How to Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents? Everything To Know

Coffee grounds are famous among people as garden compost or fertilizer material for years. Though coffee is an excellent fertilizer for plants, coffee grounds aren’t great on potted succulents. But with a good guideline you can use coffee ground on succulents. So How to Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents? 

You need to dilute the coffee with water in equal amounts (one to one ratio or 3:2 ratio water: coffee) and release it slowly on the soil. You can even make a liquid coffee fertilizer by making a compost tea. To make it, you can add coffee grounds to water and keep the mixture to soak for 2 weeks. You can then dilute 1-2 cups of coffee grounds in 5-7 galloons of water, keep it for a day and then spray it around the plant. Keep in mind not to use coffee grounds directly in potted succulents but only in the garden soil.

How to Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents

Do coffee grounds kill succulents?

Coffee grounds contain many caffeine and high mineral amounts that will be too much for a plant growing in a small space like in a pot as the soil reserve is minimal. Also, potting soil doesn’t have enough microbes to break down the coffee grounds in a way the succulent can use it. Thus, it can block the water drainage, keep unnecessary moisture, and ultimately harm the plant.

It may also lead to fungal growth and thereby threatening the plant’s health. Make sure to get the brewed version of coffee as unbrewed coffee contains a lot of caffeine that is very acidic and can harm the plant. If you are using coffee on potted succulents, you need to dilute the brewed coffee and apply it as a liquid fertilizer while directly on the garden soil.

Can I use only Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer?

Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents is an excellent idea for your outdoor succulents, while it may not always be the best for potted succulents if you are not sure how to use it correctly. There are other natural and chemical fertilizers like Phosphorus infused ones that help for succulent growth and blooming. But, if you are searching for a more organic method of fertilizing your succulent, coffee grounds can be a perfect choice.

Succulents WITH  Coffee Grounds

Guide on using coffee grounds for succulents

Using coffee grounds in succulent is a good thing while you must be very careful in doing it correctly. Proper use of coffee grounds is essential as too much coffee can harm your succulent.

Here are a few tips you need to remember when you are using coffee grounds on your succulents;

You need to use coffee grounds moderately. Start to water your succulent with coffee grounds every 2 weeks. After some time, you can add a spoonful of coffee grounds to the plants every 4-6 weeks on the growing season. If it’s a potted plant, use in small amounts like a tablespoon diluted in water.

Succulent generally don’t need often watering. So, don’t overwater the plants. It would help if you watered and then let the soil dry thoroughly before you water again. Stick to your usual watering routine as specified for each plant’s nature as each plant has different watering requirements. Use black coffee grounds and cold brew for your indoor plants.

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Dilute coffee grounds with water if you are trying it on potted plants. Check the soil. Make sure it’s not soil with a high acidity level. Especially for potted plants, keep an eye for soil that has adequate draining. You may even use a testing kit to check the acidity level of the soil.

Make sure whether you have not used Nitrogen-based fertilizer before adding coffee grounds to the soil. Mix coffee grounds with other compost materials. It’s better to mix it with other organic materials rather than directly applying it on soil alone. Coffee alone will take time to break down organic material. Once mixed with other brown compost, it may fasten the process. So, balance your coffee grounds with a lot of brown compost.

Just don’t dump the coffee grounds on the plant. Add it to the soil around the plant. You can even rinse your brewed/used coffee grounds to be safe on acidic levels not to affect the soil. Water lightly after you add coffee grounds on the soil so that it mixes well together. You should not put your coffee waste every day into the plants. If you are a keen succulent lover, it’s ideal if you can use distilled or stored rainwater as tap water may affect the soil’s pH balance.

How to Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents Infographic

Why Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents?

  • It boosts the soil fertility by releasing nutrients like Nitrogen when used as a compost
  • It enhances the soil acidity
  • It helps to attract the worms and other beneficial microbes, which boost the soil fertility by breaking down and converting organic waste into nutrients
  • It aids to absorb the heavy metals that are in the soil, which harm the plant growth
  • It manages proper water drainage as it breaks down the soil
  • It retains water so that you don’t have to water your plants often
  • The right amount of coffee grounds in plants can reduce plant diseases like fungus
  • It may also keep the weed and pest away from the garden.

If the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients for the plant, especially Nitrogen, the leaves will turn yellow, the stems get thin, and eventually affect the succulent growth. So, it’s wise to use coffee grounds either as a fertilizer or compost in your succulents to make them grow healthy. As there’s a risk that chemical fertilizers can damage succulents, coffee grounds could be a great alternative to try out under the right circumstances. But Coffee Grounds full of nutrients.

How to compost coffee grounds?

Can you put too many coffee grounds in your compost?

You can collect the brewed coffee grounds and add them with organic waste and kitchen waste such as vegetable waste, eggshells, leaves, etc. It’s not advisable to put a lot of coffee grounds into the compost pile as it has a lot of acidities.

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The number of coffee grounds you should take needs to be 20% of the entire compost pile. It would be best if you kept it wet and time to time, dry it until all the stuff becomes dirt-like soil.

When it’s ready, be careful when you add them to the plants, you need to slowly add bit by bit from the mixture to the top layer of the soil around the plant. You may add ½ inch of compost layer to the topsoil. You also can apply this mixture when you are repotting as well.

Nutrients in used coffee grounds

Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents Is good. It is rich in minerals and nutrients like Nitrogen, Potassium, and Magnesium, which are essential to improve plant health. Nitrogen is vital for giving energy to bacteria in the soil, transforming organic waste into compost from where the plant gets the required nutrition.

Using coffee grounds on your succulents in the right way will give you good results as it acts as a source of enhancement of the soil health. Below are few benefits of adding correct portions of coffee grounds into your succulents growing season’s soil.

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Coffee grounds are a great addition to the garden and compost pile. Help to recycle this tremendous organic resource and reduce the amount of organics going to the landfill!

 Advantages of using coffee grounds

  • Coffee grounds are about 2% nitrogen by volume rich in Potassium. Grounds are not acidic; the acid in coffee is water-soluble, so the acid is mostly in the coffee. Coffee grounds are close to pH neutral (between 6.5 to 6.8 pH).
  • Coffee grounds improve soil tilth or structure. Coffee grounds are an excellent nitrogen source for composting. They have a C/N ratio of 20-to-1. In informal trials with OSU/Lane County Extension Service, Compost Specialists recorded sustained temperatures of 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for up to two weeks when coffee grounds were 25% of the compost piles’ material by volume.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests coffee grounds repel slugs and snails in the garden.
Succulents ON Coffee Grounds

 Succulents that Like Coffee

All most all the succulents like coffee because of its acidic nature and the fact that the succulents prefer acidic soil. But, here are a few of them who are well known as coffee lovers;

Snake plant (Sansevieria) – a popular house plant known for its low maintenance. It likes slightly acidic soil, which makes it prefer coffee grounds more.

• Jade plant (Crassula ovata) – it’s called money or lucky plant and is native to South Africa. It’s known as a common coffee drinker. Cold-brewed coffee watering helps to thicken the stems and to keep the dark green shade of leaves.

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• Christmas cacti (Schlumbergera) – it’s a favorite seasonal house plant of many people. It is a lover of coffee grounds, which help the plant to bloom.

• Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) is a great house plant that flourishes and blooms with little coffee grounds.

• Ghost man (Pachypodium namaquanum) – it has a broad and fleshy stem and grows well in acidic soil.

Succulents that Like Coffee

Frequently asked questions

Do succulents like coffee grounds?

Succulents grow better in slightly acidic soil in the pH range of 5.8 – 7. So, adding something like coffee grounds as a fertilizer or compost helps rebalance the soil’s pH level, thus facilitating plant growth and health. Coffee grounds are acidic, but they don’t change the pH level of the soil. Thus, the succulents would love a coffee soaking once in a while.

Is there any succulent that doesn’t like coffee grounds? Why?

Almost all the succulents like coffee grounds as these plants prefer slightly acidic soil for better growth. Thus, all the succulents do grow healthy in a correctly used coffee grounds environment. Succulent growers have shared their opinions online, stating that their succulents in mildly acidic soil with coffee grounds grow healthier and bloom well but with close attention to the soil’s pH level.

Can I use Diluted Coffee on Potted Succulents?

Though coffee is an excellent fertilizer for plants, coffee grounds aren’t great on potted succulents. Therefore, you need to dilute the coffee with water in equal quantities (one to one ratio or 60:40 ratio water: coffee) and release it slowly on the soil. You can also produce a coffee fusarium tea by compost. To make it, place ground coffee in water and allow it to soak.

A single cup of coffee can be mixed with five or six gallons of water, held for a day, and then sprayed around the edges of the plant. Please don’t use coffee grounds directly around potted succulents.

Can I use Diluted Coffee on Potted Succulents?


We thing now you know how to use Coffee Grounds for Succulents. Coffee grounds are a good alternative for chemical fertilizers in succulents. It’s natural, cheap, and improves soil health and plant growth if used moderately and adequately. It’s a more useful fertilizer material for garden plants rather than indoor potted plants. If used in potted plants and succulents, you need to be very cautious and follow all the correct and safe methods to ensure your succulent won’t be harmed.

There are several simple DIY (Do It Yourself) methods to make liquid or stable versions of coffee grounds so that they are not harmful and improve the soil fertility and succulents’ health. It’s great to use organic waste in your gardening and especially treating your succulent babies with their favorite and, of course, your favorite beverage. Now you have good idea to Use Coffee Grounds for Succulents

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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.