Use spent coffee grounds – in your garden!

As a school teacher, I always had the best looking potted plants in the building. Why, you may ask? Well maybe you don’t ask, but I’ll tell you. Coffee! When my coffee got cold, I would just pour the dregs into a potted plant. It is a natural fertilizer. Just as coffee wakes you up and gives you energy, so it does with plants.


Don’t dump your spent coffee grounds in the garbage bin. Instead, sprinkle then around your garden plants. Coffee grounds and spent tea leaves are organic materials, and can provide a valuable asset to your garden plants. By using coffee grounds, you can avoid the risk of pathogens carried by manure. The grounds are loaded with nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are crucial for healthy plant growth. You pay good money for those minerals in chemical fertilizers, which may be washed off and pollute the runoff water.


In addition, coffee grounds encourage the presence of earthworms. The little slimy creatures love coffee as much as we do, and follow the scent just as a sleepy mom or dad follows the scent of a fresh-brewed pot of coffee. Why is that important? Well, earthworms aerate the soil as they tunnel through it. By aerating soil, they allow more oxygen to the roots of plants, and loosen it so that the roots can spread easier. This can be invaluable if you live in a part of the country where clay is present in the soil. Furthermore, earthworms process and spread nutrients through the soil, enriching it.

Snails And Slugs

Snails and slugs often wreak havoc on your garden plants. It’s difficult to get rid of them, too, because poison you might put out for snails and slugs may also affect beneficial bug and pets. However, coffee has acid in it, which kills those slimy pests. This acid, by the way, also is beneficial to plants, and may keep you from having to purchase acid treatments for your garden.

Loosen Soil

By incorporating coffee grounds and tea leaves into your soil, you improve the quality of the soil. Coffee grounds don’t clump, so they’ll mix in with the soil and keep it from setting up as badly. This makes it easier to till.

Retain Moisture

Coffee grounds also will hang onto moisture longer than sandy soil, make it a valuable addition to your garden. While sandy soils may leach moisture away from the plants, coffee grounds will hang on to the moisture, keeping it close to your plant’s roots.

Indoor Plants

As you prepare to repot your indoor plants, incorporate coffee grounds into the potting mix. You’ll get the same benefits of fertilizer as you would in the garden, and your potted plants will respond with new growth and deeper coloring.

You can actually get coffee grounds at coffee shops. Many of them give away their spent coffee grounds, while others have the gall to sell them. But, either way, you can get pound of spend coffee grounds at a time and incorporate them into your gardening.


Josh Andrews is a keen gardener and loves giving tips about unique ways of caring for your garden. When he isn’t writing articles you can find him working for a company that provide a lawn treatment service.