Do Roses Like Coffee Grounds – A Detailed Guide

Most people love to have roses in their gardens. However, when it comes to fertilizing the roses, some get confused. According to some local gardeners, roses love coffee grounds as fertilizer, while others disagree. Do roses like coffee grounds? Let’s bust the myths.

Roses indeed love coffee grounds as they are a great source of fertilizing the soil through natural means. However, add coffee grounds sparingly as the abundance of the coffee grounds can burn your lovely roses.

Coffee grounds are the byproducts of the coffee brewing process. These small grain-like structures are usually considered harmful and thrown away. However, an expert gardener can use it as a fertilizer for his roses. Let’s see how to use coffee grounds as fertilizer.

How To Use Coffee Grounds As A Fertilizer?

We know that coffee has a lot of caffeine in it. Similarly, coffee grounds have caffeine that can be harmful to plants. However, we can reduce the harmful effects by following the right method and using it in moderation, like artificial fertilizers.

You should compost the coffee grounds before using them with roses. If you are using freshly used coffee residues, you should follow a proper channel to minimize the harmful effects of caffeine.

Below are the two techniques most gardeners follow when using coffee grounds with roses. However, the best one is the first one: Compost the Coffee grounds before using them as fertilizer.

Compost The Coffee Grounds

The best way to compost the coffee grounds is by adding them to a compost heap. To make a compost heap, add ⅓ coffee grounds to leaves and grass to make a compost heap. It may take about 3-6 months based on the environmental conditions you provide.

Once the compost is ready, you will get a mulch of coffee grounds, grass, and leaves with the right balance of minerals. Now, spread this compost around your roses to inhibit the growth of unlikely herbs and improve the soil quality.

The advantage of using composted coffee grounds is that they have the right balance of carbon and nitrogen. This prevents the overfertilization of the soil, which can be dangerous for roses. Moreover, it strengthens the soil structure and improves the drainage process.

Using Uncompost Coffee Grounds

You must be careful if you don’t have time to compost the coffee grounds before using them with roses. Any miscalculations and you can burn the roots of your roses. So here are the two techniques you may use while using uncomposted coffee grounds for roses.

1. Mixed With Water

The first technique is to mix the coffee grounds with water. For that purpose, mix 500 grams of coffee grounds in 2 Gallons (9 liters) of water. This technique saves you time as you don’t have to water your roses later.

Remember to always pour water into the coffee grounds. This way, the coffee grounds would be more finely dissolved or mixed with water. A finely mixed solution would easily reach the roots of the roses and can enhance growth and boost production.

Always remember that half a pound of coffee grounds in 2 Gallons of water is enough for one plant. Adding more coffee grounds than this may burn the roots of the roses.

2. Adding Directly To Soil

Another technique to fertilize the roses through coffee grounds is by directly sprinkling the coffee grounds around the plant. However, this method is more vicious as the direct contact of coffee grounds with a plant body can harm the plant.

Take half a pound of coffee grounds and sprinkle them around the plant while keeping them untouched with the stem. You don’t need to dig around the plant and place coffee grounds in them. Just sprinkle them, and it would be better if you water them also.

When To Use Coffee Grounds As A Fertilizer?

As we see in hospitals written, only the right medication at the right time is fruitful. Similarly, it’s not only the technique of applying coffee grounds to the roses that matter. However, the right time of the season is also a crucial factor in boosting the growth of the roses.

The main nutrient coffee grounds offer roses is nitrogen. As nitrogen is suitable for stem development and leaf growth, a timely excess can boost the plant’s soft leaf growth. However, in case of late application, the leaves may turn black and die by the start of the winter. 

In case the roses get damaged, immediately remove the dead parts. So, you must apply them at the beginning of the growing season. Roses start growing new leaves during April and May, so ensure you don’t get late; otherwise, you must wait till next season.

Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds

Most gardeners prefer coffee grounds for roses because of their abundance of nitrogen. Roses require nitrogen in their growing season to support the leaf, stem, and cane growth.

Besides nitrogen, coffee grounds contain some other nutrients and minerals which benefit the plant in various ways. For example, the presence of phosphate or phosphorus in the coffee grounds supports root growth and promotes winter hardiness.

Moreover, coffee grounds are great for soil as they strengthen the soil structure and improve its water draining ability. Roses love the soil and drain water quickly, so their roots can absorb maximum nutrients. Let’s have a detailed look at the benefits of coffee grounds.

Improves Soil Drainage

Improved soil drainage means the soil does not retain water for too long. The soil holds water for some time so that the roots may absorb the required amount of water. After some time, the water dries away, and the roots take oxygen from the surroundings.

Water retained for too long harms the plant’s roots, which start decaying due to excessive environmental moisture. Moreover, it also results in the loss of vigor in the plant, resulting in slow growth or even death.

A well-aerated soil improves the soil structure and prevents nutrient loss. Moreover, it promotes the activity of friendly bacteria in soil that supports plant growth. Improved soil drainage and soil structure result from nitrogen present in coffee grounds.

Normalizes Soil Acidity

The optimal soil pH for the efficient growth of roses is 6.5. However, the average pH range for roses should be from 6 to 6.8. The nitrogen present in the coffee grounds gives it a neutral pH. However, the pH of coffee grounds is always different based on their use.

The proper pH of soil stimulates different chemical reactions inside the plant that is effective for its growth. Moreover, it also regulates the nutrient availability inside the plant through various processes. It’s also best for the microbiological activity of soil.

To test the pH of your garden’s soil, get a pH soil tester from some store and check the pH of the soil around the roses. Remember that roses grow best at their optimal pH of 6.5. So if the pH is not suitable, the soil needs more nitrogen

Provides Minerals For Growth

Most gardeners use coffee grounds due to the presence of nitrogen in them. However, it provides several other minerals that are great for plant growth. Cream on the cake is when you compost the coffee grounds, so several other nutrients get added to them.

The compost coffee grounds are organic as they have mixed grass and leaves, which adds carbon to them. The carbon attracts microbial organisms, which break down the organic material so the roots can easily take it up.

Moreover, the organic material can hold water so the plant can take it up. However, it only holds the amount of water that the plant requires. It drains excessive water to balance the moisture in the soil. Let’s look at some of the minerals the coffee grounds provide.

  • Nitrogen

Coffee Grounds have 2 percent nitrogen in them. That makes 2 grams for every 100 grams. It is the most crucial mineral for plant growth, especially for roses, as it boosts the growth of new leaves, stems, and cane.

Besides being needed for plant growth, nitrogen also helps plants’ metabolism. It also plays an active part in creating chlorophyll, so plants need it in large quantities, especially during the growing season.

  • Phosphate

Phosphate is another mineral added by the coffee grounds to the soil. Phosphate also plays a vital role in boosting the growth of the roses as it is responsible for cell division. As a result, the plant’s tip rises, making this mineral ideal for young plants.

Moreover, it stores the energy produced by the process of photosynthesis. The energy later gets transferred to the plant’s parts, where the cell division occurs.

  • Potash (Potassium)

Potash is the soluble form of potassium, an essential mineral for plant growth. It is an ideal fertilizer that enhances the plant’s health and strengthens the roots. Moreover, it gives the plant a solid resistance to attacking diseases.

Though potash is great for plant growth, too much of it can cause problems for plants that love a normal pH environment. However, you don’t need to worry as it’s in trace amounts in coffee grounds.

  • Copper

Though copper is in trace amounts in coffee grounds, it is essential for producing seeds. In roses, the seeds are in flowers, so copper boosts the growth of flowers to make seeds. Moreover, it is also responsible for many enzymatic reactions.

Remember that while trying to give more copper to the roses, never increase the number of coffee grounds or any other fertilizer. Excess fertilizer can cause toxicity and ultimately result in a plant’s death.

Drawbacks To Be Aware of

Though there are no such drawbacks to using coffee grounds as a fertilizer for roses, you should use it in moderation. The right dose at the right time is necessary; otherwise, it can harm the roses or any other plant.

Like any other fertilizer, coffee grounds also contain minerals whose abundance can increase soil toxicity. Increased soil toxicity can burn the roots and can result in damage to the roses. Similarly, coffee grounds can harm the plant during winter if not applied at the right time.

Moreover, coffee grounds can be harmful to seedlings. As it has enough nutrients, the weak roots of the seedlings cannot withstand their toxicity. However, you can use them with small plants after making their compost.

Also Read: How Much Caffeine In One Shot of Espresso Starbucks

Collecting Coffee Grounds

Collecting coffee grounds should not be a problem if you are a coffee enthusiast. You can save the remains of the coffee grains after brewing coffee. You can easily collect enough coffee grounds for your roses within a month.

Those who are not interested in coffee, they may contact some coffee shops in their vicinity. Most coffee shop owners keep the coffee grounds for later use. If you don’t find the coffee grounds, start drinking coffee, and you may collect enough grounds within a month.


Coffee grounds are an excellent fertilizer for plants such as roses if used in moderation. They can greatly improve soil fertility, structure, and drainage. Roses love compost coffee grounds as they have the right balance of minerals needed for growth.

Besides that, the proper technique and the right time are also necessary. Remember that sprinkling coffee grounds in the beds of your roses once a year is enough for the whole year. Do it at the start of the growing season, and then wait patiently for the beautiful roses.

So, start collecting coffee grounds now and get the best gift for your roses. This was all about the coffee grounds from our side. We hope you have got the answer to “do roses like coffee grounds?” If not, reread the article. We are sure you have missed something.