Uncovering the Secrets: Which Plants Do Not Like Coffee Grounds?

I love gardening, it is my passion. I spend hours tending to my plants, ensuring they receive the perfect amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients. One day, while researching ways to improve the soil in my garden, I stumbled upon an interesting concept – using coffee grounds as a fertilizer. Excited by the possibility, I immediately started spreading coffee grounds around my plants. However, to my dismay, some of them did not seem to thrive. This made me wonder, which plants do not like coffee grounds? In this article, I will uncover the secrets behind this intriguing topic.

Why use coffee grounds as a fertilizer?

Coffee grounds are often touted as a fantastic natural fertilizer. They are rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other beneficial minerals that can enhance plant growth. Additionally, coffee grounds are an excellent source of organic matter, which improves soil structure and increases water retention. Many gardeners swear by the use of coffee grounds as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to nourish their plants.

Plants that thrive with coffee grounds

Coffee grounds generally benefit plants that prefer acidic soil. These plants naturally thrive in a pH range of 5.0 to 6.0, and coffee grounds can help maintain the acidity level. Some examples of plants that enjoy coffee grounds include:


Roses are known for their beauty and fragrance, and coffee grounds can be their secret to a stunning bloom. The acidic nature of coffee grounds is perfect for roses, helping them maintain vibrant colors and healthy foliage.


These delicious berries are acid-loving plants, and coffee grounds can create the ideal environment for them. Using coffee grounds as mulch around blueberry plants can improve their yield and overall health.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas and rhododendrons thrive in acidic soil, making them a perfect match for coffee grounds. The grounds provide a slow-release source of nutrients, promoting vigorous growth and beautiful blooms.

Plants that dislike coffee grounds

While coffee grounds can benefit many plants, some simply do not appreciate their presence. Here are a few examples of plants that may not like coffee grounds in their soil:


Geraniums prefer soil on the slightly alkaline side, with a pH of around 6.5 to 7.0. Coffee grounds, being acidic, can disrupt the balance and hinder the overall growth of geraniums.


Lilies are known for their elegance and stunning blooms, but they prefer a more neutral pH range of around 6.5 to 7.0. Coffee grounds can alter the soil’s acidity, negatively affecting the health and development of lilies.


Marigolds are popular annual flowers loved for their vibrant hues and ability to repel pests. Unfortunately, the acidity of coffee grounds can hinder their growth and interfere with their vibrant colors.


Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable with a unique taste, but it dislikes acidic soil. Coffee grounds can disrupt the pH balance, making it challenging for asparagus to thrive.

The proper use of coffee grounds in the garden

To ensure optimal plant health, it’s crucial to use coffee grounds correctly. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Moderation is key

While coffee grounds can be beneficial, excessive use can lead to issues. Avoid smothering plants with large quantities of coffee grounds. Instead, use them sparingly and mix them with other organic matter or compost.

Composting coffee grounds

One way to maximize the benefits of coffee grounds is to compost them first. This reduces their acidity and allows for a more gradual release of nutrients into the soil. Composted coffee grounds can be safely used on a wider range of plants.

Mixing coffee grounds with other soil amendments

To keep the soil pH balanced, mix coffee grounds with other soil amendments, such as lime or wood ash. This will help neutralize the acidity and create an optimal growing environment for a broader range of plants.


Coffee grounds can be a valuable addition to your gardening routine, improving soil fertility and benefiting numerous plants. However, it is important to remember that not all plants share the same preferences when it comes to soil pH. Understanding which plants do not appreciate coffee grounds can prevent potential setbacks in your garden. By following the proper guidelines and using coffee grounds in moderation, you can harness their potential and enjoy thriving plants throughout your garden. Happy gardening!

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