Use coffee grounds when growing plants, but which ones?

By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Spring is here and it's time to get that garden started again. You might have heard that coffee grounds can be used to help plants grow and be utilized in mulch and fertilizer. But coffee is slightly acidic so you want to be careful how you utilize it and which plants you use it on. Make sure you use The World's Strongest Coffee for the best results.


Plants that prefer a higher acidity in the soil are those that usually can grow in any light. You can pick up a cheap soil pH meter on Amazon and test your soil before adding coffee grounds to it. Also, a lot of store-bought potting soil will tell you the pH on the packaging. Acidic soil is under 7.0 on the pH scale, and unless you have very acidic soil you can grow most fruits and vegetables, some flowers and shrubs too.

Take used coffee grounds and mix them with your soil about six inches into it, or mix them with your compost or mulch. Only use about one half an inch of coffee grounds per four inches of mulch or fertilizer. Make sure they are cooled down before you start to mix them. Coffee grounds are considered a 'green' organic material, so as a rule of thumb, you want to make sure to add enough 'brown' material to the mix - dried leaves or wood shavings work great.


  • Lily of the Valley - loves acidic soil and can grow in any light
  • Azalea Bush -  also likes a more acidic soil but prefers some shade 


  • Wild Strawberries and Blueberries - thrive in acidic soil
  • Radishes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Gooseberries

You can play around with different growing methods, soil and mulch compositions to really dial in the powers of coffee grounds! The great thing about coffee grounds is they are rich in nitrogen, as well as some potassium and phosphorus, all of which plants crave.

Remember again to mix the coffee grounds you use well especially if you own a dog. The smell of coffee might be enticing to your four-legged friend and you don't want them to get sick eating all that dirt and coffee.

RELATED: How to Grow a Coffee Plant at Home


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