Do Gardenias Like Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds are loaded with nutrients, making them an excellent homemade alternative fertilizer. Discover why coffee grounds can help your gardenias flourish and when to add them.

Sean Stratton | Updated April 23, 2023
gardenia plant

Do gardenias like coffee grounds?

Gardenias benefit from coffee grounds in small amounts because coffee is acidic, which lowers the soil’s PH to more suitable levels for gardenias. Coffee grounds also contain vital nutrients for gardenias, making them suitable as homemade fertilizers.

I recommend one part coffee grounds with three parts soil. Or use one-half cup of coffee grounds per gallon of soil.

In this article, we’ll explore more about sharing coffee grounds with your gardenia plant. So, grab one more cup of coffee and keep reading.

Why Gardenias Like Coffee Grounds

Gardenias are heat-loving plants. This semi-tropical evergreen plant flourishes in sunny-warm weather. Consistent moisture and acidic soil are other requirements for this plant. If your plant is in alkaline soil, it may not flourish as you are expecting.

That’s why, if you want your gardenia plant to flourish, you need to maintain good acidic soil with an adequate drainage system. The ideal pH for the soil should be 5.5 – 5.6. To maintain the nutritional and acidic balance in the soil, you can feed your gardenias with an all-purpose fertilizer.

Not only that, but keep in mind you need to consider the acidic balance, so you need to pick an acid-based fertilizer. After choosing the right fertilizer, you need to set up a routine to feed your gardenias every month. This is the regular fertilizing process for gardenias.

But we need a homemade alternative to pricey fertilizers. That’s why old coffee grounds are an excellent option for fertilizing gardenias. It contains nutrients like nitrogen, and it can help increase the acidity in the soil.

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It’s Cost-effective

Firstly, it will save you some bucks. You can simply order some commercial plant food if you want, but why spend money on fertilizers when kitchen scarps can work quite the same? So, if you don’t want to spend some pretty penny on your gardenia plant, you can opt for coffee grounds.

Coffee Grounds Provide Some Vital Nutrients

Commercial fertilizers maintain a good NPK ratio and are specially formulated to benefit your plants. But in coffee grounds, you will not get all the nutrients that you would expect from commercial plant food. And we agree that coffee grounds don’t have that much nitrogen compared to commercial plant foods.

But it contains some nitrogen that feeds microbes. Beneficial soil microbes will help your gardenias. When we are talking about coffee grounds, know that this stuff is rich in potassium. However, there is not too much phosphorus here but the considering overall benefits, it’s a great option for a plant that is not hungry for too many nutrients.

Coffee Grounds Can Lower the pH Level of the Soil

Coffee grounds have a pH level of 6.2 which means it can help lower the pH level of the surrounding soil temporarily. If you apply coffee grounds as directed, it can work effectively and stimulate your gardenia roots.

There can be other benefits as well. So, overall, it’s a great choice if you want to keep your plants away from harmful chemical fertilizer for a while.

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When to Add Coffee Grounds to Gardenias?

You can add coffee grounds to your gardenias any time you want. There is no specific time for this. However, it’s not recommended to add coffee ground whenever you wish.

There is a general rule for fertilizing gardenias. You should fertilize gardenias in summer and spring. And you should not fertilize gardenias in fall or winter. So, before fertilizing, you can keep this rule in mind.

Coffee grounds contain beneficial nutrients that affect positively your gardenia’s healthy growth. However, overusing anything beneficial will do damage instead of benefits. The same thing applies to coffee grounds. That’s why after adding a dose of coffee grounds, you need to wait for a while before adding further doses.

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Applying Coffee Grounds to Gardenias

Applying coffee grounds may sound simple, but when you want to do it practically, you need some additional information. Keeping the additional information in mind will help achieve better results. So, here are the things you need to know before you start applying coffee grounds to your gardenias.

Can You Apply Coffee Grounds Directly to the Soil?

The straightforward answer is ‘yes’, you can apply coffee grounds directly to the soil. To be more specific, you can apply the coffee grounds as mulch. You can take some coffee grounds in a spoon and pour them over the plant’s base. Pouring used coffee grounds may not be as effective as fresh coffee grounds.

One of the significant benefits of coffee grounds is the ability to lower the pH of the soil. However, used coffee grounds may not have the same pH as fresh ones. So, we recommend using some fresh coffee grounds. You can use the spoon to evenly spread the coffee grounds. Make sure to cover the intended areas properly.

Can You Apply Coffee Grounds as Compost?

Yes, you can apply coffee grounds as compost. You can use coffee grounds to increase the effectiveness of your compost. Or, you can take equal amounts of coffee grounds and other organic elements such as foliage and grass cuttings and mix them well. Then you can use the mix as compost.

Can You Apply Coffee Grounds as a Liquid Fertilizer?

You can definitely apply coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer. For this, you will need to take five gallons of water and two cups of coffee grounds. You need to mix these well, and you will be ready to spray your liquid fertilizer. You can follow this as a rule of thumb and make smaller or larger batches accordingly.

Can I Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer?

Coffee grounds can provide some vital nutrients to your gardenias. It can feed your plants for a while. It can also help temporarily lower the pH as well. However, this can’t act as a complete alternative to commercial plant food.

Some important tips:

How Often Do You Apply Coffee Grounds to Gardenias?

We said earlier that you should fertilize your gardenias in summer and spring and avoid fertilizing in fall and winter. And you should fertilize your gardenias once every month. Over-fertilizing can damage your plant. This is the general ruling for fertilizing gardenias.

So, you can keep this in mind while applying coffee grounds to your gardenias. This will give you ideas on how frequently you will apply coffee grounds. Remember, frequent fertilizing is not beneficial. Always fertilize when it’s the right time to fertilize.

Final Thoughts

Coffee grounds can be an organic way to provide some nutrients to your plants. As coffee grounds are acidic, it may help lower the pH level in the soil.

If you use coffee grounds as directed, you can achieve better results. However, don’t consider this a complete alternative to commercial fertilizer. Coffee grounds can improve regular feeding and positively affect the overall health of your gardenias.

Written by Sean Stratton

Sean Stratton

Hi, I'm Sean, the senior editor here at Fertilizer Pick. I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and have grown fruits, vegetables, and trees since childhood. While I no longer live on a farm today, I still enjoy spending time on my garden and sharing my knowledge with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts.