coffee grounds

Coffee grounds in the garden is a popular yet debatable topic nowadays. Is it good or bad? Using coffee grounds that are given free by coffee shops is a common thing that is done by coffee lover gardeners today. However, there are some things that you should know if you are considering using coffee grounds in the garden.

homegrown coffee
“Homegrown Coffee – Ground & Ready to Brew” by Forest & Kim is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Using Coffee Grounds As Mulch

Mulch in your garden can be very beneficial but it is very hard to come by compost, straw, or other organic matter. Using coffee grounds as mulch may seem like the perfect solution but some gardeners think that using coffee grounds directly on the soil may have a bad effect on your plants. The reason for this bad effect may result from the caffeine content that coffee grounds include that is believed to suppress the growth of plants. Although how much caffeine remains in the coffee grounds after they are used is unknown, little amount of caffeine can pose danger to some plants. So if you are considering using coffee grounds for plants, avoiding spreading coffee grounds around seeds or seedlings might be a reasonable choice.

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Another reason why using coffee grounds as mulch is detrimental is that like clay soil, coffee grounds made up of very fine particles that are likely to locking together. This situation might result in a barrier that can prevent coffee grounds to absorb water.

If you want to use coffee grounds as mulch in your garden, you can mix those grounds with other organic matter such as compost or leafmold before using them. Alternatively, you can rake your coffee grounds into the top layer of the soil to prevent clumping them together.

Using Coffee Grounds As Fertilizer

In some part of your life you might have dumped the used coffee grounds in your garden and might have wondered if it is a good thing or not. Coffee grounds contain plenty amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus which can be beneficial for your plants. Although the amount of these nutrients may change, you can still use coffee grounds as a slow-release fertilizer.

If you are considering using coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply sprinkle them thinly on your soil or you can add them to your compost. Make sure to mix your compost with carbon-rich materials such as dried leaves, newspaper, or woody prunings as well as coffee beans. Compost coffee grounds are beneficial because your compost heap’s tiny munchers and gnawers can process and mix them effectively.

Coffee Grounds As Natural Pesticide

One of the most common uses for used coffee grounds is that using them as a natural pesticide. There are two possible causes why they work as a natural pesticide. Firstly, the texture of coffee grounds is abrasive so it may prevent voided slugs to not cross them. Secondly, caffeine may be harmful to slugs so they are avoiding it.

coffee grounds
“Coffee grounds” by quinn.anya is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Coffee Grounds And Worms

You can use old coffee grounds to feed your worms every week or so. Worms are known to love coffee grounds but you shouldn’t feed them excessively because acidity may harm your worms. Feeding them with a cup or so of coffee grounds per week for a small worm bin is great. What’s more, earthworms in your soil will be more attracted to your garden when you use coffee grounds in soil.

Fresh Coffee Grounds For Acid-Loving Plants

If you ask the question of “Can I use coffee grounds in my garden?” to yourself, the answer is not that hard. If you have plants that love acid, you can use coffee grounds in your garden. These plants include hydrangeas, rhododendrons, azaleas, lily of the valley, and more. However, don’t use coffee grounds if you are growing tomatoes because they can be harmful to them, and avoid using them on seedlings or very young plants. Also, you should use fresh coffee grounds because they contain more acid and caffeine.

“Plants” by James E. Petts is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

List Of Plants That Love Acid

  • Carrots
  • Wild strawberries
  • Radishes
  • Gooseberries
  • Lily
  • Maidenhair fern
  • Blueberries
  • Hydrangeas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Azaleas
  • Camellia
  • Highbush blueberry
  • Duke

List Of Plants That Like Coffee Grounds

  • Snake plant
  • Philodendron
  • Jade plants
  • Christmas cactus
  • African violet
  • Cyclamen
  • Miniature rose
  • Golden pothos
  • Spider plant
  • Ghost man

Wrapping Up

Coffee grounds and plants are actually closely related to each other and coffee grounds can be used in gardens for several purposes such as fertilizer and compost. Now that you have learned how to use coffee grounds in the garden, you can make your garden better. If you have some questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section!

Using Coffee Grounds In The Garden: Complete Guide

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