7 Ways to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden

The next time you finish your morning coffee, think twice before you toss those used coffee grounds into the trash. Coffee grounds have many uses in the garden. They enrich the soil with nitrogen, potassium and other minerals, improve soil quality, and plant growth.

Here are 7 ways how to use coffee grounds in your garden. You may be amazed at how versatile this item is!

1. Composting

Add coffee grounds to your composting bin. They’re a valuable source of nitrogen.

2. Pest Control

A barrier of coffee grounds around the plants may protect them from slugs and snails.

3. Cat Repellent

Put coffee grounds in the soil to keep cats away from digging in your garden.

4. Acid-Loving Plants

Place coffee grounds around the soil of your acid-loving plants such as roses, rhododendrons, fothergillas, holly, gardenias and so on. Coffee grounds increase acidity and nutrients in the soil.

5. Easy Fertilizer

Add 2 cups of coffee grounds to a 5 gallon bucket of water and allow it to steep overnight. Mixing these two ingredients is one of the simplest ways to make your own homemade fertilizer.

6. Mulch

Using coffee grounds as a mulch can help controlling weeds and keep your vegetable plants more hydrated during the heat of the day.

7. Boost Carrot & Radish Harvest

Double your harvest of carrot and radish, mixing your carrot and radish seeds liberally with coffee grounds.

TIP: If you personally don’t drink coffee, you can get the grounds for free from Starbucks. You could also ask any coffee shop or restaurant for their grounds. They probably would be very happy to give them to you on a regular basis.

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131 thoughts on “7 Ways to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden

  1. Excellent article. Coffee grounds are the best! We put at least 40 lbs of them on our gardens each week,. I get the coffee grounds from one of our local Coffee shops. My plants have never looked better. Cheers, Banana Joe

      1. So great to know! I worry about our dogs when spraying for ants. I’m going to put grounds in all my pots! Thanks

        1. Just wanted you to know that coffee grounds are really bad for dogs too. You have to make sure they don’t eat them!

          1. Great to know! I was hoping to use them to stop my two dogs digging for roots but they will eat anything so thanks for the tip!

    1. I wonder if any coffee shop in Cape Town would willingly give their coffee grounds away!! I used coffee grounds before with success.

      1. We had been getting them daily from our Starbucks but the stopped giving them out a couple months ago. Something about contamination. Good Luck; I’m going to try a couple other sources. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿค—

      2. Try your local Mcdonalds that’s where I get mine from. You may want to talk to the General manager

      3. If you have a Starbucks they give all their grounds away, plus the employees are required to bag all coffee grounds up and not to ever throw them away.

      4. Sam just Contact a Starbucks store and we will be more than help to donate it to you.
        Would be great if you would call and set it up with the store manager For details.

    2. I tried coffee grounds around my tomato plants and found no more traces of snails and slugs.
      On my grasses, I tried to mix water and coffee grounds and left overnight then the next day I waterred a small spot in my yard. After a week the color changed to a greener sight compared to the rest of them.

  2. hi fab idea I will defoe give this a go my roses never seemed to do very well so heres hoping ,thanks for sharing your tips

    1. If you have issues growing roses use the coffee grounds as well as banana peels. Put peels just under the soil – adds potassium which roses love also. Good luck. I have to prune mine back several times a year because they grow and reproduce sooooo much. Good luck.

      1. Put peels in blender with water and pour around plants- easier than burying and less apt to be dug up by critters

  3. I have used coffee grounds in my garden for a few years now, and they are a great soil improvement. When I started using them I was told that they draw earthworms and they help to turn the soil.

  4. These are great ideas for using something that would otherwise be thrown away. I will definitely have to try them on my roses.

  5. Great article …I’ve used left over coffee to water my flowering plants for years .They bloom their selves to death .It is true the grounds help keep slugs away they don’t like crawling across egg shell’s or coffee grounds . So you get fertilizer and pest control. Thanks for sharing some great advice.

  6. Coffee grounds are great for everything… been using for years on every square inch of my yard…

  7. I have a sealed container on my kitchen counter and every morning add the grounds. When full I take out and spread them around my azaleas and other acid loving plants. Even add some to where I feed the worms for my chickens. You can use them all over the yard to improve the soil.

  8. can you use coffee grounds that have been used?? I dont want to throw away my coffee for plants lol

    1. That’s what you are to use. The used grounds and left over brewed coffee. Open up the used teabags too.

        1. I place mine in the filter on a plate on the stove to dry them. Then I put them in an old coffee can to store them.

    2. That’s exactly what the article and other posters are saying. After you’ve brewed your coffee, put the grounds in the garden, not the garbage. Cheers.

    3. Yes. We all want to use our coffee first with a good cup of joe. Then toss those used grounds out to ur garden soil. My rose bush is twice the size of its twin after two years.

    4. Yes. Banana Peels work very well also. Bury just under the dirt for a big shot of Potassium. Your roses will love it.

    5. You use the grounds after you made coffee with them! Don’t throw away the grounds reuse in your garden. A 2x winner

  9. Yes, they are saying not to throw away your used coffee grounds, but to use them as discussed above. You definitely don’t want to use your fresh grounds.

  10. I have been mixing coffee grounds, ground up egg shells and diced banana for my garden for ever. Great for all plants and soil.

    1. Definitely, drink your coffee, then throw your used grounds in container on counter, add your egg shells anything that isn’t citric and you have the start of your berry own compost…or just throw onto the ground outside anywhere u want…

    1. I have used coffee grounds and crushed eggshells around my irises for a couple of years. I have beautiful irises every year.

  11. This is great! Have been throwing my grounds into my composter for years and will now, starting today, start using directly in my garden.

  12. How often should you add the grounds to the soil? Sprinkle daily? Weekly? Don’t want to jolt them too much..lol

  13. This is awesome, thank you!

    Just one question: If I use the coffee grounds as mulch and/or fertilizer, could it make the soil too acidic for certain grasses, flowers, fruits, veggies, etc.? We are in central Texas, if that helps. Thanks!

    1. Our soil here in Central Texas is alkaline due to the limestone in the soil, you can’t use too much coffee grounds as it can’t change the PH in the soil that much. It would take tons of pounds to change the PH to a significant amount.

  14. Thanks for posting this helpful article, most especially for beginners. It’s great isn’t it that nothing needs to be wasted. Imagine if those coffee grounds don’t have any use at all, it will just add to earth’s garbage. I thank our coffee shops around our area because they give them for free. They actually alternate it. Each week they give the grounds to another person, then another gardener on the next. Love it! Great post keep it up!

  15. This week, I found out that Starbucks Coffee gives out free coffee grounds. I was able to get a total of 25 lbs of coffee grounds from six different local Starbucks stores in one day.
    Most of the stores I visited already bagged the coffee grounds for guests to pick up.

    You can even call in advance in the morning to ask the store to save the coffee grounds for you.

  16. Oh I love this idea I will now save my coffee grounds and throw them on my roses and veg. Garden Thank you!!

  17. I don’t drink coffee and don’t know where to find used grounds so would it work if I just buy a bag and put around my roses?

    1. Do you have a Starbucks nearby? They will gladly give you grounds if you call or stop by! The idea here is to use already used coffee grounds. I’ve even ask friends for them before Starbucks as we are not coffee drinkers either.

  18. But people said coffee grounds would soak up the water of soil, Is it true?

    Some people put the coffee grounds in a sock, then put in the closet as a dehumidifier here.

  19. Thanks for that info. I am going to start saving my coffee grounds. I like getting the most out of everything we buy. I sure will have a lot of grounds. Thanks again.

  20. Wow, love all these suggestions! I’ve heard of the coffee grounds and egg shells and have used in my flower gardensa few times but not the banana peels. Can’t wait to try on my roses! So I can eat healthy then pass on to the roses , love it!!

  21. What a wonderful site to post such Great ideas. I got the idea of using coffee grounds from my grandmother many years ago, she always had such beautiful flower gardens. She lived in the Missouri area.

  22. I heard that if you mix egg shells and cigarette tobacco together it’s also good for ur plants is that true? I’m now going to do the coffee grounds ty

  23. I open the used tea grounds , coffee grounds and egg shells. I crumble them up after the the shells have dryed inside and scatter the on the garden , flower beds they all love it. winter time to keep them frpm molding I let the grounds dry real good so they wont mold during the winter so I can keep them for spring time

  24. Coffee grouds help protect your plants from slug (my own experience) to be repeated after the rain.

  25. Great advise on coffee grounds my roses have been a bit slow in growing since I replanted. I will try the banana, egg shells and used coffee grounds can’t wait!! Thank you!!

  26. Totally agree, mixing with chopped banana skins ans crushed egg shells…๐Ÿ˜Šwonderful! All over most plants. All the way from Argentina!

  27. I put coffee ground on my counter top in an open container, reason, glad you asked, Cock Roaches do not like coffee grounds, I even spread the grounds in my pine straw areas near the house to keep them away. I have seen a lot less of them.

  28. Does anyone know if coffee grounds help to deter rabbits? I have a major problem with them, they eat anything and everything!!!!

  29. I knew about coffee grounds utility in the coffee shop of Edinburg botanic garden. They asked to throw it separately to the special box.
    So I asked the coffee lady in our office to collect it for me.
    In spite of acidic soil in my garden all my plants are OK.

  30. I put my used coffee grounds at the bottom of my trash bag. They keep your trash from smelling. They absorb odors.

  31. All wonderful tips. Never heard of a couple of these, but I’ll be using them all. Shared.

  32. great info! thanks to all gardeners!!! One question regarding banana peels
    Around Roses, or anything else…..Afraid it might attract rodents? or pests?

  33. McDonalds has a container on the counter with bags of used coffee grounds ready for people to take and use.

  34. i have used them for years excellent fertilizer i also use them on my christmas cactus it blooms 3 times a year

  35. I’ve been using the grounds and egg shells in my plants for years. Starbucks has grounds for your garden bagged up in a tub for free.first come first served basis. I put them in my house plants also, but be careful, if you over water them you could get coffee water on your floor! Also I use it as a body and face scrub. Great exfoliation and it has caffeine to tighten skin

  36. I totally agree with all of the above. My husband and I use egg shells, dried and crushed, coffee grounds, and banana peels (chopped) for years and years. It’s true, just call your local restaurants and ask them to save all of the above. I ask them if I may bring them a container as well. Then after I use up what they gave me, I return the container for more. Just remember, coffee grounds will mold so make sure you add to the soil right away or you’ll need to dry them for use later on. Good luck 1st time users, this also will save a lot of money as well!!

  37. I also use coffee grounds in my garden, question would coffee grounds be good for dessert roses?
    Thank you

  38. Thanks for a great article.
    I have found that coffee grounds are great for supliment feeding for my composting worms.

  39. I use coffee grounds and banana peels every other week on my staghorn ferns every other week and they look awesome!!

  40. I have no idea coffee grounds could be so useful! Finally an excuse for my excessive caffeine habit! I’d much rather use something natural like this as fertilizer than chemicals.

    These ideas are so helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  41. What about coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells on Flowers? Are they good for those too?

  42. Very helpful article! I had no idea how useful coffee grounds are for gardening! I will have to try this soon. I can’t seem to keep the stray cats away from my garden, so I hope this will help!

  43. Thank you for the article I totally agree with all the above my Hibiscus was dying I used coffee grounds ,egg shells dried and crushed and banana peeled now is healthy and bloomed I use it now for all my plants every other week works v good

  44. As well as all the great tips here, don’t forget to use the water your eggs were boiled in, as it also contains calcium..great for your garden.( cold of course).

  45. I use coffee grounds in my flower garden to keep the neighborhood cats out they don’t like digging in it.

  46. I haven’t tried it yet but, I have heard coffee grounds are also excellent for growing mushrooms.

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