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Does Coffee Kill Plants? The Truth About Using Coffee as a Soil Amendment and Fertilizer

espresso coffee grounds

If you’re a coffee lover, you may have heard the rumors that coffee can kill plants. As someone who loves both coffee and plants, this can be concerning. However, the truth is a bit more nuanced than a simple yes or no answer.

So, does coffee kill plants? The short answer is no, coffee itself does not necessarily kill plants. However, there are some caveats to that statement.

Firstly, coffee grounds can be harmful to some plants. This is because coffee grounds are acidic, and some plants do not tolerate acidic soil well. If you have plants that prefer neutral or alkaline soil, adding coffee grounds to the soil can harm the plants.

Some plants that are particularly sensitive to acidic soil include:

  • Blueberries
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Camellias
  • Hydrangeas

If you have these plants in your garden or houseplant collection, it’s best to avoid using coffee grounds as a soil amendment.

However, if you have plants that prefer acidic soil, such as succulents, some ferns, and some citrus trees, coffee grounds can actually be beneficial. This is because coffee grounds add nitrogen to the soil, which can help plants grow. In addition, coffee grounds can act as a natural pest repellent, deterring snails, slugs, and some insects.

It’s important to note, however, that coffee grounds should not be used excessively. Too much nitrogen can actually harm plants, and coffee grounds can also prevent water from penetrating the soil properly. As a general rule, it’s best to use coffee grounds sparingly, and mix them into the soil rather than leaving them in a pile on top.

Another potential issue with using coffee to fertilize plants is that many coffee shops and chains add syrups, flavorings, and other additives to their coffee. These additives can be harmful to plants, so it’s best to use only plain, unflavored coffee grounds. If you’re unsure whether the coffee you’re using is safe for plants, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it altogether.

In addition to using coffee as a soil amendment, some people also use coffee as a foliar spray. Foliar spraying is when you spray a liquid directly onto the leaves of a plant, rather than applying it to the soil. Coffee foliar sprays are said to help plants grow faster, resist pests and diseases, and produce more blooms or fruit.

While some gardeners swear by coffee foliar sprays, there is not much scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. In addition, spraying coffee directly onto plant leaves can sometimes cause leaf burn or other damage. If you do decide to try using coffee as a foliar spray, it’s best to dilute it heavily with water and test it on a small area of the plant first to make sure it doesn’t cause any harm.

So, to summarize: coffee itself does not necessarily kill plants. Coffee grounds can be harmful to some plants that prefer neutral or alkaline soil, but can be beneficial to plants that prefer acidic soil. Coffee can also be used as a foliar spray, but its effectiveness is not well-supported by scientific research.

10 Creative Ways To Reuse Old Coffee Grounds


Natural Fertilizer Alternatives to Coffee

While coffee may not be the best choice for every plant, there are plenty of other natural fertilizers and soil amendments you can use to help your plants grow. Some good options include:

  • Compost: Composting your food scraps and yard waste is a great way to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can help your plants thrive.
  • Worm castings: Worm castings, also known as vermicompost, are an excellent source of nutrients for plants. They are also gentle on delicate plant roots.
  • Epsom salt: Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a popular home remedy for a variety of ailments. But did you know that it can also be used as a natural fertilizer for your plants? Epsom salt contains both magnesium and sulfur, which are essential nutrients for plant growth.
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03/17/2023 09:52 am GMT


Choosing the Right Fertilizer

Choosing the right fertilizer for your plants is important for their health and longevity. Different plants have different nutrient requirements, and using the wrong fertilizer can actually harm your plants.

For example, using a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen can cause plants to grow too quickly, resulting in weak stems and an increased susceptibility to disease and pests. On the other hand, using a fertilizer that is too low in nitrogen can cause stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

It’s also important to choose a fertilizer that is appropriate for the stage of growth your plants are in. For example, a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus is great for encouraging root growth, while a fertilizer that is high in potassium can help plants produce more blooms or fruit.

When choosing a fertilizer, be sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Over-fertilizing can be just as harmful as under-fertilizing, so it’s important to use the right amount for your plants.


Choosing Your Soil

In addition to choosing the right fertilizer, it’s also important to consider the type of soil your plants are growing in. Different types of soil have different nutrient levels and pH levels, which can affect the availability of nutrients to your plants.

If you’re unsure about the nutrient levels in your soil, you can have it tested by a local agricultural extension office or do a home soil test kit. This can help you determine which nutrients your plants may be lacking and which fertilizers are best for your soil.

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03/17/2023 07:42 am GMT


Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, while coffee may not necessarily kill plants, it’s important to choose the right fertilizer and soil amendments for your plants to ensure their health and longevity. By using the right nutrients in the right amounts, you can help your plants grow strong and healthy, and enjoy their beauty for years to come.

9 Brilliant Facts to Know About Yeast and How it’s Used to Produce Food and Drink

bread dough

You probably know that yeast is used in both baking bread and brewing beer. But there are also probably a lot of things you don’t know about yeast and how it’s used in food and drink production. 

Therefore, you’ll want to check out the following nine brilliant facts.


Living Off the Grid: 16 Brilliant Hacks You Should Know Now!

cabin overlooking mountains

The constant noise and pollution of city life may already tire you off. You craved a simpler life when people were more in touch with nature and the land. 

But stepping away from the comforts of city life is complicated and risky. Nonetheless, it is unquestionably possible with a bit of creativity and innovation.


What Should I Know Before Transitioning Off the Grid?

Living off the grid is a big decision; being ahead is essential to a more independent and sustainable lifestyle.

Here are the five essential ideas for the ideal place to start. Consider these five points when you list the things you’ll need to adapt to your new lifestyle. Doing so will serve as inspiration.

  • The summer months are scorching.
  • The chill of winter.
  • The night is dark.
  • Good soil is necessary for gardens.
  • Water does not flow upward.
The Beginner’s Guide to Going Off-Grid


16 Brilliant Hacks You Should Know Now!

It is ideal for incorporating the critical aspects of off-grid living that guarantee survival, sustainability, and quality of life.

To guide your transition from the limitations of the big city to the wealth of the countryside, below are creative and innovative hacks for living off the grid you will surely need to know!

CO2-Derived Electrode Material Leads to Superior Performance in Sodium-ion Batteries

UP Catalyst sustainable carbon

UP Catalyst, a nanotechnology company based in Estonia, has announced the successful development of a new electrode material derived from CO2 that has demonstrated superior performance in sodium-ion batteries.

Working in conjunction with Imperial College London‘s Titirici group, UP Catalyst’s use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has resulted in a significant increase in the cyclability of the batteries tested. Specifically, the electrode material retained 93.75% of its capacity after 4,000 charge and discharge cycles, compared to currently used batteries which typically deplete after just 800 cycles.

In addition to the improved cyclability, the electrode material exhibits excellent stability and improved energy density, making it an attractive candidate for large-scale energy storage applications. Furthermore, because UP Catalyst produces sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite from CO2-rich flue gases from heavy industry emitters, biogenic origin, and even direct air captured CO2, the new electrode material is also environmentally friendly.

5 Simple Ways To Reduce Food Waste

leftover food

Do you ever find yourself with a fridge full of leftovers or unused produce and have no idea what to do with them? According to the USDA, almost one-third of the food that is available in the United States is lost or wasted. Food waste can have a detrimental effect on the environment since it causes landfills to emit more methane as the food rots. 

Not to mention when you waste food, you are also wasting money, labor, energy, water and even land. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to help you reduce food waste so you can get creative with your leftovers, plan meals ahead of time, and more.

7 Personalized Gifts That Will Be Treasured Instead of Ending Up in Landfill


Most people think that buying gifts for their friends or family members is difficult. In fact, 55% of people ask for help in finding the perfect present. But despite all the great eco-friendly gift lists, including ones for dads and teenagers, many of our gifts, unfortunately, end up in the landfill.

To prevent this, you should consider getting your loved ones a gift they’ll always treasure. These include gifts that are hand-made, personalized, and intended to last for at least a decade.

How to Choose Eco-friendly Kitchen Appliances

oven door

If you’re like most people, your kitchen is the heart of your home, where meals and memories are created. But did you know that the appliances you use in your kitchen can significantly impact the environment?

Choosing eco-friendly kitchen appliances can be a game-changer for your wallet and the planet. You can save money and reduce pollution by making informed decisions about the appliances you use.

Read on to learn more about picking eco-friendly kitchen appliances and making a difference in your kitchen.

Environmental Benefits of Backyard Chickens

backyard chicken with laid eggs

In this article, we cover some of the negative environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, and why small homesteads are much better for the planet. You’ll also learn about other environmental benefits of backyard chickens and ways to maximize them for your flock.

There are many reasons that people start keeping chickens in their backyard, from wanting to bypass an increasingly unreliable supply chain to the simple joy of keeping and raising animals.

One that is often overlooked, though, is the many environmental benefits of raising chickens in your backyard or on a small homestead, rather than getting your eggs and meat from the hugely wasteful juggernaut that is industrial agriculture.

While there are many reasons that raising chickens on your own is good for the planet, in this article we’ll break down a few of the most impactful, as well as discussing ways you can maximize your flock’s positive environmental impact.

Home Insulation Tips: The Ultimate Guide for Improved Efficiency

wall insulation

A well-insulated home is not only a great way to live the greener ideal, it’ll also save you some money on heating and cooling bills.

Increasing the thermal insulation in an existing home doesn’t have to be difficult, and the financial payoff can be substantial in the long run.

We present the options you have when reworking your home insulation. We’ve included the small and big changes you can make, and explained how to determine the cost effectiveness of your insulation upgrade.

Keep reading for the best home insulation tips to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Discover the Advantages of Vertical Solar Farms

Sunzaun vertical solar farm on a vineyard
Image via Sunzaun

Have you heard of vertical solar farms? They’re a pretty cool new development in the world of renewable energy.

Traditionally, solar panels are installed on flat rooftops or in large open fields. But with the advent of vertical solar farms, we’re seeing solar power being generated in a whole new way.


espresso coffee grounds

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