5 Ways To Use Leftover Coffee Grounds In Your Garden

Coffee is not just for helping you wake up in the morning. If you’re a coffee lover, then at some point in life you might have wondered what could be done with all that leftover coffee grounds. Well, they’re brilliant for gardening!

Coffee grounds can turn out to be one of the most useful waste materials. Not only are they full of nutrients but they can also improve drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil. Guess what? You can also change the colour of your flowers with coffee. Get high quality coffee brewers from Bunn in Dubai through UAE Ekuep and enjoy the amazing coffee experience.

Leftover coffee grounds can be used for composting in your garden as well as a fertilizer. You can even throw in leftover food or vegetable peelings along with coffee grounds and create a perfect compost for your plants.

Keep in mind that pets don’t like coffee. Infact, it’s harmful for them so if you have a pet cat or dog, make sure you steer clear of scattering coffee grinds directly onto your soil. It would be best to mix it with a little compost, where it is unlikely to come into contact with your pet. Try digging the grounds into the soil deep enough to prevent it from getting onto your cat’s fur or paws.

Here are 5 ways you can use leftover coffee grounds to improve your garden:


Composting is a natural process that converts organic substances like fruit and vegetable scraps into a dark, rich matter called compost. Composting your garden helps add more nutrients and water, thereby boosting growth and improving health of your plants.

Studies have shown that compost made with coffee grounds and kitchen waste is much abundant in nutrients than compost made with waste alone.

Research has shown that adding coffee grounds to your compost also affects greenhouse gases produced.  A study conducted in New York, compared four batches of compost containing 0, 10, 20 and 40% coffee grounds. The batch that had 40% coffee grounds produced the least greenhouse gas emissions and the most high quality compost.

Compost materials are usually categorized into brown and green items. Coffee grounds can be a part of your compost, and although they are brown in color, in a compost jargon they are green material as they are rich in nitrogen like other green items. Coffee also contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals.

Coffee paper filters can also be a part of your green compost item along with other food scraps and grass clippings, leaves, fruit and vegetable trimmings. Maintain a 4-to-1 ratio of brown compost material to green compost material. If you have too much green material your compost pile will stink(compost doesn’t really smell great so coffee can act as a natural deodoriser too). If it’s less, the compost pile won’t heat up.


Studies have shown that coffee grounds are rich in many essential nutrients like nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium. The quantity and proportions of these minerals may differ but coffee grounds act as as a slow-release fertilizer.

You can either add coffee grounds directly to the soil in your garden or scratch it into the top couple inches of soil. Coffee grounds when mixed with dry materials give up their nitrogen. Another technique is making a coffee ground “tea”. Just add 2 cups of coffee grounds to a 5-gallon bucket of water and let it steep for a few hours or overnight. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it as a liquid fertiliser on the garden and on your pot plants.  It will also serve as a great foliar feed to spray directly on the leaves and stems of your plants.

Keep in mind that coffee tends to clump together and create a drainage barrier if used on its own. It’s always better to mix coffee grounds with other gardening materials to prevent your plants from suffocating.


Leftover coffee grounds can also serve as effective pesticides and insecticides. Several studies show that coffee grounds contain certain compounds such as caffeine and diterpenes that are highly toxic to insects and very effective in repelling bugs, mosquitos, fruit flies and beetles. You can either sprinkle grounds on outdoor seating areas or simply place a bowl of coffee grounds.

You can also create a very efficient slug and snail barrier as coffee grounds are abrasive. Spread a  very thin layer of coffee grounds in your garden bed to keep pests like snails from munching on your plants. Keeps cats away from your soil by spreading out coffee grounds. This will keep them from using your garden as a litter box.

Worm Food

Worms are known to be a gardener’s best friend and did you know that vermicomposting is actually a thing! It’s an incredible way to enrich your soil and keep it full of nutrients. Earthworms help you by turning organic waste into extremely high quality garden soil. So, having a family of worms in your garden is an amazing way to break down your compost heap of scraps and garden cuttings.

Worms just absolutely love leftover coffee bits. It does sound strange but they love to such an extent that they tuck into kitchen scraps and vegetable waste with coffee as if it was made specially for them.

Worms need abrasive food for good digestion which is why the texture of grinds is perfect for them. Their internal organs work well with those gritty grinds making them better at eating their way through your compost heap.

Keep a worm bin and add coffee grounds to it every week or so. Make sure you don’t add too much at once, because the acidity could get harmful for them. One cup of grounds every week for a small worm bin would be ideal. Adding coffee grounds to your soil will also attract more earthworms in your soil.

Acid-Loving Plants

Used/leftover coffee grounds are only slightly acidic, while fresh coffee grounds have more acid. You can use leftover coffee grounds for boosting the growth of acid-loving plants such as hydrangeas, rhododendrons, azaleas, lily of the valley, blueberries, carrots, and radishes. While some of these plants like the nitrogen from it , others benefit from caffeine.

Tomatoes grow well in nitrogen rich soil so coffee bits can help you enrich your soil. It not only makes roots strong but also improves plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll. Slugs are natural pest to tomato plants and fortunately coffee grounds can take care of that too. Mix coffee grounds evenly with your compost or topsoil to add the nutrients.

Rose bushes are also a huge fan of coffee grounds. The high nitrogen content of coffee grounds improve its growth and increases its bloom. Adding coffee grounds to your garden soil can also help loosen the texture and give your plant more room to grow. All these amazing benefits and it also repels bugs.

Blueberry plants can also benefit from coffee grounds. Very similar to the nitrogen loving tomato plant,  blueberries thrive in nitrogen rich soils. You can either add the grinds straight to the soil or even add 4-5 cups to the ground a little deeper around your bush and then mix well with the top layer of soil. Repeat after every two weeks.

Hydrangeas love coffee too. Coffee grounds can help increase their bloom and boost their growth. These flowers can change their colour as the nutrients added by coffee grounds improve the plant. The higher the acid level in the soil, the more likely bluer hydrangeas will appear. So if you want to change your pink hydrangea soil into a little bluer shade, add coffee grounds and make your soil more acidic.