Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?

Coffee Grounds Good for Succulent

Tons of people throw their old coffee grounds into the compost pile and use the compost in their garden with good results. But as you all know, what works best for other plants doesn’t always work for succulents, especially when it comes to fertilizer!

Succulents are more easily burned by chemical fertilizers than other plants, so there’s always a risk that your succulent babies could get damaged when you use them. Could coffee be a better alternative to harsh chemical fertilizers, or is it too acidic for your plants? One thing is for sure, it’s great to drink!

Today, we’re going to tell you whether or not your succulents will love coffee as much as you do! By the end of this post, you’ll get all the info you need to decide if your coffee grounds should go in your succulent pot or in your garbage can, so read on!

Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?
Are coffee grounds good for succulents

Nutrients in Coffee

Coffee grounds are about 2% nitrogen, which is why they benefit plant health and get thrown into compost piles. Brewed coffee also has some pretty great nutrients – potassium and magnesium. Nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium are essential nutrients that your plant babies need. If the soil you plant them in doesn’t have enough of these minerals, their leaves will start to turn pale and they won’t be able to grow well. Yikes!

That’s why it’s so important to fertilize your succulents, especially if their home garden is an adorable little pot or a rustic driftwood planter, which you can learn how to make by checking out our article down below. After a while of living in that container, your succulents will use up all the available macronutrients in the soil, so you’ll have to add some nutrients back in to keep them healthy.

Coffee seems like a great way to do that because it has so many vital nutrients… but is it too acidic for your plants?

Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?
Nutrients in coffee

What Does Coffee Grounds Do For Soil? Is Coffee Good For Plants’ Soil?

OK, we know what you’re thinking… acid? How can that be good for my plants? But most plants, succulents included, actually grow best in slightly acidic conditions.

It all comes down to pH levels. The tap water you use to water your plants has a slightly alkaline pH of around 8, but plants grow best in slightly acidic soil. They like a pH between 5.8 and 7. So whenever you water your plants, you’re pushing the pH higher than they actually like it!

So using something slightly acidic, like coffee, as fertilizer can actually help rebalance the pH and return it to the levels that your plant baby prefers.

We’ve seen succulent growers online report good results from planting succulents in mildly acidic soil. Several people said their succulents looked healthier and bloomed more frequently. Those are just some of the benefits you can expect from fertilizing your succulents with coffee and paying attention to the pH levels of the soil!

Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?
Coffee is acidic, but that’s good for your plants!

Note: Use Diluted Coffee On Potted Succulents

Coffee grounds from your favorite coffee brand will work as fertilizer outside in your garden, but they won’t work on potted plants. Pots don’t have enough microbes hanging out in them to break down the coffee grounds into a form that your succulent can use. If you brew the coffee grounds into coffee and dilute it with water, though, it will work well as an alternative to chemical fertilizer!

Brew up a cup of your least favorite coffee—you wouldn’t want to waste the good stuff on your plants—and then dilute it with some water. You should use equal amounts of coffee and water on your plants(Ratio of one to one). So if you brewed eight ounces of coffee, make sure to add eight ounces of tap water to it.

Now you can use that diluted coffee to water your plants just like you usually do. Test out this DIY fertilizer a few times during your succulent’s active growing season to see if your plant baby likes it!


Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?
Use diluted coffee on potted succulents, not coffee grounds

Are Coffee Grounds Good For Succulents?

Coffee grounds don’t work on potted plants, but if you have some succulents planted outside in your garden, you can place used coffee grounds directly onto the soil. As the used coffee grounds break down, they’ll add nitrogen to the soil, which is a vital nutrient for succulents. They’ll also help aerate the soil and improve drainage, and may even suppress weeds and keep pests away.

Just remember not to add unbrewed coffee grounds to the soil—their high caffeine content can be bad for your plants! Brewed coffee grounds have a lot less caffeine, so they’re safe to use. We recommend any of the dark roast brews (or light roast brews, which may have the same or a bit more caffeine) you can find at the grocery store. The coffee from Maxwell House is a favorite of our office plants!

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09/14/2022 12:04 am GMT
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?
Using coffee grounds in your garden

Final Words

Now that you know the benefits of fertilizing your succulents with coffee and coffee grounds, are you going to do it? We were hesitant at first, but after learning more, we’re excited to try it out!

And by the way, this post is sponsored by Amazon Audible! They are offering all of our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of 2 FREE Ebooks when signing up for a free trial! You can sign up for a free trial here! You can replant your favorite succulents while listening to a succulent ebook, how’s that for a succulent obsession?

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth new tips on The Correct Way to Water Succulents or even The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers today!


  Happy planting!


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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