Are Coffee Grounds good for the Garden?

What do you get when you brew your morning coffee?


✅ A scrumptious, nutrient-packed mug to wake you up.

✅ A delicious smell that wafts through the whole house.

✅ Ready-made material to make your garden bloomin’ lovely. You bet!


coffee bag and beans


Coffee is good for you, and not just because it puts a big cheesy grin on your face. Oh no, fresh coffee also packs one mighty nutritional punch! There are a multitude of health benefits to drinking coffee: it helps to protect against Type 2 diabetes, increases brain function, provides lots of healthy antioxidants…

Why not share all that lovely, oh-so-healthy goodness with your garden? That’s right; coffee is great for the garden! Used coffee grounds are a powerhouse source of plant nutrients that’ll see your garden blossom and bloom! ???


coffee ground on plants in the garden


Use number one: coffee rocks as a repellent

We know it is hard to put ‘coffee and ‘repel’ in the same sentence – we can’t stay away when there’s coffee about! – but caffeine is actually very effective as a repellent. In the wild, plants containing caffeine use the compound as a pesticide to ward off small, buzzing visitors and unwanted plant species. Translating the repellent power of coffee into your garden is easy: simply dot small dishes of used coffee grounds close to your plants or sprinkle them directly on the soil. Fruit flies, beetles and slugs won’t be happy, but you and your roses definitely will!


Coffee beans on plant


Use number two: tossed in the compost

We love composting! It’s the best way to drastically cut your food waste while producing a three-course nutrient feast for your plants. What can you put on the compost heap? Grass, eggshells, vegetable peelings and, you guessed it, coffee grounds!

Used grounds will give your compost heap a boost by increasing its nitrogen levels, which will stop it from becoming too dry and dusty. Coffee grounds fall under the ‘green’ compost material category (yes, even though they are brown) because they are nitrogen-rich. For optimal compost health, you need to strike a balance between green and brown (carbon-containing) materials. Brown materials include dry leaves, newspaper and straw, so mix these in with your coffee grounds, and you’ll have a compost heap to rival all others!

Oh, and one other thing – you can compost paper filters, too! These paper filters are bleached with oxygen and 100% biodegradable, making them perfect for eco-friendly brewing!


A V60 coffee maker with coffee and water


Use number three: First Class fertilisation

If you’ve not got a compost heap or want to concentrate your coffee goodness on certain plants (lucky them!), then why not use your grounds as fertiliser? Most soil is not that tasty for plants, so we add fertiliser to give them the minerals they need. Shop-bought fertilisers contain essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. But guess what? Used coffee grounds have these in plentiful supply! Save on packaging and lower the cost of keeping your plants in tip-top condition by opting for coffee instead!

Coffee is naturally acidic and many plants go crazy for acidic soil. Growing lilies or hydrangeas? Then work some cooled, used grounds into the soil. It’s better not to wash the grounds first, as this will alter the pH value. Just make sure to do a bit of googling beforehand because  not all plants are coffee drinkers. Take carrots, for instance; they’ll love your leftover grounds, while tomatoes won’t be so keen.


inside a coffee poly tunnel pouring coffee onto raised beds


Use number four: wiggly worms

There’s a worm at the bottom of the garden… well, there will be if there’s coffee about!

Worms are key to soil health as they feed on plant waste and help to maintain the soil structure. They love coffee, so adding used grounds to your soil will help to increase the worm population beneath your plants. We like worms a lot more now!


close up of a white two chimps coffee coaster


Whether you’re a green-fingered gardener or just starting with strawberries (strawberries like acidic soil, so get sprinkling your coffee!), be sure to give your plants a lift with tasty coffee goodness.


Two Chimps shop ☕

Join the troop

And we will plant a tree