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How to Use Coffee Beans for Fertilizer

By Lauren Wise
Coffee is a great source of nutrients for your garden plants.

Coffee is consumed by millions of people, whether it is a quick pick-up at your local Starbucks or on a coffee plantation in South America, freshly roasted and brewed. When making coffee at home, it's important to remember that there is actually a use for the old coffee grounds after you grind the beans and brew them. Coffee is a beneficial source of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium for plants in your garden, whether it is the trees, tomato plants or roses. Coffee grounds bring bright green growth and strong roots and stems.

Using Liquid Coffee

Grind your coffee beans in a coffee grinder until they are a fine grain texture. Brew your coffee as usual.

Combine 3/4 cup of water to 1/4 cup brewed coffee in a separate container, such as a pitcher. This is to dilute the coffee to make it suitable to pour around plants.

Let the coffee mixture cool. It should resemble a weak cup of tea.

Pour the diluted coffee around the base of your house plants, vegetable garden or your potted plants outdoors.

Repeat this procedure once every week to two weeks.

Using Coffee Grounds

Grind your coffee beans in the grinder. Brew your coffee as usual.

Remove the coffee grounds from the coffee filter and spread them out on a clean paper towel to dry.

Sprinkle the grounds around your garden plants, estimating about 1 1/2 cups per square foot of soil. Add the coffee grounds right before watering or before it rains to make the grounds activate as a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.

Mix coffee grounds directly into the soil around acid loving plants such as tomatoes and those with big flower blooms. This will enhance the vegetable and flower colors.

Repeat this procedure once a month.


Things You Will Need

  • Coffee bean grinder
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee filters
  • Water
  • Paper towels


  • Store extra coffee grounds in sealed plastic bags.