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10 Plants That Don’t Like Coffee Grounds!

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Well hello, fellow green thumbs and caffeinatics! Let’s cut to the chase: you love coffee, and you love plants.

You’ve heard that your precious plants might also appreciate a caffeine jolt. In a world that celebrates coffee as the magical elixir for your mornings and your garden, it seems like a match made in heaven.

Sadly, this botanical love story isn’t always a bed of roses. For some plants, coffee grounds are more of a bitter pill than a sweet treat. Yep, we’re talking about 5 plants that aren’t fond of your espresso’s leftovers.

Now let’s dive right into our “Latte Loving Plants” list. But wait! Don’t let the name fool you. These are the divas, the mavericks, the contrarians of the plant world. They’ve bucked the coffee trend and said, “No, thank you, we march to the beat of our own chlorophyll.”

It’s a surprise, given that so many of their plant buddies are all about those used grounds, but hey, everyone has a unique taste, right?

So, brace yourself, coffee enthusiasts; you might just find some of your favorite plants on this list. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Here are twelve plants that prefer to keep it tea-total in the garden.

Plants That Say ‘No Thanks’ to Coffee:

Have you ever wondered, as you sip your morning coffee, whether your beloved flora might also enjoy a caffeine kick? Well, not so fast, plant-loving coffee drinkers!

You might be surprised to learn that not all plants share our love for the rich, caffeinated goodness of coffee grounds. In this ultimate list, we’re going to introduce you to 10 plants that, unlike us, would rather start their day without a dash of coffee.

1. Orchids:

When it comes to orchids, their love for rainforest-like conditions makes them give coffee grounds the cold shoulder. Coffee grounds tend to acidify the soil which these tropical divas aren’t a fan of. So, it’s a hard pass from them when it comes to coffee grounds, they’d rather stick to their rainforest floor detritus.

2. Sweet Peas:

Just as their name suggests, these plants like to keep things sweet and uncomplicated. They favor alkaline soil, so the acidity introduced by coffee grounds can disrupt their Zen. They’d choose a peaceful, coffee-free garden space over a chaotic coffee party any day!

3. Asparagus:

Asparagus, those slender, feathery plants you love to grill, are quite finicky about their soil. They prefer the pH to lean more towards alkalinity. Hence, when it comes to coffee grounds, they would say, “No grounds for us, please. We are on an alkaline diet!”

4. Cilantro:

This feisty herb, despite being in the same family as basil and mint (both coffee lovers), doesn’t want anything to do with coffee grounds. Sometimes, it’s not all in the genes, you know. Cilantro marches to its own beat, preferring a coffee-free life.

5. Lavender:

This calming plant is a fan of the alkaline life. It prefers sipping on a cup of chamomile tea rather than a cappuccino, metaphorically speaking. Coffee grounds can be too harsh and acidic for this gentle, fragrant beauty.

6. Rosemary:

Ah, the aromatic herb we all love in our roasted potatoes. Surprisingly, Rosemary is a coffee grounds naysayer. This Mediterranean native prefers sandy, well-draining soil with a neutral to alkaline pH.

The acidity from coffee grounds could lead to a rather unimpressed Rosemary plant. Rosemary is quite content with its herbs-and-spices lifestyle and isn’t looking for a caffeine fix.

7. Tomatoes:

Brace yourself, tomato sauce lovers, because this might come as a shock. Tomatoes, despite their reputation as coffee ground fans, can actually suffer from too much of the stuff. While they don’t mind a little coffee in their soil, an overdose can turn your bright red beauties into unhappy campers.

They prefer a balanced diet that includes compost, worm castings, and a bit of lime to keep the soil pH in check. Coffee grounds, when used sparingly, can still make the menu, but remember, tomatoes aren’t looking for a caffeine buzz.

8. Geraniums:

These popular, brightly-colored flowers have a secret – they’re not fans of coffee. Geraniums prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soil conditions and the acidity from coffee grounds doesn’t sit well with them.

They’d rather enjoy the sunshine and their well-drained soil without the buzz of coffee grounds. So, hold off on the java with these blooms; they’re living their best life without it.

9. Chinese Mustard:

This spicy, leafy green is a culinary favorite, but when it comes to coffee grounds, it politely declines. Chinese mustard plants prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil for their best growth.

The added acidity from coffee grounds can alter their soil preference, leading to a less-than-happy plant. It seems this pungent plant likes its soil just as it likes its flavor – robust and without a hint of coffee!

10. Italian Ryegrass:

This versatile grass is popular for lawns and as a forage grass, but when it comes to coffee, it’s a firm no. Italian Ryegrass prefers soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline, making coffee grounds, with their acidity, not the best addition to their root zone.

So, let them bask in the sun and enjoy the open fields without any caffeine-induced stress. After all, a lawn is supposed to be relaxing, right?

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of 10 green friends who don’t like to wake up and smell the coffee. They’ve firmly declined the invitation to the coffee club, preferring a lifestyle free of coffee’s acidity.

So, before you sprinkle your used coffee grounds, remember, not all plants are coffee enthusiasts. But hey, that’s okay; after all, diversity is the spice of life and of the garden!

Tips for Coffee Grounds Usage Around Plants That Don’t Like It:

Coffee grounds are a great addition to many gardens, but they’re not universally adored by every plant. Here are a few pro tips for using coffee grounds effectively:

Test Your Soil:

Before inviting coffee grounds to your garden party, it’s essential to know the natural pH of your soil. This is like understanding the preferences of your plant guests before you serve them coffee. Soil pH testing kits are widely available online and at garden centers, and they’re easy to use.

By testing your soil, you’ll know whether it’s already acidic, neutral, or alkaline, and if your plants would welcome the additional acidity from the coffee grounds.


If you’ve ever made a strong cup of coffee and regretted it, you’ll understand this point. Composting coffee grounds can help to mellow out their acidity, making them more amenable to a wider range of plants.

When you mix coffee grounds with other compost material like vegetable scraps, leaves, or grass clippings, you’re creating a well-balanced diet for your garden.

The composting process also helps to break down the coffee grounds, so they’re easier for your plants to digest.

Use Sparingly:

Coffee grounds are a bit like a very rich dessert; a little bit can be a treat, but too much can lead to regret. Even plants that do enjoy coffee grounds can find too much of it overpowering.

Think of coffee grounds as a condiment for your garden: sprinkle them around as a mulch or a thin layer in the soil. But remember, moderation is key!

Explore Alternatives:

Coffee grounds are just one form of organic matter you can add to your soil. It’s like a buffet, and you don’t want your soil to fill up on just one thing. There are plenty of other amendments you can add to your soil that can also improve its health and fertility.

Crushed eggshells can add calcium, leaf litter can increase organic matter and improve soil structure, and well-rotted compost can provide a broad spectrum of nutrients. Diversifying your soil amendments can help ensure your plants get a well-rounded meal!

So there you have it, plant and coffee lovers alike, a comprehensive list of 10 plants that don’t enjoy a coffee pick-me-up as much as we do.

So, next time you reach for your French press and watering can, remember, not everyone in your garden is as fond of the ‘Cup of Joe’ as you are. But hey, more for you, right? Happy planting, and of course, happy sipping!

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