You might have heard coffee grounds are a cheap and efficient way to give your houseplants more nutrients. However, you might not know how to use them properly, or whether certain plants like them more than others. Do pothos like coffee grounds?
When you use them properly, coffee grounds can make an excellent fertilizer for your pothos plants. However, incorrect use can hurt pothos plants in many ways. Only use coffee grounds on mature pothos plants. Additionally, you should make sure that the grounds you use for fertilizer are organic, as some contain chemicals that can harm your pothos plants.
So, how do you use coffee grounds correctly? Do you have to mix them with something else? What about that compost bin? I’ll help you learn more about pothos plants and coffee grounds in the rest of this article.
Why Do Pothos Like Coffee Grounds?
Coffee grounds make a nutrient-rich addition to planting soil of all kinds. Like most houseplants, a pothos would benefit greatly from the nutrients present in coffee grounds.
The biggest nutritional benefit comes from the high levels of nitrogen in coffee grounds. Plants need nitrogen to grow. In fact, if your pothos doesn’t get enough nitrogen, it could die. It’s also difficult for a plant to extract enough nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Giving your pothos plant the right amount of coffee grounds can help them grow and thrive properly. Usually, adding the coffee grounds to the soil is the best way to give your plants a nitrogen boost.
Coffee grounds also have beneficial nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. All of these are necessary to a pothos plant’s growth. You can also find all of these ingredients in commercial fertilizers.
How Can I Give My Pothos Coffee Grounds?
There are multiple ways you can incorporate coffee grounds into your plant’s soil. It’s best if you mix them with more organic material before adding them. Here are a few ways to give your pothos coffee grounds.
1. Compost Your Coffee Grounds
Composting generally takes a while. However, you’ll get the nutritional benefits not just of the coffee grounds, but also those from the decomposition of the other food waste in your compost. Keep your compost light and dry before adding it to your pothos plants.
The nitrogen in the coffee grounds will also help create compost quicker.
2. Mix Your Coffee Grounds with Compost
If you already have compost, you can mix your coffee grounds with it before using it to fertilize your plants.
3. Mix Your Coffee Grounds into the Potting Soil
Coffee grounds can make a great addition to potting mix. It can help your pothos grow more quickly. If you’re repotting or transporting your pothos, try putting in a handful of coffee grounds.
Here’s a handy video that will help you repot your pothos plant!
4. Mix Your Coffee Grounds with Mulch
Make sure to add other organic materials or compost to mulch along with coffee grounds. Coffee grounds on their own can be harmful if added to mulch.
You can add a half-inch of coffee grounds in the soil, topping the mixture with four inches of mulch. Alternatively, add a small amount of coffee grounds to mulch and sprinkle them around the base of the plant.
5. Make Coffee Ground Compost Tea
What is compost tea? Essentially, you’ll be adding the nutritional benefits of your coffee grounds to water. You can either mix your coffee grounds directly with five gallons of water, or infuse the coffee grounds into water by using a sock as a tea bag.
With either method, you’ll let your compost tea “steep” for a few days. After that, you can pour the liquid onto your pothos, or any other plants that might need a nitrogen boost. Making this compost tea tends to mitigate the issues of mixing coffee grounds into soil.
Here’s an instructional video on how to make compost tea.
What Not to Do When Giving Your Pothos Coffee Grounds
There are risks to giving your pothos plant coffee grounds. If added incorrectly, they can really damage your pothos. Here are some common risks.
1. Don’t Give a Young Plant Coffee Grounds
A mature pothos plant can handle the acidity of coffee. A developing plant, however, might not grow as well if you give them coffee grounds.
2. Don’t Put Coffee Grounds on Acidic Soil
I recommend testing the pH of your soil before adding coffee grounds. If the soil is already acidic, adding highly acidic coffee grounds won’t help. Pothos do best in soil with a pH level between 6.1 and 6.5.
3. Don’t Use Coffee Grounds Alone
You’ll want a balance between coffee grounds and other organic material in your pothos’s dirt. Using just coffee grounds can cause your pothos’s soil to become clay-like and hard. In addition, the moisture retention might mean coffee grounds on their own will encourage fungal and bacterial growth.
4. Don’t Use a Lot of Coffee Grounds
Too much coffee isn’t good for your pothos plant. Although coffee has antibacterial properties, it can also kill beneficial bacteria and microorganisms in the soil.
It’s best to use coffee grounds sparingly, or in thin layers on the soil.
Other Fertilizers for Pothos Plants
If you’re choosing a commercial fertilizer for your pothos, look for equal or almost equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. This is usually listed on the packaging as the NPK number. You’ll also want a fertilizer with micronutrients like calcium, sulfur, and magnesium.
If you’re using homemade compost as your main fertilizer, here are some good ingredients to include:
- Dried Leaves
- Shredded newspaper
Fertilize your pothos mainly during the spring and summer growing months. Fertilizing in cooler fall and winter months can put stress on the plant. Read the application directions on commercial fertilizer before using.
Not following fertilizing directions can damage your pothos, potentially burning their roots.
More in a similar post: Do Cacti Like Coffee Grounds?
Odds are, you already produce coffee grounds every day. If you don’t want them going straight in the trash, you can try adding them to plant soil or compost. Like most plants, pothos plants love coffee grounds. It has many necessary nutrients and can benefit your plant when you add them properly.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below