Is Coffee Good for Watering Plants?


You love how your morning coffee increases productivity and vigor, so why not spread the joy? While adding coffee grounds to compost is old news, using spent coffee liquid for plants is less trendy. Liquid coffee benefits some plants, but coffee grounds still offer more benefit.


  • Nitrogen-rich coffee grounds help give plants a growth jolt. If you want to water your plants with coffee to achieve the same result, use cold coffee -- warm coffee will harm your plant's roots -- for a nutrient boost. Plantea recommends diluting strong coffee with water before use.


  • There's not much research on using coffee liquid with plants, so cautious gardeners might want to stick to grounds. Coffee grounds repel slugs and enrich garden mulches and composts. Since grounds take a while to decompose, they'll offer longer slug protection than a dose of coffee.


  • Not all types of plants get a caffeine jolt. Master Gardener Online notes that some plants, including geranium, asparagus fern, Italian ryegrass and clover, grow less when exposed to coffee. Try your plants on the coffee kick and observe their growth habits. If your plant does not respond, nix the caffeine fix.

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