The #1 Thing I Do With Leftover Coffee (PS: I’m Not Drinking It)


My houseplants and I have something in common, we both love coffee! 

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My houseplants and I have something in common, we both love coffee! I give left-over 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. 

leftover coffee for houseplants coffee 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 next morning feeling guilty for wasting $6!?

Did you know you can use your leftover coffee when watering your houseplants for extra nutrients? It’s True!

coffee for houseplants

Leftover coffee can be used as an organic fertilizer for your houseplants and I highly recommend it!

Just dilute it and use it!

coffee is great fertilizer for houseplants

coffee for houseplants

Thank You Dallas for sharing this on Instagram!

I started watering my houseplants with diluted leftover coffee last year and they went from happy to absolutely thriving! 

I got the idea because I was curious about how the leftover coffee (and coffee grounds) were contributing 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 with the growth of wildflowers.

I did some research and found that coffee grounds and coffee are a great source of nitrogen for the soil. Nitrogen is important for houseplants because it helps them produce more leaves & stronger stems. Coffee also contains calcium and magnesium which are also great for houseplants.

You may be asking, do you just pour the coffee directly into your houseplants? Nope! I dilute it and I make sure it is at room temperature.

coffee for houseplants

My golden ration mixture is 1 Part Coffee to 5 Parts Water.


Coffee can 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 that you do not burn & shock your houseplants.

I water my plants with diluted coffee about once every 2 weeks and they all seem very happy when I do! My Fiddle Leaf Fig has been growing lush new leaves like crazy since I started the coffee watering regiment. Same with my Varigated Rubber Tree – I bought it from a houseplant seller in California and my diluted coffee really helped it “perk” up after its trip via USPS all the way to Wisconsin!

Have you given your houseplants coffee? Did you notice a difference?

Want more houseplants tips? And frequent snaps of my cute doggies? Join me on Instagram!

leftover coffee for houseplants

houseplants love coffee as a natural fertilizer

Join the Conversation

  1. 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!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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. 🙂

  2. Ginny Musco says:

    Can you use coffee grounds in the houseplant soil ?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:


      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.

  3. Can u put coffee in it once you’ve added milk or does it have to be plain coffee?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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. 🙂

  4. Can you use this solution on succulents/cactus/outdoor potted plants?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!

  5. Can you tell me how much and how often do you water your fiddle fig?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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! ❤️🌱

      1. Micheline Gagne says:

        Great info! Would this deluteted coffee work with my peace lillies?

      2. Ren Lenhof Author says:

        Hi! Yes!!! We’ve been doing it for basically all of our plants – except for our succulents!!

  6. 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!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Hi!! I don’t do coffee grounds on my houseplants but the diluted coffee works amazing for all of my plants – even my succulents! 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 🙂

    2. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Thanks so much for reading I really appreciate the feedback!

  7. 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.

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!!

  8. Do you know if instant coffee is fine too?:)

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      yes, i would just dilute it a little more because sometimes the instant coffee is stronger.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  9. 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! 😊

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!

  10. BETTY J GARDELS says:

    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

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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. 🙂

  11. 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!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!

  12. Jennifer says:

    Hi. I am wondering if decaf coffee works? Or can I use regular instant coffee? Thanks

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Hi! Thanks so much for reading! Yes, you can use decaf coffee. 🙂

  13. 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!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      awe! yay!! I hope it goes well!! Thanks so much for reading!

  14. I need to try this with all of my plants!!

  15. Great idea! We need to try this!

  16. Great idea thank you! I love the plant pot for your fiddle leaf fig tree. Could I know where you got it? Thank you!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Hi! Yes – it is from west elm! Here is the link:
      Thanks so much for reading!!!

  17. Cindy Regier says:

    Can you use coffee from a coffee pod?

  18. Cindy Regier says:

    Hi there. Great article. I was just wondering if you could use leftover coffee from coffee pods?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!

  19. Andrea Ribeiro says:

    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!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      I water with regular water weekly and then I water with the coffee every few weeks. 🙂

  20. Does Instant coffee work?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      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!

  21. I don’t drink coffee but I do drink tea. Would diluted tea work as well?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Hi Barb! Yep! You can definitely use tea! I would dilute it the same way 💛

  22. Melissa Hinderliter says:

    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 😍

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Awe!!! Thats amazing!!! I’m located in Milwaukee! Thanks so much for following along!!!

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