My houseplants and I have something in common, we both love coffee! So I give leftover coffee to our houseplants, and they love it! It’s the number 1 thing I do with leftover coffee, and it has nothing to do with me drinking it!
Yes! Diluted coffee is an all-natural fertilizer for houseplants.
Do you always have leftover coffee sitting in the coffee maker? Or, are you like me, who orders a grande iced coffee and somehow leaves it on my desk, and then I find it the following day feeling guilty for wasting $6!? I had no idea that my leftover brewed coffee was valuable fertilizer for houseplants such as your Fiddle Leaf Fig plants, Spider Plants, Snake Plants, Pothos, Philodendrons, Monsteras, Peace Lilies, and more!!
Did you know you can use your leftover coffee when watering your houseplants for extra nutrients?
It’s True! Leftover coffee can be used as an organic natural fertilizer for most houseplants, and I highly recommend it! Just dilute it and use it! Diluting brewed coffee and adding it to the plants’ soil is way better than directly adding coffee grounds to the soil.
Thank You, Dallas, for sharing this on Instagram! I love it when my readers share their results on social media with me!
I started watering my houseplants with diluted leftover coffee a few years ago, and they went from happy to absolutely thriving!
I got the idea because I was curious about how the coffee grounds contributed to our compost pile in the backyard. I throw as much as possible in our prairie area, and what doesn’t get eaten by the rabbits has helped grow wildflowers and other native Wisconsin plants.
I researched and found that coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen for your soil. Nitrogen is important for houseplants because it helps them produce more leaves & stronger stems. I wanted to figure out a way to bring the same excellent nutrients I put outdoors inside for my houseplants. So, I decided to try using leftover coffee.
ALSO READ: How to Propagate Your Monstera Deliciosa
Now here is the important part! I do not use coffee grounds for my houseplants. I use diluted coffee. I do not use coffee grounds inside on my houseplants because the grounds retain too much moisture and often will start to grow mold.
Coffee contains small amounts of calcium and magnesium which are great for houseplants. I am so happy that I found this inexpensive natural fertilizer. But, you may be asking, do you just pour the coffee directly into your houseplants? Nope! I dilute it and ensure it is at room temperature before giving it to my plants.
Coffee for Houseplants
Diluted coffee acts as a slow-release fertilizer for houseplants. When used correctly, coffee fertilizer can improve plant growth and help your plants to withstand disease and pests better.
Brewed coffee contains beneficial nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium, essential for plant growth. The best way to use coffee as a fertilizer is to dilute it with water and add it to the soil around your plants.
You can also add coffee grounds directly to the soil, but this method is less effective than using diluted coffee and can cause mold or attract fungus gnats. Therefore, I do not recommend adding coffee grounds directly to your houseplant soil because it often does more harm than good.
But, if you have any leftover coffee, don’t throw it away- give it to your plants!
How much coffee should I use for my houseplants?
My golden ratio mixture is 1 Part Coffee to 5 Parts Water.
Drip coffee can potentially be pretty acidic, which can potentially be dangerous for your houseplants. The diluted coffee should be the color of a weak or watered-down iced tea. Be sure to wait until the coffee has cooled, so you do not burn or shock your houseplants.
I water my plants with diluted coffee about once or twice a week during the summer and once every 2 weeks during the winter or slow-growing months. My Fiddle Leaf Fig has been growing lush new leaves like crazy since I started the coffee watering regimen.
I have my Fiddle Leaf Fig in our sunporch which gets primarily West-facing sunlight. I give coffee to my Varigated Rubber Tree, too! I bought it from a houseplant seller in California, and the diluted coffee really helped it “perk” up after its trip via USPS all the way to Wisconsin!
ALSO READ: Avoid These 6 Common Houseplant Care Mistakes
All-Natural Coffee Fertilizer for Houseplants
- Measuring cup
- 5 cups Room Temperature Water
- 1 cup Room Temperature Brewed Drip Coffee flavored blends are OK. decaf is OK.
- Make sure your brewed coffee is at room temperature and add water to dilute.
- Water your plants with this homemade diluted coffee houseplant fertilizer once every two weeks.
- Watch your plants grow!
- Decaf and full caffeinated coffee will work great! It’s not the caffeine that helps the plants thrive, it’s the nitrogen and other micronutrients.
- If your houseplant’s leaves become brown at the edges after the coffee fertilizer application, then either refrain from using as much coffee next time or skip it altogether.
Brewed Coffee as a Natural Fertilizer for Houseplants: FAQS
Can I use decaf coffee?
Yes, decaf coffee will work just as well as regular coffee.
Do I need to brew the coffee?
You’ll need to brew the coffee to extract the nutrients from the coffee beans.
Can I use instant coffee?
Yes, you can use instant coffee, but it’s not as effective as brewed coffee.
Which houseplants like coffee fertilizer?
I use the diluted coffee fertilizer on my ficus, rubber trees, umbrella tree, oxalis dwarf umbrella plants, lilies, ferns, monsteras, spider plants, snake plants, pothos (all varieties), and my fiddle leaf figs.
I do not use it on my cacti, succulents, or calathea plants because I am worried about over-watering them.
**I live in the Midwest, and I feel more comfortable not watering them with the coffee fertilizer – but, if you see below in the comments a few plant owners have used coffee for their succulents with great success.
Are coffee grounds for houseplants good for indoor plants?
Coffee grounds can be beneficial for indoor plants because of their high levels of nitrogen micronutrients and relatively high water retention.
But, because they retain water so well, it can easily cause the top layer of soil to grow mold when used in the home with houseplants. That is why I ONLY use coffee grounds outdoors in my garden and my compost pile, and I ONLY use diluted coffee for my indoor houseplants.
I also use the coffee fertilizer in our container garden, veggie and herbs, and our raised planter garden in the summer. Keep in mind that using coffee grounds increases the moisture content in the soil, which is why it is suitable for vegetation that thrives in moist ground.
Which plants do not like coffee grounds?
The coffee grounds will change the pH of the soil and make it more acidic. Plants that dislike coffee grounds include roses, hydrangeas, gardenias, blueberries, carrots, and radishes.
Believe it or not, brewed coffee can make an excellent fertilizer for your plants. Coffee is high in nitrogen and potassium, essential plant nutrients.
The best way to use coffee as a fertilizer is to dilute it with water and add it to the soil. You can add coffee grounds directly to the soil, but this method is less effective than diluting the coffee. So the next time you brew a pot of coffee, don’t throw away any leftovers!
Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below! Have you given your houseplants coffee? Did you notice a difference? Please leave me a message in the comments. 🙂
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Hi dear! i found your blog and really like it! 🙂 I’m italian so i do coffee with coffe machine using the powder.
do you think i can put the exhausted coffee powder over the ground? caould it work? thank you for the answer!
Thanks so much for reading my blog!! I really appreciate it!!
You can definitely use the coffee ground powder. I would mix it in with the top layer of soil within your planter. 🙂
Can you use coffee grounds in the houseplant soil ?
Yes, you can use loose grounds in your soil, but I would make sure to mix them within the soil so that they do not get packed down and create mold or rot on the surface of the soil.
Can u put coffee in it once you’ve added milk or does it have to be plain coffee?
Hi!! Thanks so much for reading! You can – just make sure it is diluted enough. I wouldn’t recommend using lattes or sugary milk heavy coffee drinks, but just a little creamy in your coffee shouldn’t be an issue. 🙂
Can you use this solution on succulents/cactus/outdoor potted plants?
Yes! I use it on my succulents in our home.
And I have used it in my outdoor potted plants & for our herbs and veggies in our outdoor garden during the summer.
Thanks so much for reading and for asking!
Can you tell me how much and how often do you water your fiddle fig?
Hi Amanda! I change what I water my f.l.f. depending on what season it is and how much strong sunlight it’s getting. The planter size also matters.
But, a good starting point would be to water it 3 times a week just enough to wet the top layer of soil. And from there, if you see it dries up really fast then you can start to water it more frequently. Biggest concern is to overwater which will cause root-rot. Let me know if you have any other questions – or you can send me a DM on Instagram with photos of your plant if needed. Thanks for following and reading my blog! â¤ï¸ðŸŒ±
Great info! Would this deluteted coffee work with my peace lillies?
Hi! Yes!!! We’ve been doing it for basically all of our plants – except for our succulents!!
I have begonias, pothos , spider and prayer plants that i am curious about grounds/coffee water use. Will they tolerate it? Which would benefit most from ? Love the info you shared!
Hi!! I don’t do coffee grounds on my houseplants but the diluted coffee works amazing for all of my plants. Our spider plant & pothos love it! I think if you want to try it maybe even dilute the leftover coffee a little more and see how they react 🙂 Some of my readers have used it on their succulents and cacti and had great success, but I haven’t used it on ours.
Thanks so much for reading I really appreciate the feedback!
Hi Just discovering your site and recently building my plant collection, I have an aloe plant, Boston fern (which really needs some help), one Croton, polka dot, snake plant, and I am anticipating the arrival of a monstera soon. Would you say that every time you water your plants you use diluted coffee or do you alternate between diluted coffee and regular water? I’m a novice when it comes to plant care so really just taking in as much information as I can. Thanks so much.
I water my plants with regular water 90% of the time. I water my plants with the coffee mixture about once every 2-3 weeks.
Thanks so much for reading!!
Do you know if instant coffee is fine too?:)
yes, i would just dilute it a little more because sometimes the instant coffee is stronger.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
We use coffee grounds in our garden and it’s amazing the difference it makes! Also helps with ants! I am going to try it on my house plants! ðŸ˜Š
Yes!! It is so great that we can use coffee grounds and then the actually leftover coffee too!! I use the grounds in our garden as well and then we have the organic biodegradable coffee filters that I put in the small prairie areas in our backyard too! Making drip coffee at home is just the gift that keeps on giving! hahah Thanks for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it!
I thought I’d read that for ever 1/4 cup of left over coffee, you dilute with 2 cups of water. Is that correct. I really missed up and thought it should be 1/4 C to 1 C of water.. I really loved the idea of using the coffee. Your comment said 1 part coffee to 5 parts water. Not sure I totally understand. So how much water to 1/4 C coffee Please respond
Hi! My golden ration mixture is 1 Part Coffee to 5 Parts Water. As long as you are diluting your coffee it will be safe for the plant. It should look like weak tea, so feel free to eye ball it. 🙂
I have tryed the coffee& tea it does work, my plants love the banana peels, soak the banana peels in water for few days,remove peels from water& water the plants,it works, my plants are happier!
ah! that’s amazing! I was just reading about using bananas for plants earlier this week! I cannot wait to try it!!
Thanks so much for reading!
Hi. I am wondering if decaf coffee works? Or can I use regular instant coffee? Thanks
Hi! Thanks so much for reading! Yes, you can use decaf coffee. 🙂
Literally praising the good Lord I read your info on the coffee!! My FLF wasnon its way to Jesus, but now she is doing great!!! The diluted coffee has peppers her up and I am so thankful!! She was an investment ! Haha thanks y’all!
awe! yay!! I hope it goes well!! Thanks so much for reading!
I need to try this with all of my plants!!
Great idea! We need to try this!
Great idea thank you! I love the plant pot for your fiddle leaf fig tree. Could I know where you got it? Thank you!
Hi! Yes – it is from west elm! Here is the link: https://rstyle.me/+C_35cywNI20ddT0CyYeCdg
Thanks so much for reading!!!
Can you use coffee from a coffee pod?
Hi there. Great article. I was just wondering if you could use leftover coffee from coffee pods?
Hi!!! Yes! You def can! But, I’m not sure how strong that coffee is – so I would probably dilute it a little bit more and see how your plants react. Such a great question! Thanks so much for reading!
Hi there , just found your blog and I’m trying to take care my fiddle leaf fig and I’d like to o know if you water with pure water first than a little bit of your coffee diluted mixture or you really water your plant with that mixture only every 3 weeks?!! Hope I’m not too complicate – thank you so much!
I water with regular water weekly and then I water with the coffee every few weeks. 🙂
Does Instant coffee work?
Yep! you can use instant coffee! I would dilute is a little more – because instant coffee tends to be a bit strong! Great question!! Thanks for reading!
I don’t drink coffee but I do drink tea. Would diluted tea work as well?
Hi Barb! Yep! You can definitely use tea! I would dilute it the same way ðŸ’›
I use old coffee grounds on a few of my plants. I have found it also doubles as a great cat repellent! No more cat pee in the dirt!!
P.s. i too live in WI. The southern part! If we lived close we could swap propagations ðŸ˜
Awe!!! Thats amazing!!! I’m located in Milwaukee! Thanks so much for following along!!!
HI Ren, I live in western Canada and have a little potted lemon bush (Meyerii). Would it be safe to “feed” it diluted coffee ?
Thank you, anita
Hi!! I have a lemon tree in our home and yes, we do feed it diluted coffee. 🙂
If you are unsure, I would dilute the coffee even more and then see how it goes. Thanks so much for reading!
I love house plants, it’s an added bonus to any room. After reading your post this morning I’m going to start feeding diluted coffee to my plans today. thank you for the tip.
Awe! Yay!! Thanks so much for reading!!! Happy Houseplanting!!! 🙂
Hi. I loved your article. I have a plant that I have clippings of that I have placed in water to start growing roots. I am wondering if adding a spot of coffee to this water would help make the roots stronger? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’ve never tried that before but, I have used a root growth hormone before – so, honestly, I think trying a little bit of coffee is a great idea!!! Let me know how it works!!! Thanks so much for reading!
My mother used to water with leftover iced tea. The summer annuals just loved it. IF I ever have leftover coffee LOL, I know where it will be going! Thanks for the hint.
Oh, that’s brilliant! I need to tell my mom to do that because she only drinks tea. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
What plants should NOT get coffee??
Do snake plants like coffee or no
Hi June! Great question! Yes, I use the diluted coffee fertilizer on my snake plants. The only plants I do not give it to are my succulents, cacti, and moss plants.
Can you use decaf coffee?
Hi! Yes, you can definitely use decaf coffee. Still dilute it, though 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
Hi! I wanted to ask “where should i NOT use coffee as a fertilizer? Thank you
HI! Great question!
I use the diluted coffee fertilizer on my ficus, rubber trees, umbrella tree, dwarf umbrella plants, monsteras, spider plants, snake plants, and fiddle leaf figs. I do not use it on my cacti, succulents, or calatheas. I also use the coffee fertilizer in our container garden veggie and herbs and in our raised planter garden in the summer. 🙂 I hope this helps! Feel free to ask about specific plants you may have.
I don’t have a comment, I have a question. Can I use coffee grounds my Fiddle Leaf Fig plant? ?
Hi! Great question – I personally do not use coffee grounds for my indoor plants. I only use diluted coffee – I use it for my Fiddles and they love it! If you use coffee grounds just be aware that they stay moist and may cause mold to grow.
I am slightly confused. Do you use the diluted coffee water on your succulents and cactus plants. I saw places where you said you do and others where you don’t. I don’t want to hurt my succulents, cactus or aloe plants.
H Debbie! I’m sorry for the confusion – I do not use it on my aloe or succulents, although I know plenty of people that do. I live in zone 5A so my cactus and aloe plants are in lower-light rooms in my home so I usually do not give them coffee. I will def. update that response – thanks so much for catching that! 🙂 I appreciate it!
Hi love your post by the way…my Christmas cactus is crazy about coffee. And I’d also like to know if one could give coffee to an Heliconia please? Thanks in advance.
Hi! That is so good to know! I will try to experiment with coffee on cacti 🙂
Yep! My husband started using it on the birds of paradise and within 2 months of using it, we had 2 new large leaves grow!! It is so exciting!!
I’m confused. In Some replies you say that you do use the diluted coffee on your succulents and in other replies you say that you don’t. Which is it?
I’m sorry for the confusion – I do not use it on my aloe or succulents, although I know plenty of people that do. I live in zone 5A so my cactus and aloe plants are in lower-light rooms in my home so I usually do not give them coffee. I will def. update that response – thanks so much for catching that! ? I appreciate it!
Hi, Great article thank you. How often do you water your snake plants. I’ve propagated a couple and they are very very slow growing. So I was wondering if I’m not watering enough? But I will try the coffee advice. Thank you.
I water my snake plant about once every two weeks – we have him in our living room a few feet from our east-facing bay window. I used to have him near a south-facing window but he wasn’t very happy, but since I moved him into the living room he has grown about 3-4 inches. It has been insane to watch how happy he is!
I drink Hazelnut coffee Will that be ok u think??
Hi! Yes, that is just fine. 🙂 Just make sure you are diluting just the plain black coffee – no creamer added. 🙂
Love your post! How often you fertilize with coffee? is that about the same time when you use normal fertilizer?
I water my plants about once every two weeks with the diluted coffee! I usually do less in the winter though – because I am watering them less as well. 🙂
Can you use decaf coffee on your plants?
Yep! You can! Even decaf coffee is a great source of nitrogen! 🙂 Great question!
Hello, I’m wanting to try the coffee on my plants. Does it matter what type of coffee you use?
Hi! Just as long as it is pure black coffee – not coffee that has creamer added to it you are OK! 🙂 Caffeinated and decaf coffee will both work and flavored coffee beans is OK too. Great question! Thanks for reading!
Though i have many plants I am currently obsessed with my pilea. do you think the diluted coffee will be ok for them? Love your blog!
Yep!! I use the diluted coffee on mine and they love it! I have one pilea in our living room and the leaves are so huge now! They are such a fun plant!
I use coffee pods so can I run water through the pod again after I make coffee.
Oh! that’s a great idea!!
I have some different Hoyas so I’m wondering if anyone has tried on them. I also wonder how it would work on my money tree?
Is coffee from keurig okay?
Yep!! You can use Keurig coffee 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Would adding coffee when I already have a slow release fertilizer interfere or “overdue” it?
I would avoid using the coffee probably for at least a couple of weeks after the slow-release fertilizer application. Great question!!
Just want to say how much I enjoyed reading your articles….thank you.
Thanks so much for all the good info.
I’m wondering about orchids….
Do they like the coffee treatment?
Also, what about Cinnamon in your coffee?
Very interesting information. My question is:
Can this solution be use with orchids?
Hi! I haven’t tried it with my orchid! But, that would be a great experiment! Thanks so much for reading!
Could I use the coffee grinds in my used Keurig k-cups by using tour 5 to 1 ratio?