Are Coffee Grounds Good For Cactus?

Many people will throw coffee grounds in with their potted plants. However, what your other plants enjoy might be harmful to your cacti and succulents. Your cactus probably hates when you add new coffee grounds to its potting soil.

There are many alternatives to using coffee in your soil. Some people prefer fertilizer while others buy particular cactus garden soil. Either way, these options are much healthier for your cactus than using coffee grounds.

So, are coffee grounds good for succulents? You can safely use minimal amounts of used coffee grounds since the caffeine content dilutes.

Can You Fertilize Cactus with Coffee?

You can fertilize many other species of plants with coffee. It contains many nutrients that help them grow. Additionally, coffee has a slightly acidic pH level. This aspect is suitable for many kinds of plants since they enjoy more acidic soil.

However, coffee grounds aren’t the best fertilizer for your cactus. They alter the soil properties significantly, which makes it too easy for the cactus to absorb water. When your cactus starts taking in too much tap water, it can experience root rot.

Finally, the caffeine in the coffee ground can stop your cactus from growing. The caffeine makes it harder for your cactus to grow and may even prevent it from blooming.

How to Safely Use Coffee Grounds For Fertilizer

You can use coffee grounds if you already brewed them. Your used coffee ground has less caffeine, making it a bit safer to add to your compost pile. From there, you can create an excellent, nutrient-rich fertilizer that your cactus will love!

While you don’t want to use straight coffee grounds, you can add your used grounds to your compost. The resulting fertilizer is much healthier for your sensitive cactus than any chemical fertilizers you buy at the store. Since the grounds are very diluted after you used them, they should not alter the pH level within your soil.

Why Do People Use Coffee Grounds For Cactus?

Many people use coffee grounds to give their succulents and cacti more nutrients. The coffee will break down over time, depositing more nitrogen into the soil. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for succulents and cacti.

The coffee also helps to improve drainage within the soil and keep it aerated. Since your cactus doesn’t like a lot of water, this feature will benefit it greatly.

What Is the Best Fertilizer for Cactus?

Your succulents and cacti don’t require a specific type of soil to stay healthy. These plants grow the best when potted in well-aerated soil. That means the soil won’t hold too much water, so you don’t have to worry about root rot.

You also will want to use a diluted fertilizer on your cacti and succulents. By diluting the soil, you ensure the plants are in an environment best suited to their natural habitat.

The best fertilizer contains this ratio of nutrients:

  • 10% potassium
  • 10% phosphorous
  • 10% nitrogen

This ratio allows your plant to grow happily with just water and makes your cacti and succulents stronger. Using coffee grounds can provide some of those nutrients. Fertilizing your cactus is very simple- they only need new fertilizer added to their soil once a year.

Plants That Like Coffee and Those That Don’t

Several plants love coffee grounds. When you add it to their pots, they will be sure to thrive! However, some plants hate used coffee grounds. Adding the coffee to their soil could cause them more harm than good. You should know the difference if you plan on using coffee grounds in your garden.

Which Plants Like Used Coffee Grounds?

Acid-loving plants will love coffee grounds. Although, you will have more luck offering them unused coffee grounds. These species of plants include:

  • Rhododendrons
  • Azaleas
  • Hydrangeas
  • Lilies
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Blueberries
  • Jade
  • Roses
  • African Violets
  • Snake Plant
  • Parsley

Which Plants Do Not Like Coffee Grounds?

  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Lavender
  • Tomatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Orchids
  • Yucca

Are Used Coffee Grounds Good for Succulents?

Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which is added to the dirt as it breaks down. The grounds also improve the aeration in the soil, helping to reduce the amount of tap water it holds.

However, adding too much of the grounds is not good for them. You want to be sure you’re not oversaturating the succulent in caffeine. You can make compost with used grounds, making your soil for the plant.


In short, coffee grounds are acceptable to add to your cactus soil- if you already used them in your morning brew.

It’s best to add them to compost piles when you can since this process further dilutes the amount of caffeine, enhancing the nutrients your plants receive.

Overall, the best way to make sure your cacti stay healthy is to make sure you give them the correct amount of water.

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