Skip to Content

Does Chinese Evergreen(Aglaonema) Like Coffee Grounds?

Using coffee grounds on houseplants is a popular way of fertilization. Since you might be using coffee grounds on other houseplants, you might want to know if you can use them on your Chinese evergreen too.

But does Chinese evergreen like coffee grounds? Let’s find out.

In general, Coffee grounds are good for your Chinese evergreen if you use them correctly. Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen, and it also makes the soil slightly acidic, which is good for Chinese evergreens. However, be cautious while using them as incorrect use can harm the plants.

If you dump coffee grounds on the soil, it will retain excess moisture and make your plant overwatered. Whereas adding coffee grounds as compost tea can benefit the Chinese evergreen and help it grow. 

Before you decide whether you want to use coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen, you must understand the pros and cons and the correct way of using them. This article will explain everything to you.

Chinese Evergreen outdoor

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

Please note: Simplify Plants is reader-supported. Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.

Are coffee grounds good for aglaonema?

The content of coffee grounds makes them suitable and even beneficial for houseplants. Below I have mentioned the list of content that makes coffee grounds good for your houseplants.

Coffee grounds contain a lot of Nitrogen.

Nitrogen improves the growth rate of the plants, so if your plant is growing slow or you want to see significant growth in it, consider coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds also contain:

Calcium: Keeps the cell wall of the houseplants strong and allows them to extend and help the plant grow.

Potassium: Potassium is necessary for protein synthesis that allows your plants to grow more. It is also responsible for the opening and closing of stomata.

Magnesium: Magnesium is required for chlorophyll production and helps the plant absorb nutrients. It also helps build cell walls in plants.

Organic material: The organic material in coffee grounds improves the soil structure. It can create a balance between retention and drainage.

Chinese evergreen plants prefer acidic soil, and if the soil is too alkaline, you can use coffee grounds and watch the soil pH turn acidic slowly.

Now, let’s find out the cons of using coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen.

Cons of using coffee grounds

How you apply coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen can determine whether they benefit your plant or harm it. Here are some wrong ways of using coffee grounds to harm your plant.

Applying coffee grounds directly to the soil

Coffee ground for plants

The worst way of using coffee grounds is to add them directly to the soil. It can bring a lot of problems to the plant.

  • Coffee grounds create a layer over the soil that stops the moisture from escaping, making the soil soggy.
  • Chinese evergreen doesn’t prefer soggy soil. It can lead to root rot if the roots are exposed to soggy soil for too long.
  • Adding coffee grounds directly to the soil can cause pest infestation and fungus infections.
  • Instead of boosting the growth, adding coffee grounds directly to the soil can stunt the plant’s growth.

Stop adding coffee grounds directly to the soil if you don’t want your Chinese evergreen to go through all these issues.

Using coffee grounds as the usual fertilizer

Coffee grounds are not meant for frequent use. You can use coffee grounds once in a while only.

You can’t switch to coffee grounds from the usual fertilizer. If you use coffee grounds as fertilizer, it will make the soil unsuitable for the plant.

  • Using coffee grounds too frequently can alter the soil properties and make it heavy. As a result, it will retain excess moisture.
  • Adding coffee grounds too frequently will also increase the soil’s acidity, and it can become too acidic for your Chinese evergreen. 
  • Too much fertilizer will also burn the roots of your Chinese evergreen.

Using coffee grounds on a young plant

Coffee grounds are unsuitable for young plants. Instead of helping them grow, coffee grounds tend to stunt the growth of young plants.

Don’t use coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen while it’s still young. Wait for it to mature before adding coffee grounds to it.

Pest infestation

Aphids on houseplant

When you use coffee grounds too frequently or add them directly to the soil, you create an ideal environment for pests.

Most pests enjoy a moist environment, and excess coffee grounds can make the soil soggy and invite pests. Pests such as mealybugs, fungus gnats, aphids, etc., will enjoy being in such environments.

These pests will feed on your Chinese evergreen, making it weak and stopping its growth.

However, you can avoid pest infestation and use coffee grounds simultaneously by using them the right way. Use coffee grounds as compost tea or liquid fertilizer instead of directly adding to the soil.

Fungal infections

Another disadvantage of using coffee grounds is fungal infections. Coffee grounds take time to break after you directly add them to the soil. In the meantime, this will invite fungus.

Fungal infections are deadly and can kill your plant even before identifying the issue. So, you must avoid adding coffee grounds directly and use them as compost or liquid fertilizer.

What is the best way of using coffee grounds on Chinese evergreen?

By now, you must have understood that you can’t use coffee grounds directly on your Chinese evergreen. But then, what is the ideal way of using coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen? Don’t worry and keep reading.

Here are the ways with which you can use coffee grounds on your Chinese evergreen:

  1. Liquid fertilizer
  2. Compost
  3. Mulch

Now let’s understand all of these.

Liquid fertilizer

Coffee and pothos

Applying coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer is hands-down the best way of using them. Here is how to make a liquid fertilizer out of the coffee grounds.

  • Get some water in a bowl and allow it to simmer.
  • Turn the gas off after the water simmers. Now leave it aside and let the water cool down a bit.
  • After a few minutes, add some coffee grounds to it.
  • Leave this aside for a few days. This will let the coffee grounds break down into the water and add all the nutrients.
  • Now take a bottle and strain the liquid into it, and then you can use it on your Chinese evergreen.

Use coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer on your Chinese evergreen once in one or two months. This will encourage it to grow and also provide all the other benefits.


Although using coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer or compost is better, you can use them as mulch also.

However, you need to be careful and add only a handful of coffee grounds as mulch. Adding too much can harm your Chinese evergreen by drastically altering the soil’s pH level.

Mulching is adding a layer over the soil. So you can compile straw, dry leaves, dead branches, coffee grounds and put a layer of them over the soil. This will add beneficial bacteria and microorganisms to the soil and improve the soil’s retention capacities.


Coffee ground compost

The next best option is to use coffee grounds as compost on your Chinese evergreen. It will neither make the soil soggy nor too acidic.

Too much coffee grounds can burn the roots, but adding them to the compost will balance the harmful effects of coffee and make it safe for your Chinese evergreen.

However, you must make sure you add the correct quantity of coffee grounds to the compost. You can add coffee grounds with the kitchen waste and add barks and dead leaves too.

Coffee grounds are considered green material, while the leaves and branches fall under brown materials. Keep the ratio of both of these 4:1.

You can add coffee grounds as compost while repotting your Chinese evergreen. You can use a potting mix and compost in the ratio of 3:1.

Don’t make the potting mix too heavy. You can use perlite to the soil if the compost feels heavy.

Watering Chinese evergreen with leftover coffee

It is tempting to add leftover coffee to the soil of your Chinese evergreen, but I don’t recommend it. It can harm the plant more than it benefits.

Use coffee grounds as mulch, compost, or liquid fertilizer instead. If you add leftover coffee, you might overwater your Chinese evergreen or stunt the plant’s growth.

If you still decide to add leftover coffee to your Chinese evergreen, don’t add it when it’s still hot, as that can shock the plant. Let it cool down, and then add it to the plant.

You must also dilute the leftover coffee as concentrated coffee can burn the plant’s roots.

Also read: How Much Water Does A Chinese Evergreen Need? (How Often+Summer & Winter)

Fertilize your Chinese evergreen organically.

Ultimate Advice Does Chinese Evergreen Love Coffee Grounds

You don’t need to use coffee grounds if you don’t want to, as there are other organic ways of fertilizing your Chinese evergreen. Here, I mention a few easy and effective ways of fertilizing your Chinese evergreen organically.

Green tea: Many people drink green tea these days, and you can use these to make a liquid fertilizer similar to the one you can make with coffee grounds.

Take the leaves out of the teabags and brew them in the water. This will work well on your Chinese evergreen as it likes acidic soil.

Eggshells: If you eat eggs, you can use the eggshells to fertilize your Chinese evergreen. Take the inner layers out of the eggshells, wash them and let them dry.

You can then soak the eggshells in the water for a night and use that to water your plant.

Aquarium water: You can use the aquarium water to water your Chinese evergreen plant. Aquarium water contains a lot of Nitrogen from the fish poop, and instead of throwing it away, you can use it to water the plant.

Banana peels: These are rich potassium sources and contain other valuable components. You can cut banana peels into small pieces and add them with the potting mix while repotting your Chinese evergreen.

Also read: Does Chinese Evergreen Plant Needs Fertilizer? (How Often+Best Fertilizer)

Reference: WikipediaNasa clean air study, Missouri Botanical Garden, The University of KansasNC State University.

Recommended Garden Supplies

Are you looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *