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Do Rubber Plants Like Coffee Grounds? (Benefits, Hazards & More)

Fertilizing your rubber plant is an essential part of their care routine and fertilizing your plant is one of them. While many fertilization options are available in the market, most people still prefer organic and homemade fertilizers.

For a coffee lover like me, Coffee grounds are by far one of the most common organic waste that comes to our mind. But do rubber plants like coffee ground? Is it right for them? Let’s find out!

Coffee ground can be beneficial for rubber plants but only when used as compost, mulch, or liquid fertilizer. You should never add coffee ground directly to your house plants as it can lead to various problems like fungus, attracting gnats, and stunted growth of the plant.

Coffee grounds are like a double edged sword. While there are numerous benefit to it if used correctly, it can also decimate your house plant if you end up using it wrong.

Thus, in this article we shall discuss all about its benefits and hazards so you can take a call for yourself and keep your rubber plant healthy and thriving as well.

Coffee Grounds 1

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Are coffee grounds good for rubber plants?

Coffee grounds are good for our rubber plants if used correctly. They are rich in nitrogen, which is one of the most crucial nutrients that our plants need.

Adding coffee grounds to the compost can help attract microorganisms and earthworms, which will, in turn, benefit out plants.

Coffee ground is also an excellent moisture absorber. Hence, adding it to the soil could help retain moisture making it a perfect fit for our rubber plants.

Also, since coffee grounds are easily accessible, it makes them an excellent choice for our house plants. However, you must make sure that you used them correctly, else it may harm your plant instead.

How often should I put coffee grounds on my rubber plant?

Coffee grounds are good for our rubber plants, but that doesn’t mean we can use it regularly.

You must consider it like any other fertilizer and use it once in a month or two.

Using too much of it could alter the soil’s acidity and stunt the growth of your rubber plants.

The coffee ground can also attract pests like gnats and flies. So, be aware of the same.

Fungal growth is another common problem that can happen if you use coffee ground too often. Thus, make sure you use a handful amount once a month or so.

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.

Best way to use coffee grounds for rubber plants?

Although coffee grounds are an excellent source of nutrients for our rubber plants, we cannot use them directly on the pot.

We shall discuss about its negative impact on plants in the latter part of the article.

But first, let us look at three common ways of using the coffee ground for our rubber plants.

As a compost

Coffee ground compost

Making compost out of your coffee ground is one of the best ways to use the coffee ground. Although you must never use only coffee grounds for compost.

Coffee ground is rich in nitrogen, but they do not contain much of potassium and phosphorous in it. Thus, using it alongside our other organic waste is going to be suitable for our houseplants.

You can use 15-20% of coffee ground and mix it with an equal amount of other household waster material to create an excellent homemade compost.

You can then use this mix while repotting your rubber plant or top the soil up with the mixture every 4-6 weeks to keep the soil nutrient-rich.

As a liquid fertilizer

coffee ground water

Coffee ground cannot be used directly on your rubber plants but you can definitely make a liquid fertilizer out of it. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Take a cup of water in a small container.
  • Simmer the water and turn off the gas.
  • Once the water cools down a little bit, add some coffee ground into it.
  • Let it sit for a few days.
  • Now you can strain the remains and fill a spray bottle with the liquid mix for your houseplants.

As you leave the coffee ground in water for a few days, beneficial bacteria will colonize in it, breaking the grounds and releasing the beneficial nutrients in the water.

Using this water onto your rubber plant will provide them with essential nutrients and enrich the soil with beneficial bacteria and microorganisms.

As a mulch

Mulching is a fantastic way to maintain the soil’s health and retain moisture for your house plants.

If you live in an area with a dry climate, adding some mulch at the top could help the soil retain moisture, which will help your plants thrive.

A good mix for houseplant compost consists of organic matters, including straw, wood chips, and compost. You can add a small quantity of coffee grounds into the mix.

The coffee ground in an excellent material can retain moisture for a more extended period.

However, you must use it cautiously as coffee grounds have a lot of caffeine in it, which can inhibit your rubber plant’s growth if used excessively.

Hazards of using coffee grounds on rubber plants

coffee ground

So, now that we have seen all the benefits of using coffee ground on rubber plants, its time to check out some of the downsides to it as well.

However, most of these downsides can be eliminated by using a small quantity of it or using it in the compost form. We must still keep these things in mind.

Fungal diseases

Coffee grounds can be a breeding ground for fungus if you add it directly to top up your potting plant soil. However, this is only seen when you use coffee ground directly on your rubber plants.

You can quickly eliminate this by making compost out of the coffee grounds and using the same on the plant.

The fungus will start growing at the top layer of the soil, leading to fungal infection on your plant. This can be disappointing for you as you wanted to provide nutrients for plants to thrive and instead ended up harming them badly.

Thus, it is best to avoid using coffee ground directly at the top of the soil instead of mixing a handful of it while repotting your rubber plant or making compost out of it and using the same on your rubber plant.

Attracts pests

Yes, you might have heard that coffee ground deter away pests. But that doesn’t apply to all of them. While it helps keep away ants and slugs, it might not be the same for gnats and other pests.

Adding coffee ground to the top of your soil can attract various pests towards it, which will ultimately hurt your plant.

Thus, the best choice would be mixing it with compost or using it as a liquid fertilizer. You must avoid using it directly on your plants.

Can inhibit growth of plants

Some research claims that adding coffee ground directly to the soil can affect your rubber plant’s growth rate. That is particularly true while you get a young and new plant home.

We must remember that coffee ground does contain caffeine in it, and excess of the same could hamper your plant’s growth.

To be on the safe side, you must opt for a compost made out of the coffee ground or use other alternatives instead.

Also read: Why is my rubber plant not growing?

Excess moisture

Coffee ground is excellent at retaining moisture. Its porous and spongy surface can hold a lot of water, which is good for our plants.

However, if you have a habit of overwatering your plants, excess moisture retention could be a disaster for your rubber plants.

Rubber plants can suffer from root rot and other issues when left in soggy soil or overwatered regularly. Thus, make sure you keep the same in mind while using coffee ground compost in the soil.


Are coffee grounds good for rubber plants? Yes, coffee grounds are good for rubber plants but only when used appropriately and in small quantities. You must never add it directly to the soil, as it can lead to various issues.

Instead, make compost or liquid fertilizer out of it and use the same to enrich your soil with nutrients.

Also read:- All about rubber plant care and some common problems with rubber plants.

Source: Coffee grounds benefits, Field Evaluation of Coffee Grounds Application for Crop Growth, Effect of fresh and composted spent coffee grounds.

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