How to Revive Wilting Houseplants with Coffee Grounds

How to Revive Wilting Houseplants with Coffee Grounds

How to Revive Wilting Houseplants with Coffee Grounds

Why Coffee Grounds Help Plants

Coffee grounds contain essential nutrients that provide benefits to plants. Here are some of the key nutrients and their effects:

  • Nitrogen – Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is responsible for lush, green growth in plants. Nitrogen promotes photosynthesis, shoot and leaf growth, and overall vigor.

  • Phosphorus – Helps plants develop strong root systems and produce flowers and fruits. Phosphorus also aids in photosynthesis.

  • Potassium – Important for disease resistance and water regulation in plants. Potassium contributes to robust stems and leaves.

  • Magnesium – Aids in chlorophyll production and photosynthesis. Magnesium also helps plants absorb nutrients more efficiently.

  • Copper and zinc – Trace elements that assist with enzyme and chlorophyll formation.

The organic matter in used coffee grounds also improves soil structure and moisture retention. The grounds help aerate the soil, allowing better distribution of nutrients to plant roots.

Best Plants to Use Coffee Grounds On

Coffee grounds can be used on most household plants. Some types of plants that benefit the most from coffee ground fertilizing include:

  • Tomatoes – The nitrogen boosts leaf and flower growth, leading to more tomatoes.

  • Peppers – Helps peppers become bushier and produce higher yields.

  • Roses – Produces more flowers and healthier rose bushes.

  • Citrus trees – Nitrogen promotes lush foliage, and potassium aids fruit production.

  • Azaleas – Acid-loving plants like azaleas thrive with the acidity coffee grounds provide.

  • Hydrangeas – Can turn hydrangea flowers blue due to the grounds’ acidity.

  • Blueberries – Acidity and nutrients result in larger, tastier blueberries.

  • Herbs – The nitrogen gives herbs a flavor and growth boost.

  • Orchids – Helps orchids re-bloom when added to the planting mix.

Other plants that enjoy coffee grounds include camellias, gardenias, rhododendrons, jasmine, and flowering indoor plants like African violets.

How to Apply Used Coffee Grounds to Plants

Coffee grounds are simple to use. Here are some easy application methods:

  • Top dressing – Sprinkle grounds lightly around the base of plants as a top dressing. Use 1-2 tablespoons per small plant. Water well after applying.

  • Soil amendment – Mix used grounds into potting soil at a ratio of 1 part grounds to 2 parts soil before planting. You can also dig grounds directly into garden beds.

  • Compost – Add coffee grounds to compost piles. They provide nitrogen and help speed decomposition. Limit to 20% of the total compost volume.

  • Fertilizer booster – Mix grounds into granular fertilizers to add organic matter and extra nutrients. Use 2 parts fertilizer to 1 part grounds.

Avoid using coffee grounds in excess, as too much nitrogen can damage plant roots and leaves. Start with small amounts and gradually increase if plants show signs of needing more nutrients.

Troubleshooting Coffee Ground Use on Plants

While coffee grounds provide multiple benefits, there are a few potential issues to be aware of:

  • Mold growth – Grounds may develop mold if left sitting on top of wet soil. Mix into soil instead of top dressing.

  • Lower soil pH – The acidity can make soil more acidic over time with repeated heavy applications. Test and amend soil pH if needed.

  • Salts – Excess salts from grounds can potentially burn plants. Flush soil with water monthly to prevent buildup.

  • Nitrogen overload – Too much nitrogen causes overly leafy growth at the expense of flowers and fruits. Use smaller amounts more frequently instead of heavy applications.

  • Pest attraction – Grounds may lure snails and slugs. Create barriers with diatomaceous earth or coffee ground traps.

By using coffee grounds in moderation and testing soil regularly, you can avoid these issues and safely reap the benefits for your plants. Adjust application frequency and amounts as needed.

Getting Used Coffee Grounds for Plants

Used coffee grounds are widely available and can easily be collected for free:

  • Check with local coffee shops to see if they offer grounds to gardeners or composters. Many hold grounds to give away.

  • Ask your favorite barista to save grounds for you rather than discarding them.

  • Set up a collection container at your workplace to gather used grounds from the office coffee maker.

  • You can even use the spent grounds from your own home brewed coffee.

Let coffee grounds fully dry before using or storing them. Compost any unused grounds after 2-3 days, as they will spoil rapidly. By sourcing spent grounds for your garden, you give new life to coffee waste!

Reviving wilting plants with coffee grounds is an inexpensive, eco-friendly way to boost your indoor and outdoor plants. Follow the tips in this guide to safely fertilize with used coffee grounds and enjoy their rejuvenating effects. Watch your plants perk back up with this simple kitchen scraps fertilizer.