Are Coffee Grounds Good For Roses? ☕

Are Coffee Grounds Good For Roses

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If you’re looking to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer in your garden and are growing roses, you may be wondering if this excellent composting material is suitable for roses. Would coffee grounds benefit roses, and how much should be used? 

Coffee grounds are great for roses when used in moderation early in the growing season, as they contribute acidity and nitrogen to the soil. Roses thrive in mildly acidic soil, but an overabundance of coffee grounds in the soil can make soil overly acidic and harm roses’ root systems. 

Keep reading to learn more about how coffee grounds can benefit roses, how to help your roses grow, and the best ways to incorporate coffee grounds into your rose garden!

Do Roses Like Coffee Grounds?

Roses take a lot of energy to grow and bloom, especially with their larger flowers. Coffee grounds supply vital nitrogen to growing roses and are a great way to help them thrive.  

Coffee grounds also help to make soil slightly acidic, which roses enjoy. Roses do best in very mildly acidic soil, with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. This makes them a bit sensitive, and adding coffee grounds to soil is best done in moderation. 

Still, coffee grounds can benefit roses in several ways, including attracting worms and plentiful microbes. These living things improve the health and aeration of the soil, feed the root system, and encourage more beautiful plant growth. The healthier and more biologically diverse your soil is, the better it will be for every plant in the garden. 

So now that we’ve determined that coffee grounds can benefit your roses, where is the best place to get a hold of some cheaply?

Where Can I Get Coffee Grounds for My Roses? 

The simplest way to get coffee grounds for your roses is to consume coffee and save the grounds for later. If you have multiple coffee drinkers in your house, all the better! Feel free to use coffee grounds from

  • A drip coffee machine
  • A pour-over system
  • A French press
  • An espresso machine
  • Keurig cups

Another way to obtain coffee grounds is to ask around at your local cafe. Explain that you need coffee grounds for your garden, and ask if the establishment would be willing to save some for you. Decide a time for you to come and collect your grounds and establish how you’ll be transporting them home. You may also wish to make a small donation in exchange for the grounds if management agrees to let you have some.  

Now that you have a supplier for your coffee grounds, where should you store them until you need them?

How Can I Store Coffee Grounds for My Rose Garden?

A stainless steel metal bucket with a tightly closing lid is the simplest place to store your coffee grounds. It’ll be easy to clean out, won’t smell, and can either be kept on a countertop or brought with you to the coffee shop. We recommend using wet coffee grounds within two days of obtaining them to make sure they’re maximally effective, fresh, not attracting insects, and free of mold. 

Another way to store used coffee grounds in containers is to dry them out before use. Spread the wet used coffee grounds no more than 2 inches deep on an unlined baking sheet, heat the oven to 200° F, and bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating and stirring the grounds every 10 minutes to ensure even drying. Now your coffee grounds can be stored in a jar, bag, or anywhere else. 

Now that you’ve got at least two cups of coffee grounds, how can you use them on your rose bushes? 

How Can I Fertilize Roses with Coffee Grounds?

There are a few different ways to fertilize a rose with coffee grounds. 

You can scatter coffee grounds onto the soil, about four inches away in either direction from the base of the growing roses. This will allow the coffee grounds to be naturally pulled into the soil. 

No digging or turning of the soil is required. Instead, simply scatter about 1-2 cups of coffee grounds per rose bush and water liberally once done. This will help work the nitrogen-rich material into the earth without harming your roses’ root systems.

Another way to get coffee grounds into the soil is to water your rose bushes with coffee-ground-infused water. This is a great way to reuse the grounds and hydrate your rose bushes. Add 1 cup of coffee grounds per 1 gallon of water. 

Make sure your watering can’s head has perforations large enough to let coffee grounds through. Shake your mixture liberally, and water your roses with the ground-infused water. 

When is the best time of year to do this? Can you fertilize a rose bush with coffee grounds year-round, or is this best done only once a year? 

What Time of Year Should I Add Coffee Grounds to a Rose Garden?

The best time of year to add coffee grounds to the soil around your roses is spring or at the beginning of the growing season. While roses do enjoy slightly acidic soil, they benefit most from acid and nitrogen when they’re just beginning to grow, as temperatures are warming. 

Adding coffee grounds to your roses’ soil at this juncture will give the plants the extra nutrition that they need to burst forth with leaves and, eventually, with beautiful flowers. Once the roses have a head start in growing, you’ll want to cease fertilizing with coffee grounds. Just one application of coffee grounds should be enough. 

An exception to this general rule will be if you notice your rose bushes struggling to grow or flourish mid-season or if your soil is especially alkaline or clay-rich. Alkaline soil can benefit from coffee grounds year-round, and a great way to incorporate them is through composting.

How Can I Use Coffee Grounds in Compost? 

Coffee grounds are easy to compost and break down well among banana peels, yard waste, and potato skins. Coffee grounds are known as a “green compostOpens in a new tab.” material, even though they’re black or dark brown. This is because coffee grounds add nitrogen to the soil, whereas “brown” compost items such as leaves and bark add carbon. Both are essential to a balanced compost heap.

Go ahead and toss your coffee grounds into the compost along with other compostable organic matter. You can toss your grounds separately or add them to the same waste bin used for all other kitchen waste. 

This compost can then be added to your garden’s soil as you plant your roses or work on top of the soil, to help decomposing material find its way to the rose’s root system through watering. Either way, your roses will love the results, and a compost that is half green and half brown in composition will add balance and nutrition to any soil type. 

Again, composting during the early growing season is best, as this gives roses the boost they need to grow strong and thrive in the year ahead. Using coffee grounds too often on your roses in normal soil can damage your plants. 

Can Too Many Coffee Grounds Harm Roses? 

Roses love nitrogen and mildly acidic soil, but too much acid can burn a root system. Roses are a bit delicate and won’t thrive as well if the soil’s pH level is below 6.0. Too much acid, which coffee grounds supply, can burn a rose’s roots.   

The added nitrogen can also overwhelm a rose’s cells and make it difficult for the plant to grow and absorb nutrients. Thus, over-feeding a rose bush with coffee grounds can also make it tougher for a rose to absorb other nutrients like potassium and phosphorus. An over-caffeinated rose bush can therefore be stunted, with smaller leaves and fewer flowers, and it can even begin to die. 

So moderate application early in the growing season is all your rose bush needs to get a head start on healthy summer growth. Having said that, what can you do to help your roses grow year-round? 

Take Care of Your Roses Year-Round

Once you’ve fertilized your roses in the springtime with coffee grounds, how can you keep roses healthy and beautiful? Water them generously at least twice a week, ideally in the morning, and allow your roses large spans of sunlight during the day. 

PruningOpens in a new tab. in the early spring, right before the growing period, will help your rose bushes to develop healthier and more abundant leaves and flowers. Remove any dead or tangled stems, and be sure to prune them in such a way as to allow for maximum light and airflow as the rose sprouts. Give your pruned rose bush a slightly rounded shape and account for later seasonal growth. 

Inspect your rose bushes for Japanese beetlesOpens in a new tab., aphids, and other pests that can eat away at your rose’s leaves, and protect the plants with a safe pest repellant. Inspect rose bushes daily for the most effective pest prevention. Treating your rose bush to MiracleGro once a week can also help it thrive and add some nutrition to the root system.

As your roses grow the rest of the year, hang on to those grounds! You’ll find that various plants enjoy coffee grounds; just because your roses probably won’t need them past springtime doesn’t mean grounds can be used on other plants. 

Other Plants Enjoy Coffee Grounds

A variety of plants would enjoy being fertilized with coffee grounds, especially acid-loving plants. Many of these plants are a bit heartier, stand up to acid better than roses, and may enjoy coffee grounds year-round. 

These plant species include 

If you’re cultivating these species on your property, they’ll likely enjoy being fertilized with coffee grounds year-round. This is especially true of crops, and working coffee grounds onto the soil around these plants’ root systems can help yield more numerous fruits and vegetables. 

Plants that do not enjoy coffee grounds, however, should be cared for with appropriate shade, watering, and nutrition minus any coffee. Be sure to understand how every plant in your garden will react to coffee grounds before applying them, as every species is different.   

Apart from their use in fertilizing plant life, what other uses do coffee grounds have around the home or garden?

Other Uses for Coffee Grounds In the Home

Coffee grounds have several interesting uses around the house. There are ways to make coffee grounds into fuel for your fireplace or wood-burning stove. This is a fantastic use for coffee grounds, especially if you live in a colder climate and your heating bills are getting a bit high. 

If you’re vermicomposting with a worm bin, worms love coffee grounds. Add them into your worms’ habitat once a week as a part of the rest of their food. The coffee grounds should compose no more than ¼ of a feeding portion, but when used sparingly, they can help aid in your worms’ digestion and encourage healthy growth. They’ll even eat paper coffee filters, so feel free to moss those in, as well. 

Dried coffee grounds can also be burnt outside to help repel mosquitos, bees, and wasps. The strong odor and smoke do a great job of keeping flying pests away. Even better, it’s natural and contains no harmful, artificial chemicals or ingredients. You can also add it to an outdoor fire for the same effect. 

The same dried-out coffee grounds can also serve as a delicious and savory rub for beef or pork. Mix with paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Just apply the rub two hours before cooking or smoking for some deep, delicious flavor. 


Roses can benefit from coffee grounds in their early growing season, as these grounds add vital nitrogen to the soil and encourage healthy microbe growth. Place 1-2 cups of coffee grounds on the surface of the soil near your rose bushes and water generously, or use 1 gallon of water infused with 1 cup of coffee grounds during early watering. 

Coffee grounds can also benefit roses when incorporated into compost, especially if the soil is slightly alkaline or clay-rich, as roses thrive best in 6.0-6.5 pH soil. Over-use of coffee grounds the rest of the year, however, can result in poor growth, cellular damage, or a withered rose bush. 

The simplest ways to get a hold of coffee grounds are after your morning coffee-drinking routine or from a local coffee shop. You can also use coffee grounds as fuel, as a natural insect repellent, to help feed worms, and as a dry rub for beef and pork.


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