A few things tend to be incredibly popular among humans, such as coffee and certain plants.
People drink coffee as part of their morning routine, as a pick-me-up or comfort drink, and sometimes as an evening drink such as Irish coffee.
But even if you use a Keurig, you’re left with many wasted coffee grounds afterward.
Meanwhile, you likely have at least one houseplant in your home or office, and there’s a good chance it’s a spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum).
These low-maintenance plants are quite forgiving and often grow in hanging baskets where their spiderling offshoots can hang down dramatically.
So what if we told you the problem of wasted coffee grounds could be solved by your spider plant?
Do Spider Plants Like Coffee Grounds?
Used coffee grounds are actually an amazing fertilizer, although they need to be processed for the best results.
Here’s everything you need to know about giving coffee grounds to your spider plant.
The Benefits Of Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are chock full of nitrates. This means plenty of nitrogen, one of the three key nutrients every plant needs to survive.
However, the nitrogen in coffee grounds isn’t actually used by the plant. Still, it is instead consumed by beneficial nematodes, freeing up the more digestible nitrogen present in the soil for your plants to feed upon.
When added to compost, coffee grounds are broken down, allowing their nitrogen content to become infused in the compost itself to be used by plants more directly.
Another huge benefit of coffee grounds is their acidity. Using coffee grounds as part of a fertilization regimen can help maintain the soil’s pH level.
As a result, grounds are often used to fertilize acid-loving plants but can also be used more moderately for plants that prefer slightly acidic conditions.
A third, lesser-known benefit is that coffee grounds repel some common plant pests.
Slugs and snails will avoid plants treated with coffee grounds, and it’s widely believed that ants and many other pests will also avoid the grounds.
The Drawbacks To Coffee Grounds
Used coffee grounds aren’t as potent as fresh grounds, but they still pack a lot of punch.
Placing used grounds directly onto your plants could create a burst of acidity that may harm your plants.
Likewise, you can’t compost coffee grounds without adding organic material, such as the used coffee filter.
Finally, caffeine can stunt the growth of plants when in adequate quantities, which makes using fresh grounds a little risky.
Three Ways To Use Coffee Grounds With Spider Plants
Now that you have an idea of how your used coffee grounds can benefit or harm plants, let’s look at a few ways you can safely use them with a spider plant.
Few ways to recycle your trash are more efficient and beneficial than composting.
When you add used coffee grounds to the compost pile, be sure also to add the coffee filters or some paper towels.
This will keep a balance that ensures the composting process is at its most efficient.
Compost made with coffee grounds will be rich in nitrogen and many important micronutrients. You can then use the compost in place of a store-bought fertilizer.
This might sound silly, but you can technically make tea out of coffee grounds.
You will need 2 cups of coffee grounds and a 5-gallon bucket to do this.
Dump in the grounds and fill the bucket with water.
Allow it to sit at least overnight. The result will be a composting tea that’s far more diluted than if you’d brewed the coffee.
You can then strain the tea and use it in place of liquid fertilizer.
This method should only be used sparingly and is best reserved for plants frequently subjected to pest attacks.
Allow your used coffee grounds to dry in the sun for a day or two.
Once fully dried, you may wish to use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a powder, although this isn’t necessary.
Carefully lift each section of your spider plant and sprinkle a thin ring of coffee grounds around the outside edge of the soil.
Powdered grounds work best because they spread more evenly, but the key is to use only a small amount of coffee at the furthest point from your spider plant as the container allows.
Your plant will still benefit from the grounds, and pests will be more likely to avoid your spider plant.
A Final Tip
Coffee grounds are very rich in nitrogen and do contain several macronutrients.
However, this is not enough to keep plants healthy, as coffee lacks phosphorus and potassium.
When using coffee grounds to fertilize, you must alternate between the grounds and another fertilizer to ensure your plant is getting everything it needs.