Is coffee good for my roses?

by Ophelia
(Redding, CA)

Scattering coffee grinds under your rose plants.

Scattering coffee grinds under your rose plants.


I love my rose garden and don’t like using pesticides to keep the bugs off. I have heard that scattering used coffee grounds around the base of my roses can help keep the bugs away.

Is this true? I hope so!



As it happens, we love roses too! At the last count we have about 35 roses in our back garden.

And yes, I scatter our used coffee grinds around the base of the roses. Mind you, I don’t pile it up indefinitely. But I do add coffee grinds two or three times a season. The rest goes into our compost bin.

As for how good coffee is at keeping bugs off your roses, that’s a different question. It’s not a natural pesticide, so it’s not going to kill anything. But I have heard that it keeps slugs away, as they hate to cross it.

I have also heard that the mold and fungus that grows on the coffee grounds are not damaging to your plants, and that they compete with other mold and fungi, including Fusarium, Pythium, and Sclerotinia. And these are damaging to many plants, causing wilt and root rot.

In other words, a good pile of coffee will create a defensive perimeter of friendly molds and fungi.

Another win for coffee!

The main reason I add the coffee is to replenish the soil. Coffee grinds are an excellent source of nitrogen, and also add organic nutrients to the soil. Coffee grinds are also a bit acidic, which roses in particular will appreciate.

Coffee isn’t going to cure all the pest problems with your roses, but you should absolutely add it to your garden and compost pile instead of dumping it in the garbage or flushing it down the sink.

I hope this helps a little!


Comments for Is coffee good for my roses?

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Jul 06, 2015
Grinds or Grounds?
by: Nick

Good question Pistachio. Seems to be some debate over that. I see both spellings, and use the "grinds" version out of habit.


Jul 04, 2015
Scattering ? what ?
by: pistachio

coffee grinds?

I always thought it was grounds.... !coffee grounds!

[ if it has to be grinds,, then it has to be grindings... coffee grindings, no?

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