The maintenance and care for an indoor plant to an outdoor plant can be drastically different. The main tip to remember is that coffee grounds won’t work on potted plants unless it has been brewed and diluted in water. Potted succulents don’t have enough microbes in them to break down the grounds into a substance they can use. However, diluting in water first will work as a great chemical fertilizer alternative.
Coffee grounds are great for succulents, but WHY do succulents like coffee grounds? Well, in simple terms, coffee is acidic and succulents LOVE acidic soil. Coffee grounds contain a number of different nutrients including 2% Nitrogen, Potassium and Magnesium – all essential nutrients your succulents need to thrive and grow. If your plants aren’t getting enough of these nutrients then you’ll notice their leaves start to turn pale and yellow, something you don’t want to happen!
Ultimately it all comes down to pH levels. Tap water tends to have a pH level of around 8. Succulents actually prefer a slightly more acidic pH level of 5.8 – 7.0. Using coffee grounds as a fertilizer will actually help balance out this level, meaning they will thrive more, be more healthy and are much more likely to grow.
A few reminders
This is a bit general because all succulents need watering at different times so we can’t best advise how often you should water your succulent with coffee grounds. However, it is pretty well known that succulents don’t need watering very often and as a rule of thumb I would start off by watering your succulents with coffee every 2 weeks and see how you get on (the rule is a bit different for Christmas cactus). You should give your plants a thorough soaking and let the soil completely dry out before rewatering.
Only use black diluted coffee
I feel like this is very self-explanatory. As humans we love to add all sorts of interesting things to our coffee; milk, cream, sugar, syrups! But needless to say, you should stick to cold black coffee for your indoor plants. I want to reiterate the word cold as well! If you make a fresh brew and pour it straight over your succulents then you will burn and scald the roots which will cause your beloved plant to die. If you are trying out coffee grounds on potted plants, then always make sure you are diluting in water first. If it is outside plants, then using the coffee grounds as they come as a fertilizer will be fine.
If you have a success story of coffee grounds for succulents then let us know by leaving a comment.