Plant Growth

Is Instant Coffee Good for Plants? (Here is the Answer)

The question many of us are wondering : Is Instant Coffee Good for Plants?

Not only do you love instant coffee, but so do your plants. And it is not even known for whom coffee will be healthier. Because instant coffee is a great fertilizer for plants! Never throw away the instant coffee leftover: it will be very useful to you! 

In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about instant coffee benefits for plants !

Coffee is repeatedly touted as an effective fertilizer and, so to speak, a secret weapon in the field of home remedies for plants. 

In fact, it provides your plants with numerous vital nutrients, including in particularly large proportions:

  1. Nitrogen
  2. Potassium
  3. Phosphor
  4. Sulfur

Above all, the high nitrogen content makes it a valuable soil additive for numerous plants. 

Many plants need nitrogen as a basis for growth. In addition, the other minerals promote flowering and stimulate root formation. Overall, the plant metabolism is positively influenced by a balanced supply of these minerals.

Is Instant Coffee a good fertilizer for Plants?

Instant Coffee is an excellent fertilizer for plants thanks to its high content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which stimulates plants growth. It has a number of benefits such as strengthening against pests and faster growth thanks to nitrogen and other minerals in its composition. If you are thinking about building or increasing a flower bed or repairing some part of your garden, instant coffee is a good ally.

Another important property of coffee as a fertilizer is its moderately acidic character having a pH between 6.5 and 6.8.

To use instant coffee as fertilizer, just mix 2 parts of earth with 1 part of instant coffee. This mixture needs to be tanned for at least 4 days before being used as fertilizer. 

This is because instant coffee need to be decomposed before going to the plant, because in this process it needs energy and can end up stealing nutrients from the plant, generating the opposite effect to fertilization.

From there, just throw it straight in the garden or in the potted plants of your house!

Seeds need energy to germinate. Therefore, many use coffee as a fertilizer for seedlings. 

Instant coffee can be applied in several ways:

  • For seed preparation . Just mix them with dried coffee. This coffee fertilizer will speed up germination.
  • When transplanting to the garden . Dried coffee is used as a fertilizer when planting seedlings in the ground. Sprinkle a little thick on the bottom of the prepared holes and cover it on top with compost, a layer of 1-2 cm.
  • When sowing seeds in the soil . Create grooves 2 cm deeper than you did before. Evenly sprinkle the dried coffee leftover (no more than 10-15 g per linear meter). Coffee fertilizer is covered with soil, a layer of 1-2 cm. Such top dressing is used when growing root crops: carrots, radishes, beets.

Is instant coffee good for plants soils?

Instant coffee is an excellent source of nitrogen, and it also adds organic nutrients to the soil which will help to improve it. Coffee is not going to fix all pest problems with your plants, but it is very useful in certain situations and will create a barrier for slugs and snails.

This is because instant coffee has the following effects on the soil and plants:

  1. Enriches the soil : Instant coffee are organic material, therefore they have the typical value of fertilizers of this type, as well as enriching the soil, they improve its structure. In addition, coffee has a rich content of potassium, magnesium and nitrogen, vitamins and minerals.
  2. Feed the worms: These earthworms love coffee, so small amounts (ie one small cup of coffee a week) will feed and strengthen them, making a big impact in your garden , since worms are essential for the soil to contain all its nutrients and oxygenate. Of course, do not add more coffee than established, since otherwise the worms could not digest it and would end up dying. If your garden does not have worms, you can buy them in different establishments.
  3. Repels snails and slugs : applying a thin layer of instant coffee will help repel snails and slugs, so your plants will not be in danger of being devoured.

Can you use instant coffee for indoor plants?

Coffee is a fertilizer for flowers that love acidic soil. Therefore, it can be used for almost all indoor plants. The exception is geranium and pelargonium. It is useful to feed coffee roses, as well as peonies, lilies, hostas, tulips and ornamental shrubs.

While outside, you can play with natural fertilizers, with the coffee as a pest repellent and as a complement to humus or compost, at home, instant coffee for indoor plants are a good option but in moderation.

Mixing a handful of dried coffee through your potting soil when you repot your plant does not hurt and will certainly add to the nutrients

Simply dilute it with water at a ratio of 1:1 and use it to water your indoor plants, potted plants and balcony flowers. It should be used very sparingly, especially with houseplants.

Do not use more than half a cup of diluted coffee per plant per week, otherwise there is a risk that the root ball will become too acidic and the houseplants will no longer grow properly.

In addition to being an excellent manure and fertilizer, thanks to its acidity and consistency, coffee can also be used as a pesticide and natural repellent to keep snails, ants and worms away from your green spaces.

Gnats, ants, flies and other nematodes (a variety of worms) are said to fear instant coffee. So, we do not hesitate to put it on the ground near our plantations or at the foot of indoor plants. It is an effective natural remedy against these insects.

Can Pothos Live Outside? Find out in this article!

Is instant coffee good for houseplants?

If what you want is to fertilize the land so that your plants grow better, then instant coffee is perfect for plants. Coffee contain a great source of nitrogen and minerals, which give its peculiar brown color and in ecological terms, coffee are considered a green composting material.

There are two ways to use instant coffee on houseplants:

  1. In compost : Regardless of whether the instant coffee grounds are dry or wet, you can pour them over the compost you are preparing and then pour it all together around the plant.
  2. Directly : if you want to pour it directly on the ground, you must make sure that the instant coffee are already dry, otherwise they could rot and damage the plant.

Have you heard of biochar? It has a lot of benefits for the soil. If you want to find more about biochar click here!

Which plants to fertilize with instant coffee?

Before you can use the instant coffee as fertilizer, you should let them cool down and dry otherwise it can quickly happen that the moist coffee grounds start to mold. It dries best if you spread it out on a flat plate and leave it overnight, for example.

With balcony flowers and potted plants, before repotting, lift the instant coffee under the new potting soil so that they are distributed and not just remain on the surface, where they cannot supply the plants with nutrients.

If you want to use the instant coffee mixed into the compost as fertilizer, it is sufficient to sprinkle the coffee grounds on the surface of the compost heap.

The following applies to indoor plants: do not fertilize them, but let the coffee cool down after brewing and water the plants diluted with water in a ratio of 1:1. Depending on the needs of the plant, half a cup per week is sufficient.

As you can see instant coffee is not good for all plants. Its properties are in fact extremely beneficial for some vegetables, while they could be a problem for others.

Plants that can be fertilized with instant coffeePlants that can not be fertilized with instant coffee
DillSpring onions
CornRed beet
Sweet potatoesCabbage (certain varieties)
CarrotsLinden tree
TurnipsNight violet
RhododendronsLavender bushes

As you can see in the table above, fresh coffee tends to lower the pH of the soil and make it more acidic. It can therefore help you when growing acidophilic plants, such as berries or basil. 

It can even help you balance the effects of ash, which tends to raise the pH of the soil. However, you need to be careful if the soil is already acidic, or if you are growing plants that prefer a neutral pH.

Nitrogen stimulates the development of leaves and all green parts, which is important. But when it is too much, you risk that the plants will produce many leaves and very few fruit. That’s why it’s best not to use too much coffee with tomatoes, despite being acidophilic plants.

Is Coffee good for Flowers?

Instant Coffee just like coffee grounds make an excellent fertilizer for plants. It is especially suitable for fruit trees and flowers: roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and camellias.

Are Coffee Grounds good for your Pepper Plants? In this article you will find the pros and cons why you should use coffee grounds as fertilizers!

Coffee is best suited as a top dressing for plants that require acidic soil for normal development, for example:

  • azaleas
  • hydrangeas
  • anthuriums
  • ferns
  • fuchsia

In the garden, instant coffee will be an excellent fertilizer for gladioli, lilies, roses and tomatoes, carrots.

In fact, there are three main ways to fertilize the soil with coffee:

  1. Using the instant coffee or coffee grounds.
  2. Using liquid coffee.
  3. Mixing compost with coffee.

Can Instant Coffee Be Used In The Garden?

Instant coffee is an ideal fertilizer in the garden and also improve depleted potting soil and compost in the garden. In addition to being an excellent manure and fertilizer, thanks to its acidity and consistency, coffee can also be used as a pesticide and natural repellent to keep snails, ants and worms away from your green spaces.

The all-round talent can also help against snails. Coffee is a regular occurrence, but mostly end up in the garbage.

Experienced gardeners know exactly which plants coffee are useful for and which vegetables / fruits do not like them. If you want to saturate the soil with microelements, you should use a mixture of coffee leftover and compost, ash or soil.

Coffee as a fertilizer for the garden is chosen for such crops:

  • cucumber;
  • pepper;
  • tomato;
  • radish;
  • potato;
  • onion;
  • greenery.

Speaking of pepper, do you know why there are white spots on pepper leaves? Follow this guide and see the causes and how to treat them!

Coffee grounds are popular among gardeners as a fertilizer for cucumbers. After all, these vegetables are extremely sensitive to growing conditions. The coffee leftover attracts earthworms. They improve the quality of the soil, saturating it with beneficial bacteria and improving ventilation.

Plants that can be watered with coffeePlants that cannot be watered with coffee
Spider plantsGeranium
African violetsRyegrass


One way or another we could conclude that yes, instant coffee is good for plants . In this way, you can use the instant coffee as fertilizer for tomatoes, olive trees, geraniums, lemon trees or cacti, among others.

Coffee grounds as a fertilizer for houseplants is only recommended to a limited extent: it decomposes very slowly on the root ball and often begins to mold. 

If you are lucky enough to be able to grow vegetables and fruit in your garden , then you should know that in this case too, instant coffee can come to your aid. In addition to saving on the cost of fertilizers and chemical fertilizers, you can use an entirely natural product.

Not everyone knows that coffee promotes the growth of carrots and radishes : it will be necessary to simply add the coffee to the seeds of these vegetables during the sowing phase.

Which plants can I fertilize with instant coffee?

The coffee grounds fertilizer is particularly suitable for plants that prefer a humus-rich soil. 
However, coffee also has a soil acidifying effect, which does not benefit all plants – the fertilizer can even damage acid-intolerant plants. 

Can coffee also be used to fertilize the garden?

Many garden plants – such as peonies, rhododendrons, ferns or hydrangeas prefer acidic humus soil, so you can easily fertilize them weekly with coffee grounds. 
However, there are also many plants that thrive better on calcareous soil: these should not be fertilized with coffee powder. 
The same also applies to seedlings and young plants, which are very sensitive.

Is Liquid Coffee Good For Plants?

Although coffee is good for plants, not all plants tolerate liquid coffee , because liquid coffee filters much more quickly into the ground and can damage some of plants. 
Therefore, before you venture to use that liquid coffee, find out about the type of plants you have and if they can properly digest coffee in this state.

Andreea Tapu

Andreea TAPU is a passionate gardener with over 5 years of experience in cultivating a wide variety of plants and flowers in her garden. As the author and creator of, she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others, providing practical tips and advice to help gardeners of all levels achieve success and enjoyment in their gardening pursuits.