Coffee Grounds are great for Hydrangeas, Camillias and Roses!

Don’t throw out those used coffee grounds.  There are lots of ways to put them use in your garden.  And more to the point, there are certain plants, such as hydrangeas, Camellias and roses that just love them!Don't throw those used coffee grounds away. See how to use them in the garden!

Put your Used Coffee Grounds to use in the garden.

So you have brewed yourself a big ole cup of Joe and have a pile of used coffee grounds. What do you do with them.  Well, you know me, I just don’t seem to be able to throw away  kitchen refuse, if it can be used in a compost pile, so that is the least that you can do with them.

Old coffee grounds combined with egg shells also makes a great compost tea when combined with rain water. It can be used to fertilize your plants. See how to make compost tea and also home made miracle grow the grounds from your morning coffee for your garden

But there is no need to wait for them to compost.  Used coffee grounds work great right away but just digging them into the soil near your nitgrogen loving plants for some extra nourishment.

This works especially well camellias, hydrangeas, and roses. Not only will you have healthier plants, but you will also save money on garden fertilizer, and know that you are being “green” as a gardener. Hydrangeas and other acid loving plants like used coffee grounds

Blueberries, cranberries and other citrus fruit like used coffee (and tea) grounds added to their soil since they help to bring it closer to the 3.0 -5.0 PH that these plants need.

It is not just nourishment that used grounds bring to the soil though. There are a lot of other benefits:

Deter bugs.  Coffee grounds are also known to deter slugs and snails, so sprinkle them around plants that these pests love, such as hostas and broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  They are the perfect organic DIY snail deterrent.Used coffee filterLiquid feeder. Coffee grounds make a great liquid feeder.  Place a handful of coffee grounds into a bucket of water and leave them for a day or two.  This will create a nice amber-colored liquid that you can use to feed house plants as needed.

Greens for the compost pile. I also throw my coffee grounds, filter and all into my compost pile.  They are considered a “Green” component.  Coffee grounds an excellent garden source in this regard, as are many vegetable scraps, egg shells and other kitchen refuse items.   The coffee grounds have a 20 to 1 ratio of nitrogen to carbon, which makes them ideal for helping grow plants such as tomatoes.put your used coffee grounds in the compost pileMulch for plants.  If you have acid loving plants, some gardeners say to forget the mulch.  Just pile up the grounds around the plant to keep the weeds away. (I would add them to other lawn refuse such as grass clippings or leaves.).

Where to get used coffee grounds.  Some coffee places such as Starbucks will give away their used coffee grounds if you just ask.  So make friends at your local coffee house if you need more than you have at home.

Vermicomposting. Do you vermi-compost with a worm bin?  If you do, worms LOVE used coffee grounds for their food.

Be sure to visit my Facebook page, f you like to learn about other Gardening Tips.Don't throw those used coffee grounds away. See how to use them in the garden!

Have you tried other green tips for your gardens?  Please leave your comments below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  80 comments for “Coffee Grounds are great for Hydrangeas, Camillias and Roses!

  1. Dianne
    06/18/2013 at 1:51 pm

    Truck drivers have continually parked on a piece of private property that I got approved by tge owner and the City of West Valley in Salt Lake County to turn it into a garden. Ten trees are being delivered to me in the fall from Arbor Day Foundation. I called the cops last night and they said I can have the trucks towed away. So I put out a NO TRESPASSING sign last night. Have to check on it now.

    • Anonymous
      06/18/2013 at 2:05 pm

      Tell the truck driver not to park there. Talk to hem!

  2. 06/18/2013 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to use my coffee grounds around my roses. I’ll have to look into my laurel bushes would like them, too. (I am trying to encourage them to grow into a privacy hedge.)

  3. Ellie
    06/18/2013 at 4:30 pm

    chop up banana peels & add to your coffee grounds, I did this & some of my roses that always have 2 or 3 blooms on them, are blooming thier butts off.9 that’s what my 5 yr old Grandson says.

    • Roxsann
      05/07/2019 at 6:39 am

      I use both bananna & coffee also on my roses & mine also are blooming like crazy.

  4. Ginny
    06/18/2013 at 5:13 pm

    I grind rinds, etc. up with plenty of water and pour them on my garden soil.

  5. Playsnndirt
    06/18/2013 at 5:50 pm

    also around fig trees, tea and coffee ground. I live in the deep south on the gulf, Parents and aunts always did this.

  6. Robin
    06/18/2013 at 6:41 pm

    Coffee grounds are long known to enhance azaleas. They love acidic soil and coffee grounds provide the acidity.

  7. Linda Dashiell
    06/18/2013 at 7:58 pm

    Can you use them for azaleas too? We planted 3 in our front yard by the steps, but one has died, the second is barely holding on, and the third is okay, although not as big as she should be. And my hydrangea is all but dead. We don’t have much shade in our front or back yards. Our house faces NE and it’s SW on the back. We put it in the shadiest place we could find, but I’m not sure it’s right for it. Any help you can give us will be GREATLY appreciated.

    • Puppy Mama
      06/20/2013 at 6:19 am

      Have you considered planting a few shade trees? Azaleas & Hydrangeas prefer shadier areas. The Arbor Day Foundation has a great website with LOTS of info about varieties of trees. Remember to consider the rate of growth and the size it will be at maturity. In the meantime, what about creating some type of summertime awning using cheap canvas drop cloths draped over a DIY pergola to add shade to an area?

    • wilma
      07/11/2013 at 8:40 pm

      yes mine has went crazy after i did this

    • Pat
      07/12/2013 at 6:45 am

      Try to put up artificial shade if possible until you can move your plant. I had a hydrangea off my patio which had sufficient shade until wind took out two large limbs in my neighbors maple tree. I put my patio chairs around and up over my plant to help shade during hottest part of day. I plan on moving plant later this fall or early spring. Hope temp. shade helps.

    • Shannon Martel
      07/12/2013 at 7:47 am

      Do what I do if you have no shade trees. I buy those large umbrellas and open them in the early afternoon and leave them open all day to shade my plants from the sun. Put the umbrella close to them so they will get a lot of shade and close the umbrellas in the evening. But you really should plant some fast growing shade trees not only for the plants but to shade the house and cool it off. Save on the electricity. The more the merrier.

    • Donna
      12/19/2019 at 7:40 am

      Some hydrangea prefer sun, indirect or part of the day. Check with your local garden center maybe. Just a suggestion because you may have one that wants sunlight. They also need a lot of water usually. Not like growing celery or rice but quite a bit.

  8. admin
    06/18/2013 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Basically all acid loving plants can benefit from coffee and tea grounds.

    Isn’t it great to use things that would normally make it to the trash to make something grow better?

    • Anonymous
      06/19/2013 at 5:55 am

      yes it is much better to reuse and recycle what we can

    • Lorrie Phillips
      06/01/2015 at 1:07 pm

      Would raspberries do well with the coffee grounds? I know they like an acidic soil.

      • admin
        06/01/2015 at 1:20 pm

        Hi Lorrie. Yes that would be a great place to use them. Carol

  9. debra grieg
    06/19/2013 at 8:41 am

    I have a question about hydrangeas. The coffee grounds do work really well. I would love to cut the flowers of my hydrangeas but I am worried they won’t bud back again. Would they?

    • admin
      06/19/2013 at 9:52 am

      It is best to cut them before august to insure that you will get blooms next year. If you cut them after August, you may cut of buds that have formed for next year’s flowers.

    • admin
      06/19/2013 at 9:52 am

      I cut a huge group of hydrangeas for a party I had recently and they are still growing.

      • wilma
        07/11/2013 at 8:43 pm

        also you can put food coloring at the roots an it rainbows them

  10. bARBARA
    07/11/2013 at 9:54 pm

    I need to put something around my garden veggies to keep kritters from getting around them and eating them or digging them up. Any ideas? Also, to help them grow bigger and to grow a lot of veggies. Thanks.

    • admin
      07/16/2013 at 8:17 am

      Hi Barbara,

      Each animal is a bit different. Once they discover the garden and how tasty it is, it is very hard to keep them out short of fencing or caging or netting.

      My corn was destroyed this week by squirrels. Every single ear!

    • Lili Jablonski
      06/30/2017 at 9:53 am

      I have a big deer problem, not to mention rabbits and squirrels. I purchased a gated dog enclosure and did a few raised beds. So far so good!????

  11. 01/28/2014 at 11:40 am

    This is my first time visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read everthing
    at single place.

  12. Pingback: Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden | Beautiful Home and Garden
  13. Lauren
    05/31/2014 at 10:29 am

    Can this be done for all plants? Will it be beneficial for herbs as well? I am having a really hard time trying to grow my first plants in pots, lavender isn’t doing great, and thyme also.. Seem like they are dying. Something is eating away at my mint and basil leaves although they are flourishing… Thanks to any advice!! Lauren

    • admin
      05/31/2014 at 11:57 am

      Hi Lauren,
      Yes, they will help herbs too. I’ve never tried to grow lavender but thyme grows easily for me. If something is eating your mint and basil, it’s likely caterpillars. Inspect the underside of the leaves to see if you can find the critter. Sometimes they are green and sort of camouflage themselves.


  14. Vicki Adams
    07/13/2014 at 3:52 pm

    Can coffee grounds be used with hibiscus ? Bet my magnolia tree in my front yard in florida would love the grounds?!

  15. Beth
    08/19/2014 at 9:20 pm

    Hello all, I have hacked a flower garden out of my tiny backyard. An eclectic mix of flowers that are native to my area. No room for a compost heap. Thinking of purchasing earthworms to improve the soil & using coffee grinds to encourage the earthworms & perk up my roses. Does anyone know if the coffee grinds will help protect my sunflowers? I do not use pesticides because of my cats. Something is eating on my plants 🙁
    Thank you

    • admin
      08/19/2014 at 10:01 pm

      Hi Beth Plain composted (rotted) coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer. they have a natural anti-fungus effect and also help keep the soil moist. No extra benefit for sunflowers that I know of. Carol

  16. Patsy
    09/13/2014 at 10:53 pm

    My roses and hydrangea’s are fed a steady diet of coffee grounds, banana peels, egg shells and green and herbal tea bags. I also add some organic matter once a year, like worm casings, kelp meal, epsom salts. Oh and some alfalfa pellets. That’s it and they thrive like crazy.

  17. Betty
    04/17/2015 at 3:47 pm

    Does the coffee grounds have to be used or can they be new right out of the can?

    • admin
      04/19/2015 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Betty,

      You can use them new but this would defeat the recycle idea of reusing them. Carol

  18. Barb
    06/13/2015 at 12:17 pm

    I’m new to the whole planting experience..I live in the city but, I’m still a country girl at heart. So, I have many 5 gal containers that I’ve planted – I have 9 total of tomatoes with 3 different varieties, 2 pepper plants, 2 eggplants, 2 cauliflower, & 2 broccoli. I was wondering if I could use the coffee grounds on container plants also or if this would be an issue. I’ve never planted anything before and I think they’re doing pretty good so far. Thanks for any help or advice with this.

    • admin
      06/13/2015 at 1:46 pm

      HI Barb. The coffee grounds are really more for plants that liked to have a more acid soil such as the hydrangeas , camellias, berries and roses. I don’t think I would use it on vegetables.

  19. Roselyn
    07/01/2015 at 11:08 am

    I do, in fact, use tea grounds as well. It’s funny how organic waste could help your garden in many ways, and I sometimes feel like I should go around and collect it from my neighbours and use it in my garden, haha! When I’m not lazy I also collect eggshells and use them in pots(since it would take too much time for them to have any impact in the garden).

    Regards, Rosie

    • admin
      07/01/2015 at 11:29 am

      Some people get used coffee grounds from places like Starbucks. Creative thinking! Carol

  20. Sunnie
    08/05/2015 at 7:14 pm

    my daughter lives in Indiana and has never planted hydrangea’s. she loves the white and green colored hydrangas. she has planted Annabelle,Snowflake and Lilli Hydrangea’s. and we were wondering if the coffee grounds will change the color? and the banana peel and the egg shell will that mess with the color? what is a good fertilizer for these white Hydrangea’s? thanks so much, Sunnie

    • admin
      08/05/2015 at 10:51 pm

      HI Sunnie, One thing I have learned about hydrangeas is that the color comes and goes. Mine were peachy colored one year and very blue the next. I did nothing to the soil at all. They do like an acid soil, and coffee grounds help with that but I don’t know if it affects their color. Any kitchen refuse is fine for most garden plants. I don’t use any chemical fertilizers, so I can’t comment on that. Carol

  21. Karrie
    11/06/2015 at 3:31 pm

    Can you use too much (many) coffee grounds? Can you use them year round? Thanks!

  22. Carol
    11/06/2015 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    I would not put them into the soil near the same plant over and over. I would alternate between plants and perhaps not fertilize during the colder months when many plants are dormant.

    • Karrie
      11/16/2015 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks for the info!

      • Carol
        11/16/2015 at 7:32 pm

        My pleasure Karrie!

      • Danielle
        06/02/2020 at 10:42 pm

        How often do you place coffee grounds around roses and hydrengas? Weekly, monthly etc?? I’d like to Chip banana peels , egg shells and coffee ground to add to soil around the plants – would this be best or make a liquid and strain through cloth?

        • Carol Speake
          06/03/2020 at 1:29 pm

          If you have lots of kitchen refuse, it is best to add it to a compost pile, along with garden refuse to allow it to break down, rather than adding it often to the garden. Too much of anything in garden soil can cause problems for plants since changes will be made to the soil structure. The only way to tell is to test your soil before using and then test the acidity after adding coffee grounds. This tells you the soil PH to determine whether to add more.

          If using as a fertilizer, my post on making home made compost tea, weed tea and liquid fertilizer might be of interest to you. Making the compost tea and then straining it and using as a fertilizer would work in the way you suggest in your comment.

  23. Stacey
    02/15/2016 at 5:26 pm

    I have some potted roses on my windowsill, one is actually quite large. I occasionally add a spoonful or two to the pots (much less for the smaller ones). My question is how often can or should I add coffee grounds to the soil in potted plants? How often can you put coffee grounds on outdoor plants like hydrangeas or rhododendrons? Thanks for the information!

    • Carol
      02/15/2016 at 11:01 pm

      Hi Stacey, I have never used them on potted plants so I would not know how much to suggest. Out side in the garden, I’d suggest 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds around each plant, lightly working it into the soil once a week.

    • Carol Drescher
      06/10/2016 at 11:36 pm

      I had planned on using coffee grounds around a hydrangea bush but how much is enough, or too much?

      • Carol
        06/11/2016 at 3:33 pm

        It is hard to say just how much. Most people just sprinkle them around the plant. I have read that a suggested ratio is 1 part coffee grounds mixed with 3 parts dried leaves and then place around the plants. Carol

  24. JanetSue
    02/22/2016 at 2:47 am

    I use an empty coffee can close at hand when cooking and dump everything in that like I would do for a compost pile. It’s easier for me to handle (can’t turn an compost pile). I date each can and make sure I use the oldest first. I use a couple of large scoops to make ‘tea’. Also I use a used coffee filter in a colander to strain my tea.

    • Carol
      02/22/2016 at 3:20 pm

      Great tips Janet! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Jane
    04/29/2016 at 8:53 pm

    How would flavored coffee grounds be for clematis?

    • Carol
      04/29/2016 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Jane, I have never tried flavored coffee grounds, but I doubt it would matter. Clematis likes lots of nourishment and coffee grounds are often recommended for it. Carol

  26. Karen
    07/27/2016 at 3:36 pm

    When I learned this I started saving them from when we meet in the lounge for coffee every morning. Have 5 rose bushes and the fellah whom told me I could plant one of my roses in his garden also has growing 3 tomato plants so he told me to put it around them too. Then where I got my drift rose this other woman whom I know has 2 hydrangea plants growing there as well so will ask her if she wants any around them. So often do I put it around them and how much? I also have to mix it in with the soil right?

    • Carol
      07/27/2016 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Karen. The grounds break down in the soil. I would just alternate it between bushes and give them a rest in between. Not something to do all the time, any more than you would fertilize with commercial fertilizers often. I’d give it a month rest perhaps. Yes. Mis it in with the soil. Carol

  27. Paul
    02/04/2017 at 7:36 am

    Coffee grounds are great for vegetables. I have two allotments and use coffee grounds from Coffee 1 and home. plants thrive on them.

    • Carol
      02/04/2017 at 8:28 am

      Glad to hear this works for you Paul Carol

  28. Nikki Washington
    04/21/2017 at 11:34 am

    When I tried using them they turned the soul moldy. Tried drying them out more also, and they also turned moldy.
    : (

    • Carol
      04/21/2017 at 5:06 pm

      HI Nikki, Sorry to hear you had that problem. As it is with anything organic, moisture and warmth will create mold. Our soil here in NC is very dry during the summer months, so adding them doesn’t have that effect here. You didn’t mention where you live. If you are in an area of the country where the soil gets a lot of moisture, mold could indeed grow. Normally, mixing them in with the soil helps but once again, it depends on the soil. In a compost pile, coffee grounds get added to dry ingredients so it offsets the moisture component. Carol

  29. Bee
    05/06/2017 at 11:03 am

    What about using orange and lemon peels around your hydrangeas

    • Carol
      05/07/2017 at 10:44 am

      Hi Bee. Citrus peels break down very slowly so my guess is that they would be better in a compost pile. I have heard of people drying them out and then grinding them and adding them to soil but have not tried this.

  30. fredacotten
    05/22/2017 at 7:32 pm

    would coffee grouns work for azaleas also?

    • Carol
      05/23/2017 at 11:06 am

      Hi Fred. Yes they would. Azaleas are acid loving plants. Carol

  31. Gerri Clark
    05/31/2017 at 6:18 pm

    I have hydrangeas, roses and azaleas. So how often, weekly??? do I plce the coffee grounds around the plant base??? weekly? Every other week?? Is it best to put the grounds in water and let them liquify?, I have done this before but we use lots of coffee, not much bananas or eggs.

    • Carol
      05/31/2017 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Gerri. I have 10 garden beds and I use them sporadically around the plants. I’ve never thought about how often. Weekly is too often I think. More like you would do with fertilizer. Once a month maybe. Work them into the soil around the plant. Carol

  32. 06/10/2017 at 7:48 am

    Is there a limit to how much grounds you use or how often you can use them? Also, do you have to dig around the plant and put the grounds under the soil, or is just placing the grounds on the surface sufficient?

    • Carol
      06/10/2017 at 11:20 am

      I would dig them into the soil and wouldn’t add them often. They are the occasional input of organic matter. Think of it as fertilizer. I have 10 garden beds that are all quite large, so I can use mine often without over doing it. Smaller garden plots should have them added about as often as you would think of fertilizing. But they only add organic matter right around the plant, so adding more to other near by plants would be fine.

  33. Audrey
    09/13/2017 at 6:56 pm

    I was wondering if coffee grounds are good for basil plants?

    • Carol
      09/13/2017 at 9:05 pm

      Fresh coffee grounds are acidic (used ones are neutral.) Since basil is not an acid loving plant, I’d only use those that have been used in coffee. They’ll just act as a bit of fertilizer for the plant. Carol

      • Audrey
        09/22/2017 at 4:35 pm

        Thanks Carol.
        Also I was wondering how do I store leftover coffee grounds that I got from Starbucks. They gave me more than I could use for the time being. Maybe the refrigerator? I don’t have room for a compost.

        • Carol
          09/23/2017 at 10:32 am

          Coffee grounds will grow mold, even in the fridge unless they are used quickly. They can be frozen and rethawed to use, or dried in the oven on low heat and then stored. Carol

  34. Pam
    04/07/2018 at 6:29 am

    Thanyou Carol for all your advise. I have been saving coffee grounds for a few days now and about to use them in my garden, Pam

  35. Alice
    08/01/2018 at 10:10 am

    Can coffee grounds be used on rose of Sharon bushes and how much and offten should the coffee grounds be applied?

    • Carol
      08/01/2018 at 11:28 am

      Hi Alice. Rose of Sharon bushes like an acidic soil, so I assume that the coffee grounds would help in this regard. However, I have never tried them on this plant, so I can’t tell you how much to use or how often. Carol

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