Wondering if coffee grounds are good for your succulents? If you’re a coffee lover and a succulent enthusiast, this article is for you.
We’ll reveal how coffee grounds can benefit your succulent plants and how to use them effectively.
Not only this, you will get to find real people’s perspective and their experience using coffee grounds on their succulents.
Let’s dive in!
Do Succulents like Coffee Grounds?
Yes, Succulents do like coffee grounds because they provide essential nutrients for growth and improve soil drainage.
Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are vital for the healthy growth of succulents. They also enhance soil drainage, a key requirement for succulents since they thrive in dry conditions.
Most used coffee grounds have a similar chemical composition, containing sugars, proteins, and lignins. Notably, they contain significant amounts of potassium (11.7 g/kg), nitrogen (2.8 g/kg), magnesium (1.9 g/kg), and phosphorus (1.8 g/kg). (Source)
|Chemical Component||Percentage in Used Coffee Grounds||Benefits for Succulents|
|Sugars||Approximately 50%||Provides a source of energy for growth|
|Proteins||Approximately 20%||Supports cell development and structure|
|Lignins||Approximately 20%||Enhances soil aeration and water retention|
|Potassium||11.7 g/kg||Aids in root development and flowering|
|Nitrogen||2.8 g/kg||Promotes overall plant growth|
|Magnesium||1.9 g/kg||Essential for chlorophyll production|
|Phosphorus||1.8 g/kg||Supports root development and flowering|
|Caffeine (Remaining)||Approximately 48% of fresh||Acts as a natural pest repellent|
|Tannins||Less than fresh coffee grounds||May deter some pests and pathogens|
Approximately 48% of caffeine remains in used coffee grounds, much less than in fresh coffee grounds. Importantly, used coffee grounds have fewer tannins compared to fresh ones.
However, it’s essential to use coffee grounds in moderation and mix them with other soil components. Also, steer clear of flavored coffee grounds, as they can potentially harm your succulents.
Also, note to use it only on succulents that likes soil with lower pH (acidic soil).
What does coffee do for succulents?
Coffee grounds can offer several benefits to succulents when used correctly. Firstly, coffee grounds can act as a natural fertilizer, providing essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
These nutrients are crucial for the healthy growth and development of succulents. Moreover, coffee grounds can also improve soil structure and aeration, creating a more suitable environment for succulents to thrive.
The organic matter in coffee grounds can enhance water retention in the soil while still allowing for adequate drainage, which is essential for succulents.
The slow-release nature of coffee grounds means that nutrients are gradually released into the soil, avoiding the risk of over-fertilizing, which can harm succulents.
Which Succulents Like Coffee?
While many succulents can benefit from coffee grounds, some species are exceptionally responsive to this natural fertilizer.
Here are three popular acidic soil loving succulents that generally do well with coffee grounds:
- Snake Plant (Sansevieria): Snake plants are hardy succulents known for their resilience and air-purifying properties. They can thrive in a variety of conditions and are well-suited to benefit from coffee grounds’ nutrients.
- Jade Plant (Crassula ovata): Jade plants are a common choice among succulent enthusiasts. They appreciate the nutrients in coffee grounds, which can aid their growth and overall health.
- Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera): Christmas cacti are popular festive houseplants that also respond positively to the use of coffee grounds. The extra nutrients can promote more vibrant blooms during the holiday season.
How to Put Coffee Grounds on Succulents?
When using coffee ground on succulents, it’s crucial to follow a few guidelines to ensure their proper application and effectiveness:
Use Composted Coffee Grounds
Composting coffee grounds is a crucial step before applying them to your succulents.
Coffee grounds, as leftovers from brewing coffee, contain organic matter that may not be immediately available to plants in its raw form.
When composted, the organic material breaks down over time, making the nutrients more accessible to the plants.
Composting coffee grounds is a simple process that can be done at home or through municipal composting programs.
To compost coffee grounds, mix them with other organic waste like kitchen scraps, leaves, and yard trimmings. This mixture encourages the breakdown of the organic matter through microbial activity.
As the composting process progresses, the coffee grounds transform into a nutrient-rich material known as “black gold.”
Using uncomposted coffee grounds directly on succulents can be problematic. Fresh coffee grounds are acidic, and while some plants like acid-loving plants such as blueberries may benefit from this acidity, most succulents prefer a more neutral pH.
Uncomposted coffee grounds can lower the pH of the soil, making it too acidic for succulents to thrive. Additionally, the uncomposted grounds may clump together, preventing proper water drainage and potentially causing root rot.
Mix Coffee Grounds with Potting Soil
To ensure a balanced pH and avoid any adverse effects on your succulents, it is recommended to mix the composted coffee ground with your regular succulent potting mix.
This way, you can create a well-balanced and nutrient-rich soil mixture that promotes healthy plant growth.
For the ideal mix, aim for a ratio of approximately 1 part composted coffee ground to 3 parts potting soil. This ratio allows you to provide the succulents with a modest nutrient boost without overwhelming them with excessive nutrients or acidity.
Mixing the coffee grounds with potting soil ensures a more uniform distribution of nutrients throughout the growing medium.
Top Dressing or Incorporation
Two primary methods to apply coffee grounds to your succulents are top dressing and incorporation.
- Top Dressing: In the top dressing method, you simply sprinkle the composted coffee grounds on the soil surface around the base of the succulent. The coffee ground act as a slow-release fertilizer, gradually providing nutrients to the plant as they break down and are absorbed by the roots. Top dressing also helps improve water retention by creating a mulch-like layer on top of the soil.
- Incorporation: In the incorporation method, you mix the composted coffee grounds into the potting soil before planting or repotting your succulents. By blending the coffee ground evenly throughout the soil, you ensure that the nutrients are available to the plant from the beginning. This method is particularly useful when you are repotting your succulent, as it allows you to create a well-mixed and nutrient-rich growing medium for the plant.
Both top dressing and incorporation methods have their advantages, and you can choose the one that best suits your preferences and plant care routine. Whichever way you choose, remember not to overdo it with the coffee ground.
Moderation is critical, as excessive use of coffee grounds may still lead to imbalances in soil pH and nutrient levels.
Coffee Grounds for Succulents Tips
To make the most of coffee grounds for your succulents, keep the following tips in mind.
Use Proper Soil:
Choosing suitable soil is critical for the health and well-being of your succulents. Succulents are adapted to arid environments and have evolved to store water in their leaves and stems.
Therefore, they require a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogged roots and avoid conditions that can lead to root rot.
Look for a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti, as these blends typically contain materials like sand, perlite, or pumice that improve drainage and are good for succulents.
These components create air pockets in the soil, allowing excess water to flow freely and preventing water from pooling around the roots.
Avoid using regular potting soils meant for general houseplants, as they often retain too much moisture for succulents, leading to root rot and other fungal problems.
One of the most common mistakes made in succulent care is overwatering. Succulents have adapted to survive in dry conditions and prefer to be watered infrequently but deeply.
When you water your succulents, ensure that the soil is dried to a depth of at least an inch before watering again.
Using coffee grounds can help with water retention to some extent, but this doesn’t mean you can water your succulents more frequently.
Overwatering can still be detrimental to succulents, even if the coffee ground aid in moisture retention. To check if your succulent needs watering, insert your finger into the soil at least an inch deep.
If the soil feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water. If it’s still damp, wait a few more days before watering again.
Use Black Diluted Coffee:
When utilizing coffee grounds for your succulents, it’s essential to use black coffee without any creamers, milk, or sweeteners.
These additives can be harmful to plants and may cause issues with soil pH and nutrient absorption.
Black coffee, on the other hand, can be beneficial when used correctly. However, it’s crucial to dilute the coffee with water to reduce its strength.
A good ratio is to mix one part black coffee with three parts water. This dilution helps prevent the coffee from becoming too acidic or overwhelming the plants with nutrients.
Once you have the diluted black coffee, you can use it for top dressing or incorporate it into the soil, as previously mentioned.
This method of applying coffee grounds provides a slow and steady release of nutrients to your succulents, promoting their growth and overall health.
User Perspectives on Use of Coffee Grounds for Succulents
A Reddit user reported that they applied coffee grounds to their soil two years ago, leading to significant succulent growth. (Source)
Some people are using Coffee Grounds to water their succulents by diluting dry used coffee grounds in water. (Source)
So, we are using coffee grounds but mainly it is to increase its reusability and here just I found even a succulent planter made of coffee grounds by @rebrewable on Instagram(Source). I found this interesting to share with you all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulent Plants?
Yes, coffee grounds are good for succulent plants as they are acidic and succulents thrive in acidic soil. Coffee grounds also contain nutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium that are essential for succulent growth. However, it is important to use coffee grounds in moderation and mix them well with other soil components to prevent any negative effects on the plant.
How to Put Coffee Grounds On Succulents?
To put coffee grounds on succulents, mix a small amount (about 1/4 cup per gallon of soil) of coffee grounds with the soil or sprinkle them on top of the soil and water thoroughly. It is important to mix the coffee grounds well with other soil components to prevent any negative effects on the plant. Also, remember to use coffee grounds in moderation as too much can alter the pH level of the soil and harm some succulent species.
Do Succulents Like Acidic Soil?
Yes, most succulents like slightly acidic soil. The exact level of desired acidity changes from one succulent family to another, depending mostly on their native area. Some succulents prefer neutral or slightly alkaline soil, but most of them grow well in soil with around pH 6, which is slightly acidic.
Was this Page helpful?
Anirban Saha is an Engineer with a specialization in Electronics and Communication. He is the Founder and Editor of mrplanter.com and also techbullish.com. Anirban loves plants and pursue gardening as a hobby for more than 10 years.