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What Plants Don’t Like Coffee Grounds?

Hey there, fellow gardeners!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard all the buzz about using coffee grounds in your garden.

It’s true that some plants absolutely love a cup o’ joe (or, well, the leftover grounds), but did you know there are some plants that really can’t stand the stuff?

Yup, that’s right!

Not every plant is a fan of used coffee grounds, and for these sensitive souls, a dose of coffee waste can do more harm than good.

So, let’s dive in and discover which plants and houseplants you should be keeping away from your morning caffeine pick-me-up!

Used coffee grounds as fertilizer

Plants That Hate Coffee Grounds

Alrighty, so you’ve probably heard that the addition of coffee grounds can work wonders for your plants, right?

And you might’ve even tried sprinkling some of that leftover morning magic around your garden, hoping to give your green babies a healthy growth boost.

But hold up, not all plants are coffee lovers like us.

Some plants simply can’t stand the stuff! 

So, who are these coffee haters? Let’s start with some veggies.

tomato plant

Common garden veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil, so coffee grounds could make their living conditions a bit too harsh.

And let’s not forget about our leafy greens, like spinach and lettuce – they’re more into neutral or even slightly alkaline soil.

Bottom line: keep the coffee grounds away from these guys.

Now, how about some flowers?

Well, if you’ve got geraniums, morning glories, orchids, lilies, or roses in your garden, you might wanna think twice before giving them a coffee treat.

They also prefer a more neutral soil’s pH, so the acidity from coffee grounds might just tick them off.

And let’s not leave out our succulent friends!

Most cacti (including the Christmas cactus) and other succulents are all about that alkaline life, so they’d probably give you a prickly side-eye if you tried to toss some fresh coffee grounds their way.

Here are the most common list of plants that don’t like coffee –

1. Tomatoes

At the top of the list is this summer salad staple.

Tomatoes are a staple in most gardens, but these popular veggies just don’t get along with spent coffee grounds.

The high acidity of the grounds can mess with their plant growth, and using coffee waste as a soil amendment can lead to stunted, unhappy tomato plants.

2. Blueberries

You might think that blueberries, being an acid-loving plant, would be all about the coffee grounds.

But it turns out they’re pretty picky about their soil pH level.

While they do like a slightly acidic soil, the super-acidic coffee grounds can throw their ideal soil acidity balance out of whack.

3. Peppers

Spicy or sweet, peppers are another garden favorite that just can’t handle the coffee.

Like tomatoes, these guys don’t appreciate the high acidity of the grounds, which can lead to poor growth and even root damage.

4. Lavender

No one wants their lovely, fragrant lavender to suffer, but when you use coffee grounds around this plant can lead to just that.

Lavender prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil, and the acidity of coffee grounds can cause it to struggle in the potting soil.

5. Petunias

These colorful, cheery flowers may brighten up your garden, but they won’t be so happy if you’re sprinkling coffee grounds around their roots.

Petunias are another plant that prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soil, making coffee waste a no-no.

Why These Plants Don’t Like Coffee

So, let’s get into why these plants don’t like coffee and which ones you should keep your grounds away from.

You might be wondering, what’s the deal with coffee grounds anyway?

Coffee grounds are poured at the feet of a plant

Well, used coffee grounds have a bunch of essential nutrients that plants love, like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Plus, they help improve soil structure, can be an awesome fertilizer, are a good addition to the compost bin, and even deter some pests.

Sounds like a win-win, right? But here’s the catch: coffee grounds can also make the garden soil more acidic.

And that, my friend, is where the trouble begins for some plants and shrubs.

See, not all plants dig acidic soil. In fact, some of them downright hate it when the soil’s pH level gets all out of whack.

So, while your acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries might be partying it up with coffee grounds, others would be straight-up sulking about the acidity of the soil.

And we don’t want that, do we?

While coffee grounds can be a real treat for some plants, they’re a total bummer for others.

The key is knowing which plants dig the acidic vibes and which ones don’t.

coffee grounds 3

So next time you’re sipping on your morning cup o’ joe, think twice before sharing the love with your entire garden.

Remember, not all plants are java junkies like us – and that’s totally cool!

Keep their preferences in mind (beyond well-draining soil), and your garden will be happier for it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But I’ve got all these coffee grounds, what am I supposed to do with them?”

Fear not, my friends!

There are plenty of plants that do love a good dose of coffee waste, like roses, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

Plus, you can always compost those grounds to create a nutrient-rich, balanced soil amendment.

And hey, if you’re still looking for ways to put those grounds to good use, check out our post on “5 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds in the Garden” for more tips and tricks.

Next time you’re sipping your morning brew, remember that not all plants are as enamored with coffee as we humans are.

Be sure to keep those grounds away from the sensitive plants we’ve listed, and you’ll have a happy, healthy garden.