The money tree, Pachira Aquatica, is a beautiful tropical plant that can make your house look good with its beautiful leaves and braided trunks. You must have heard of people using coffee grounds as fertilizers for their plants. Are you thinking of doing the same? Are coffee grounds good for money trees? Let’s find out!
Coffee grounds are good for your money tree if added in the form of compost, mulch, or liquid fertilizer. Money tree prefers slightly acidic soil, and using coffee grounds can help you with that. But you must be cautious as adding excess coffee grounds can result in root burn and stunted growth.
Although coffee grounds are readily available, using them in excess can be dangerous for your money tree. Let’s find out the best way to use coffee grounds and the risks of using them on your money tree.
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Are coffee grounds good for money trees?
Coffee grounds can add nitrogen to the plant that is essential for its growth. However, coffee grounds don’t have the other nutrients that the plant needs.
Coffee grounds work well for plants that prefer acidic soil. The money tree prefers neutral to acidic soil. The soil naturally becomes acidic over time, and adding coffee grounds can make it even more acidic.
The ideal pH for the money she is between 6 and 6.5, which is slightly acidic. Anything below six can be very acidic for the plant.
Before you add coffee, you should know the pH value of it. The coffee grounds can have a pH level of between 5.2 and 6.9 when you brew them. So, you should be careful while using coffee grounds so that you don’t overdo it.
How often should I use coffee grounds on my money tree?
Coffee grounds gained their popularity because the use of coffee grounds can boost the growth of certain plants.
If you add coffee grounds excessively, it will do more harm than any good as it can cause damage to the plant instead of boosting the plant’s growth.
It is good to say that you can add coffee grounds to your money tree once or twice a month. After adding coffee grounds to your money tree, check the plant’s reaction to make sure it is doing well.
You should not add coffee grounds during the winter months as that will only damage the plant. You should also not give your plant the coffee that has added cream or sugar and ensure that it’s not too hot to shock the plant. Therefore, it is best to use it as compost or liquid fertilizer.
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Best ways to use coffee on the money tree
Adding coffee Grounds directly to your money tree can be very harmful to the plant.
If you had coffee comes directly to the soil, it will keep accumulating on the soil surface and create a layer that will retain a lot of water, slowing down the drainage system and not letting the water evaporate. This is an ideal environment for root rot, fungus growth, and pest infestation.
There are various ways of using coffee grounds on plants. You can add coffee grounds to your money tree by mixing them with the soil but ensuring that the drainage system works efficiently.
Let’s look at the different ways of using coffee grounds on money trees.
Since the coffee grounds are a good nitrogen source, adding them to the compost is an excellent way of using them.
Since coffee grounds mostly have a lot of nitrogen and don’t contain the other required minerals such as potassium or phosphorus, you need to mix different materials in the compost to ensure that it is ideal for the money tree.
You can make organic compost rich in all the nutrients required by the plant by adding 15 to 20% coffee grounds to your kitchen waste.
However, adding too many coffee grounds to the compost will create an imbalance that can increase the soil’s acidity.
Once you have prepared the compost, you can store it and add it to your money tree once every six or eight weeks. Don’t forget to check how your plant is responding to it.
Few points to remember while preparing the compost for your money tree are:
- Add material such as dried leaves or bark to the coffee grounds to ensure it doesn’t become too acidic.
- The compost should be light and dry.
- You should not be composting too often as that can have adverse effects on your plant’s health.
- Keep a check on watering as compost can retain more water, and you don’t want to overwater your plant.
- If you are repotting the money tree, adding compost to the soil will work well for it.
Since you cannot add coffee grounds directly to your money tree, you can make a liquid fertilizer out of it and then give it to your money tree.
It is easy to make a liquid fertilizer. All your need is water and coffee grounds. First, take a container and fill it with water. Next, ad coffee grounds to it and let it soak for one or two weeks. Consider stirring it every few days.
The coffee will start to break down after a few days. Once the coffee grounds break down, the nutrients get mixed in the water.
After this, you need to strain the water and then give it to your money tree.
However, you should not do this too often as it can burn the roots of the money tree.
If your money tree responds well to the liquid fertilizer you applied, you can do this every few days to give a boost to your plant.
If you see signs of any problem, coffee grounds might not be suitable for your money tree, and you should stop using them altogether.
Also read: Do indoor plants need fertilizer? Why?
The adverse effects of using coffee on money tree
Coffee grounds can have many adverse effects on your plants, one of which is that they will make the soil acidic.
If your plant is having any issue due to this, it will show signs similar to under fertilization.
It might not be easy to differentiate, but you need to evaluate your fertilizing schedule. If you think you are fertilizing the plant correctly, it is time to check the soil’s pH level to understand whether it is too acidic.
Some signs that can tell you that coffee grounds are not suitable for your money tree are:
When your plant doesn’t get enough nutrition, it can have stunted growth. This usually happens due to insufficient fertilization, due to which the plant doesn’t get enough nutrition and its growth slows down.
However, if the soil’s pH level becomes more acidic than required, the plant will have stunted growth.
If you are using coffee grounds too often on your money tree, it can have stunted growth.
Therefore, you need to check the soil’s pH level now and then to make sure it is not becoming too acidic for your plant. If it becomes too acidic, you will need to repot your plant in a fresh soil mix.
The soil can retain a lot of moisture if you are adding coffee grounds directly to the soil. The coffee grounds create mulch on the soil that doesn’t let the water evaporate and slows down the drainage system.
Moisture retention can be very harmful to the money tree as the plant does not enjoy sitting in the water for a long period. Therefore, moisture retention will lead to root rot and the growth of fungus and bacteria.
If you don’t have a sound drainage system, this will add up and cause severe damage to your money tree.
Coffee grounds can attract bugs if you add them directly to the soil.
It can also attract pests by creating an environment where the soil remains wet and the roots rot.
It is better to add coffee grounds to the compost instead of putting them on the soil directly.
Yellow is a common sign of too much acidity in the soil. The trees like slightly acidic soil that has a pH between 6 and 6.5. However, if the pH level drops below 6, the soil can become highly acidic for your money tree.
If you notice that you have yellow leaves on your money tree that are losing color and becoming unhealthy, you should consider checking the soil’s pH level.
You should check the soil pH level even when you don’t see any sign on the plant. This will help you take action even before the soil becomes too acidic and damages the plant.
How to correct soil acidity?
If you think your money tree is facing issues due to increasing soil acidity, you can take specific steps to fix it for your plant.
- Repot your money tree using well-draining soil and a pot with proper working drainage holes.
- Keep checking the soil pH level to ensure that it doesn’t become too acidic for your money tree.
- Keep the plant under bright indirect light so that the soil does not retain a lot of moisture.
- Use alkaline water drops to reduce the soil’s acidity in case you don’t want to report your plant.
You can use diluted coffee or coffee grounds in the compost for your money tree to give it a boost of growth. However, you should refrain from doing it very often as that can be damaging for your plant. Add coffee grounds once a month in moderation.
Repotting your money tree every two to three years is a good idea to ensure that the soil is not too acidic for your plant.
You can choose to use coffee grounds for your money tree, however, it is still recommended to use a well-balanced fertilizer like Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food instead of coffee grounds.
Source: Coffee grounds benefits, Field Evaluation of Coffee Grounds Application for Crop Growth, Effect of fresh and composted spent coffee grounds.