8 Reasons to Use Coffee Grounds With Your Flowers and Garden

Written by Sammi Caramela
Updated: November 14, 2023
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Coffee makes for a great pick-me-up beverage, but a garden aid? You wouldn’t think so. However, coffee grounds have many benefits for your plants’ soil. 

While you might be tempted to discard those used coffee grounds after brewing your morning cup of joe, you can actually repurpose them as a garden aid. In fact, they can function as fertilizer, mulch, soil enrichment, and even a pest and fungus suppressor. Not only that, but coffee grounds are eco-friendly and cost-effective, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck while contributing to a more sustainable environment. 

8 Reasons to Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden
Coffee grounds are a natural and inexpensive fertilizer.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of coffee grounds as mulch, uncovering the reasons why gardeners across the globe are increasingly turning to this aromatic, earth-friendly solution. From enhancing soil fertility to warding off pesky pests, the grounds beneath your cup of morning joe might hold the key to unlocking a thriving and vibrant garden. So, let’s explore why coffee grounds might just be the most aromatic and beneficial addition to your gardening routine.

Here are eight reasons to use coffee grounds with your flowers or gardens.

1. It Enriches the Soil

Coffee grounds are fairly rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, all of which help plants thrive.

If you add coffee grounds to your soil, its organic matter will help improve the soil’s structure and health. Acting as a fertilizer, it can create an environment that makes it easy for flowers and vegetation to flourish. 

Coffee ground, Coffee residue is applied to the tree and is a natural fertilizer, Gardening hobby

Adding coffee grounds to your soil can provide plants with much-needed nutrients.

©Monthira/Shutterstock.com

2. It Improves Drainage, Water Retention, and Aeration

Because coffee grounds are made up of organic matter, when used as mulch, it can help enhance the soil’s drainage, water retention, and aeration. This reduces the risk of root rot and ensures the soil doesn’t become too waterlogged, which can harm or even kill a plant.

Simply mix the grounds with other compost and organic matter, and your vegetation and flowers will reward you.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds make for great mulch in your garden.

©iStock.com/Michelle Lee Photography

3. It Prevents Weed Growth

As a physical barrier, coffee grounds placed sparingly throughout gardens can suppress weed growth. It’s difficult for weeds to rise through coffee grounds, so they have no way of flourishing or taking over. 

However, just as it can suppress weed growth, it can also suppress plant growth if you add too much to your garden. Sprinkle it lightly around your plants, being sure not to overdo it.

Weeding Garden

Weeds can be difficult to suppress, but coffee grounds can help.

©Sever180/Shutterstock.com

4. It Repels Common Garden Pests

While coffee’s delicious, comforting aroma might be attractive to humans, it can deter pests from finding a home in your garden. Adding coffee grounds to your soil or sprinkling them around susceptible plants can naturally repel slugs, snails, ants, mosquitoes, and common garden threats.

Additionally, animals like cats, rabbits, deer, chipmunks, and squirrels might turn away from your garden due to coffee grounds.

Slowest Animals In North America

Garden slugs can become a major nuisance to plants.

©iStock.com/1284919455

5. It Attracts Earthworms

While coffee scares off pests, it attracts earthworms, which are beneficial to garden soil.

In fact, earthworms help to aerate the soil by digging tunnels in it. This leads to better decomposition and water drainage, creating a healthier environment for plants.

earthworms digging in soil

Earthworms can increase the number of nutrients in garden soil.

©iStock.com/Steve Jones

6. It Is a More Sustainable Option

Not only will coffee grounds benefit your garden, but using them will also eliminate waste.

By recycling used coffee grounds and repurposing them for your plant’s soil, you’re contributing to a more sustainable environment. 

Modern civilization leaves behind huge mountains and heaps of garbage, which covers the ecology of forests and fields, poisons the earth and water.

Rather than contributing to waste production, recycling your used coffee grounds will help contribute to a more sustainable environment.

©Roman Mikhailiuk/Shutterstock.com

7. It Suppresses Fungal Disease

According to research, coffee grounds can actually stifle fungus. Specifically, decomposing grounds can suppress species like Fusarium, Pythium, and Sclerotinia.

Coffee grounds prevent fungi from attacking flowers and vegetation and spreading through your garden, which can wreak havoc. 

Blackspot; a rose leaf affected by black spot disease. This is the most serious disease of roses caused by a fungus, Diplocarpon rosae, which infects the leaves and greatly reduces plant vigour

Many types of fungus can infect gardens and plants, greatly reducing their vigor.

©foto_molka/Shutterstock.com

8. It Offers a Cost-Effective Alternative

Perhaps the most obvious reason, using coffee grounds in your garden will save you a ton of money you’d normally spend on mulch, fertilizer, pest repellents, or herbicides. Since you’re already using the grounds for your tasty caffeine fix, you might as well repurpose them as a natural resource for your garden.

Using coffee grounds as a garden fertilizer, mulch alternative, or pest repellent can help your garden thrive. However, be sure to use it sparingly, as too much can cause soil imbalances. Mix your coffee grounds with mulch or other organic material for the best results so the soil doesn’t become too complicated.

Overhead view of coffee grounds being added to baby vegetables plant as natural organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen for growth

You can reuse your coffee grounds, meaning you’re spending money on both the drink and the fertilizer for the price of one.

©ThamKC/Shutterstock.com

Summary of 8 Reasons to Use Coffee Grounds With Your Flowers and Garden

Reasons To Use Coffee Grounds
1It Enriches the Soil
2It Improves Drainage, Water Retention, and Aeration
3It Prevents Weed Growth
4It Repels Common Garden Pests
5It Attracts Earthworms
6It Is a More Sustainable Option
7It Suppresses Fungal Disease
8It Offers a Cost-Effective Alternative

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Michelle Lee Photography


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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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