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Boost Your Succulent Growth: How to Repurpose Coffee Grounds

Succulents and Coffee Grounds: A Match Made in Heaven?

If you’re a fan of coffee, you may have accumulated a lot of coffee grounds over time. Luckily, there are numerous ways to repurpose these grounds, one of which is to use them for your beloved succulents.

Succulents are known for their unique characteristics, such as their ability to store water in their thick leaves. However, they do still require some external support in terms of fertilizer and nourishment.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can use coffee grounds to your advantage when caring for succulents both indoors and outdoors.

Succulents and their characteristics

Succulents are fascinating plants that can adapt to various environments. Their most notable characteristic is their ability to store water in their thick, fleshy leaves, stems, and roots, allowing them to survive with minimal watering.

This feature makes them a popular choice for those in arid or drought-prone areas.

However, succulents do still require some additional support to thrive, especially when growing in pots.

Although they can extract what they need from the soil, it may not be enough to maintain their health and growth. This is where coffee grounds come in as an excellent option for fertilizing your succulents.

Fertilizing succulents

Fertilizers come in different types, including organic and inorganic options. When it comes to succulents, an all-purpose fertilizer is a good choice, but it can benefit from being diluted.

A diluted fertilizer provides just enough nutrients without overwhelming the plant. Over-fertilization can lead to salt buildup, which can damage the roots of your succulents.

Benefits of using coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are a sustainable and affordable alternative to commercial fertilizers. In addition to adding nutrition to the soil, coffee grounds also improve the soils fertility and ability to retain water, which is crucial given that succulents need porous, well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging.

When using coffee grounds for succulents, you’ll want to observe some precautions; otherwise, you could harm your plants. Coffee grounds contain heavy metals like lead, which can contaminate the soil.

You may want to check the organic matter of the coffee grounds and test that their chemical content isn’t harmful to your particular species of succulent.

Another benefit of coffee grounds is that they attract microorganisms or beneficial microbes that aid in soil health.

By supporting a diverse microbial community in your succulents, you reduce the incidence of plant diseases.

Using compost coffee grounds for indoor succulents

Indoor succulents take longer to sense the change in their environment than their outdoor counterparts. If you plan to use coffee grounds, ensure that they’re completely dry before starting the fertilization process.

For indoor plants, you’ll want to dilute the coffee grounds to prevent over-fertilization.

Start by mixing your compost coffee grounds with potting soil, then add the recommended amount of water to avoid overdrying.

The water helps the succulents absorb the needed nutrients, preventing damage to the roots.

Liquid coffee fertilizer for indoor succulents

Another way to use coffee grounds for indoor succulents is brewing a liquid coffee fertilizer. This recipe is simple to make, and its safe to use.

The liquid coffee fertilizer gives your succulents the nourishment they need for growth while simultaneously warding off pests.

Brew the coffee in water at a ratio of 1:5.

After your coffee has cooled down, mix it with a bit of compost. You may also add worm castings if you have any.

Add the concoction to the soil around the succulent roots. Repeat the process every week or two to ensure consistent growth support.

Benefits for indoor succulents

With indoor succulents, you risk root damage and dry air, which could harm the succulents’ growth and wellbeing. Thats where coffee grounds come in handy.

Adding coffee grounds to your potting mixture results in better soil health, which in turn, attracts beneficial microbes.

Indoor succulents that grow in soil with coffee grounds have shown improved growth, a more vibrant appearance, and disease-free foliage.

The coffee grounds’ nutrients supply your succulents with potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, which are crucial for their growth and development.


Using coffee grounds for succulents, both indoors and outdoors, has significant benefits. Compared to expensive commercial fertilizers, coffee grounds are sustainable, affordable, and easy to come by.

Just ensure that you follow the recommended precautions to prevent soil contamination or over-fertilization. By incorporating coffee grounds into your soil, you improve the soils water retention, fertility, and microbe community, providing optimal growing conditions for your beloved succulents.

Balancing Coffee Grounds and Succulents

While coffee grounds can benefit your succulents, it’s important to ensure that you’re using them in moderation. Too many coffee grounds can cause damage to your plants and the soil, leading to adverse effects.

Therefore, it’s critical to strikes a balance between the coffee and your succulents.

Harmful Effects of Too Many Coffee Grounds

The most common issue with excessive use of coffee grounds in succulent soil is nitrogen toxicity. Coffee grounds contain high levels of nitrogen, which can create an overabundance in the soil.

When there is too much nitrogen, it can cause the succulent leaves to burn and leaves them susceptible to fungus infection.

Another potential problem is that coffee grounds can affect the pH of the soil.

While succulents tend to prefer a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, coffee grounds have a pH level of 4.5 to 6.0, which is quite acidic. This change may be harmful to succulent soil balance, which affects nutrient availability.

Moreover, if you overuse coffee grounds, it takes up space, leaving little room for the plant’s roots to grow. Consequently, it reduces water-draining, leading to an increased risk of waterlogging.

Too much moisture in soil can easily destroy, especially for succulents, which are very vulnerable to root rot.

Common Questions

  1. How Much Coffee Grounds Should I Put in My Succulent Soil?
  2. When it comes to the right amount of coffee grounds to use in your succulent soil, a measuring system is helpful. It usually depends on the planting locations.

    Therefore, the rule of thumb is to add one tablespoon of coffee grounds to each quart of potting soil. You may also make a mix of equal parts soil and coffee grounds, but ensure that you don’t overdo it to avoid overfertilizing your succulent.

  3. Can I Grow Succulents in a Coffee Mug?
  4. You may certainly use a coffee mug as a planting container, but be mindful of the size of the mug. Coffee mugs are usually too small for succulent growth, and they lack standard drainage holes.

    It’s not suitable for succulent growth because it leads to waterlogging that causes significant harm to the plant.

Proper Use of Coffee Grounds

Moderation is key when using coffee grounds for your succulents. Excessive coffee grounds may be harmful to succulent growth.

You should also be aware of an existing chemical fertilizing program. Using coffee grounds and chemical fertilizers simultaneously can cause nutrient overload.

It’s vital to monitor your growing conditions in conjunction with your coffee grounds use. Observe for any signs of root rot, fungus or wilting.

These could be a sign of soil or plant stress and an issue with the coffee grounds.

Soil Acidity

Monitoring the soil’s pH level is crucial. It’ll help you determine whether your soil needs amendment solutions like coffee grounds.

A pH test kit will help you determine the pH level of your soil. A good pH level for succulent growth ranges between six and-seven.

Using coffee grounds alone can cause the soil’s pH level to lower and become too acidic. It’s better to mix the coffee grounds into a balanced soil mix or add compost to keep your soil acidity in check.


Using coffee grounds for your succulents can be a beneficial option for plant growth. However, too much of a good thing can bring harm to the plant.

The key to successful and healthy growth lies in moderation, monitoring, and balancing the soil acidity. When used correctly, coffee grounds will boost soil fertility, attract beneficial microbes, and aid in root development for stronger succulent growth.

In conclusion, using coffee grounds for your succulent plants can improve soil fertility, attract beneficial microbes, and aid in root development for stronger plant growth. However, it’s important to ensure moderation in coffee ground application to avoid nitrogen toxicity, fungal infection, and change in soil pH, which can harm the plant’s growth.

Instead, mix the coffee grounds into a balanced soil mix or add compost to keep soil acidity in check. By following this approach and monitoring growing conditions, you can maintain healthy soil and achieve optimal growth for your succulent plants.

Remember, with the right balance approach, coffee grounds can benefit your succulents greatly.

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