. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. As long as the grounds dry and are not flavored they will not mold, but if you allow it to clump, you could have a problem. Washington State University: Puyallup Research and Extension Center: Coffee Grounds - Will They Perk Up Plants? Not being able to add coffee grounds directly to your soil doesn't mean you can't use them. Even though a cursory internet search hasnât yielded any solid evidence about the benefits of using tea for watering plants, I plan to keep up the habit. Yes, coffee grounds are beneficial for indoor plants! You can use it in the following ways: After you have brewed the coffee in a pot, use the leftover to water the plants. Here are 7 reasons why coffee is good for you. Houseplants run on coffeeâjust not brewed coffee. An added advantage is the dark green Coffea arabica plant purifies the air. Deer are voracious eaters, and a few cupfuls of coffee grounds are unlikely to make much of a difference. For a medium-size house plant, you need roughly 4 cups of solution, suggests Oregon State University's Douglas County Master Gardeners. If you decide to try watering houseplants with coffee, keep a close eye on your plant. Tea may benefit your garden or house plants. Plants that prefer more acidic soil (such as African violets, impatiens, Norfolk Island pines, Phaleonopsis orchids, and dieffenbachia) seem to respond well to a weekly watering with coffee. Coffee grounds as fertilizer. ANSWER: If you are talking about adding used coffee grinds to your garden or to your compost pile, the answer is yes. The short answer: unwashed coffee grounds will lower the pH level of your garden (raise the acidity), which is great for plants that like acidic soil, but hurts plants that prefer less acidic soil. When used as a plant fertilizer, coffee grounds can replenish the soil acidity that is often lost in potted and in-ground plants. The sugars and fats can not only harm your plants and invite pests but can eventually result in a stinky mess. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Coffee grounds work best when used on plants that require an acidic soil environment to thrive, such as rose bushes, blueberries, azaleas and tomatoes. Coffee and coffee grounds can be acidic, but since we're diluting it so much, that's not really a problem unless you're watering the same plant with it every day. You might enjoy cream, sugar, and other additives, but your plants won't. Houseplants require different care than plants that you grow in your garden outside. Coffee grounds that havenât gone through composting can have detrimental effects on your plants like retain excess water and promote fungal growth as a corollary. Are coffee grounds good for houseplants? Watering Grass Seed: Everything You Need to Know, Tips for Fall and Winter Container Gardening. The short answer is: maybe. Plants will sicken or die if the soil becomes too acidic. Coffee works great on many types of flowering indoor plants, but can be used outside as well. Yellowing leaves may be a sign of too much acid in the soil, in which case, abandon the coffee irrigation and repot plants in containers. The filters break down quickly so toss them in as well. Brewed coffee contains a good amount of potassium and magnesium, which are excellent for plant growth. Coffee grounds tend to be granules that become compacted easily. Coffee grounds act â¦ Houseplants benefit from a dose of coffee grounds or a shot of the black stuff because coffee is rich in both nitrogen and acid. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds. Outdoors, acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, Siberian iris, lupine, and any pine trees or shrubs will do fine with if periodically watered with cold coffee.Â Liquid coffee can also be used to water a compost pile that has become too dry.Â, If you decide to try watering houseplants with coffee, keep a close eye on your plant. The brewing process for tea releases the leaves' essential oils, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, which are compounds thought to have health benefits. Be sure to check the ph of your plants before adding coffee grounds. Because of the acidic nature of coffee, this technique should be reserved for plants that do well in acidic conditions, like ferns, roses, and aloe. So, coffee grounds as compost is always better. How to Add Epsom Salt & Coffee Grounds to Potting Soil. It is best to only add coffee to plants that thrive in acid-rich soil. There are some caveats, though.Â, Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen in your compost pile or when added directly to the soil in the garden. Grounds have a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of roughly 11 to 20 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. In addition, coffee grounds make a great addition to the compost pile where the nitrogen will enrich the soil and the acidity will assist in decomposition. It's not a bad idea to dilute your coffee with water, especially if you prefer your daily cup of java on the strong side. If you have a few acid-loving plants around, either in the garden or in containers, you can recycle the coffee into a nutritious treat that they'll love. It depends on the plant. My houseplants and I have something in common, we both love coffee! This rich organic material is good for your plants due to its high nitrogen content, micronutrients, and high-water retention. 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