Is coffee good for plants?

by Sylvie
(Herndon, Virginia)


Is coffee good for plants? I don't like the idea of throwing away any kind of organic waste. But I want to be sure that it's OK to put coffee around plants.


If you are talking about adding used coffee grinds to your garden or to your compost pile, the answer is yes.

Coffee grinds are high in nitrogen and make a great addition to the organic matter around your flowers or vegetables.

You can either sprinkle the coffee grinds directly onto the soil, or add them to your compost bin or pile.

If you add them directly to the soil, keep in mind that coffee is also acidic, so you may also want to add something alkaline, like brown leaves.

This is a great question, because we all throw away a huge volume of used coffee. It may not seem like much when you look at what's there are after brewing one pot, but when you consider how much you throw away during the course of a year, it's quite a lot.

If we all composted our coffee, it would make a considerable difference.

Comments for Is coffee good for plants?

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Feb 08, 2022
Coffee keeps ants, worms, and snails away from your home
by: Patrick

Hey I found this article which says " Coffee keeps ants, worms, and snails away from your home"
is this true?

Jan 08, 2018
by: Anonymous

can you use any kind of caffeine on plants

Oct 16, 2017
East Light and Coffee for the Catus
by: Anonymous

At our office I've been feeding the Christmas Cactus room temp leftover coffee since its last bloom in late 2016. My co workers like the plant in the east window and kindly water it if I'm not doing my duty. The plant has done really well on the caffeine regime. I expect that it will set buds soon and give us a great show in December.

Jun 22, 2015
non brewed coffee grounds?
by: Anonymous

i'm asking the same question that someone else asked and never got an answer to, Can you add non brewed coffee grounds mixed with sphagnum moss/ dampened with water around the trunk of a Hibiscus plant? I just did this to my beautiful two potted hibiscus plants and hope I'm not killing them. Please answer asap. Thanks

Editor's Note: I guess you could, but why would you? Kind of expensive to use ground coffee before you have even made coffee with it. If it's done already, and you're worried, I would just water the plants as much as you can to drain some of the coffee out the bottom.

Jun 28, 2014
don't use flavored coffee!
by: bert

been spreading used espresso,eggshells,and banana peels for yrs. Experimented this year with flavored coffee grounds, one large planter containing oclocks, morning glories,a bachelor buttons,moonflowers,and a marigolds. I murdered all but the marigolds! reg grounds everywhere else seem to be boosting everything, plus repelling neighborhood cats.

Mar 08, 2014
Old coffe from my cup
by: Judy

Can you pour your coffee that's gone cold mixed with cream and sugar/sweetnlow/stevia onto plants?
Or does it have to be black coffee?

Jan 12, 2014
starbuck and worms
by: Anonymous

starbucks gives me theirs, i go 1-2 times a week and get 8 to 10lb a trip!
They are excellent to make compost, and even better to throw straight on the ground.
the worms LOVE them!!!
They attract worms like crazy.

Instead of spending $100's on worm castings, just throw grounds near the trunk of the plant
(dont let the touch the trunk,
keep them 1-2 inches away)

worm castings are the BEST fertilizer there is, full of micro nutrients, and good bacteria

coffee grounds do not effect the PH by the way, i just read a study on it

Jun 20, 2013
Coffee Grounds
by: Anonymous

Love the information I received here...I did place coffee grounds around Hibcus two ago......double the number of buds....however the buds that are almost ready to open are falling off. Is because of to much grounds or something else? I do not see ant bugs.......but who knows. Please help. Thanks

Feb 01, 2013
cofee is good for hibiscus
by: Anonymous

Wanted to tell every one that coffee grounds are wonderful and good for plants, yes they are great for hibiscus too
I just now started doing it to my hibiscus and the flowers on the bush are gigantic and so beautiful

Oct 13, 2012
Who loves coffee.. me and my plants!
by: OakleysGarden

Awesome info. Thanks for putting this up. I've been looking for ways to get rid of my coffee grounds. I've doing some research and so far plants love coffee grounds.
I just started a balcony garden and with all the great info I think it's going to be a huge hit! Thanks!

Jul 25, 2012
Coffee is great for vegetables
by: Anonymous

Coffee is great for vegetables - they prefer acidic soil so mixing coffee grounds as an additive definitely helps. I am trying to get a movement going in my community to see if I can get more and more people to recycle their coffee and get more and more home gardeners to use it. Project Green Bean is the project I am trying to get off the ground.

Jul 25, 2012
Coffee is great for vegetables
by: Anonymous

Coffee is great for veg gardens. They tend to prefer slightly acidic soils so adding coffee helps. I am trying to convince folks to keep more and more coffee out of landfills. The project is simple collect coffee where it would have been thrown away compost it and then give it away to anyone who needs it for free. I think its a win win situation. People get organic fertilizers for free and there is less coffee ending up in landfills. is the drive.

May 05, 2012
non brewed coffee
by: Anonymous

can you put non brewed coffee around plants and garden?

Mar 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

I work at costa and we use ALOT of coffee as you can imagion. We bag up our old used coffee grains and give them away to green fingered people like ourselves! :)

Jan 26, 2011
Coffee, Plants and the Office
by: Yegs

I work in an office, and I got a bunch of ivies last year. They're a resilient bunch. Instead of watering the plant with tap water as most people do, I water it with cold leftover coffee. They're growing to monstrous proportions and my cube now looks like a jungle, only one year later.

Dec 10, 2010
by: Anonymous

thanx this info really helps (:

Nov 06, 2010
tell starbucks
by: Anonymous

Ask your local starbucks to do something good with their coffee grinds!

Oct 23, 2010
liquid coffee
by: Anonymous

I want to know what happens when you give coffee to plants(the liquid kind). The coffee would be their substitute water.

Sep 21, 2010
Coffee vs Soda
by: Anonymous

I had a friend who had 2 Hibiscus plants outside of his shop, He would pour his old coffee out on 1 and old soda on the other and the Coffee fed plant grew and the soda fed plant died.. I thought it was a good thing to know

Jul 02, 2010
Stale coffee
by: Anonymous

Can you sprinkle non-brewed coffee that has gone stale around your plants or does it have to be brewed coffee grounds?

May 20, 2010
Hibiscus plants love coffee, too!
by: Anonymous

I have had a huge Hibiscous bush-tree for over twenty years and it's never blossomed that much. All of a sudden this year it is EXPLODING with blossoms and no white flies. Well, I tried to think what had I done differently. Then it hit me--I had put coffee grounds several times about a month before around the, after reading about the miracles of coffee for many plants, I figure this must be it. I have just tried pouring room temperature coffee mixed with a lot of water around my Plumbago plants and we'll see what happens.....also my hydranga plant which hasn't blossomed for years.

Apr 14, 2010
That's great!!!
by: Anonymous

This will help me a lot!! Thanks a lot!!!

Apr 04, 2010
coffee plants
by: Anonymous

yess it is because it let my little plant grow bigger than ever

Feb 24, 2010
by: Aussie

I think you should make it decaf...I'd hate to think that you would INTENTIONALLY get your plant hooked on caffeine!!!!!!

Feb 04, 2010
Science fair
by: Anonymous

I am doing a project for Science fair that includes coffee and plants. thanks for the information

Feb 02, 2010
Brewed coffee
by: Anonymous

Um... I'm not sure, but I think that it is good to feed plants BREWED coffee at room temperature... I read another comment that said "It is okay to feed plants brewed coffee, at room temp. (of course)." But I am doing a science project and I wanted to se if plants grow better/taller/faster with coffee and water instead of just water. So pretty soon I'm gonna find out! :)

Dec 28, 2009
Used coffee grounds
by: Anonymous

Worms love coffee! I put all my used coffee grounds in my worm farm/compost bin.

Oct 11, 2009
coffee grounds
by: ur mom

i have used coffee grounds to grow my tomatoes and it worked wonderfully.

Jun 30, 2009
by: Anonymous

My mother has tried this for a while. I can't say it has worked but she did get some nice flowers on her Gardenia bush. Certainly hasn't killed it...

Jun 04, 2009
Is Coffee good for plants?
by: Anonymous

My wife and I have been watering our houseplants for years with left over coffee. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is empty the left over coffe on some houseplant. wE HAVE A PEACE LILY from my wife mothers funeral sisteen years ago which we divide every spring into four more plants and give away, and it has had nothing but coffee.

Feb 09, 2009
Coffee is good
by: Anonymous

Yes brewed coffee is good for your plants at room temp. I had a tree in my office that I rescued was on its last leg and was just about dead and just starting adding coffee without any sugar or creamer of course (no brainer)not knowing that is was good for it and it grew so big and was green and everybody was asking me where did you get that plant and I told them it was the one from the front office they were surprised and said it looks great. I have been adding coffee to my plants ever since.

Oct 26, 2008
still curious
by: Anonymous

That is what i am looking for. I assume that it is okay, but want to make sure. I do not like be wasteful and think coffee could be a nice addition to moderation of course.

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