How Coffee Grounds Can Benefit Your Garden

Reading time: 2 minutes

This morning, you probably brewed your favorite cup of coffee and placed your used coffee grounds into a waste bin without knowing that you have a ‘garden booster’ in the palm of your hands. That’s right, coffee grounds are not only used to give you caffeinated kickstart, but it’s also an organic matter that is utilized as compost and fertilizer to help gardens reach their full potential.

If you are wanting to learn more about how coffee grounds can be beneficial to gardens, keep reading!


Composting coffee grounds is a great way to help enhance your garden and knowing how to properly mix your compost material will help your garden flourish in the long run. Now, there are two types of compost materials – brown and green. Brown compost consists of dry or woody plant material such as wood chips, dry leaves, and newspaper. Brown materials allow air to circulate into the compost and are the source of carbon in your compost pile. Green compost is an item that is rich in nitrogen such as food scraps and grass clippings, and even though coffee grounds are brown in color, they are considered a green composting material due to them being approximately 1.45 percent nitrogen. If you decide to add coffee grounds to your compost pile, remember that there should be a 4-to-1 ratio between the green and brown compost material. If not, it may start to smell if there is too much green! On the opposite hand, if you don’t have enough brown material, the compost pile won’t heat up.


Enhancing your garden does not end with composting. Coffee grounds are also used as a fertilizer, and although it adds nitrogen to your compost, it does not immediately add nitrogen to the soil. It benefits gardens by adding organic material to the soil that will improve drainage, water retention, and aeration in the soil. It also helps microorganisms beneficial to plant growth thrive as well as attract earthworms. If you decide to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer, work the grounds into the soil around your plant, and use them with care. 

Acid - Loving Plants

There could be some hesitation with the thought of using coffee grounds in your garden, that’s fine. Not all plants respond well to green compost materials. This is why we are adding a list of acid-loving plants that thrive in acidic soil.

  • Roses
  • Blueberries
  • Azaleas
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Rhododendrons
  • Hydrangeas
  • Cabbage
  • Lilies
  • Hollies

Now that you know the foundation of how coffee grounds can benefit gardens, trying to give it a second thought before tossing them. Recycle your coffee grounds and put them to work in your garden!


Data Sources: The Srpuce and Gardening Know How


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