Quick PickMeUp for Plants

Coffee grounds

The caffeine in coffee gives us a quick pick-me-up, hut coffee and coffee grounds contain nutrients that can give plants a gentle jolt. They're a rich source of nitrogen, tannic acids, and other nutrients. Acid-loving plants, especially, respond to coffee grounds and leftover coffee. (For a list of plants that will benefit from a coffee pick-me-up, see "Acid-Loving Plants" on the facing page.)

Ingredients and Supplies

Coffee grounds Newspaper


  1. Air-dry coffee grounds in a thin layer on newspaper outdoors.
  2. Work the grounds directly around the base of acid-loving plants, or, for container plants, sprinkle the surface of the soil lightly with grounds.
  3. Repeat monthly.

Note: You can skip the drying step by putting wet grounds directly into your compost pile. If you don't have enough coffee grounds to go around, stop by the local coffee shop or diner and load up. Most are happy to let you take all you can carry. You can also water plants witli diluted leftover coffee in water for a quick green-up For outdoor garden plants, use a 1:2 dilution of coffee in water. For tender or indoor plants, use a IA dilution.

Coffee grounds

Don't throw away those coffee grounds! Instead, spread them out in a '/«" layer on a metal tray to dry. They'll make excellent fertilizer for your acid-loving plants.

Caue Houe Too

When you set aside the coffee grounds from your morning coffee, make sure you save the eggshells from your breakfast eggs as well. Sprinkle the eggshells in your compost pile. Eggshells supply calcium, and the beneficial microbes that break down organic material in your compost pile will work faster and better if you put a little calcium in their diet, t;

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