Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is one of the easiest growing houseplants that require minimum care. We often wonder what sort of fertilizer should we use for pothos.
Often we see people recommending coffee grounds for indoor plants. But are they good? In this article, we will find out if coffee grounds are a good option for fertilizing your pothos.
Coffee is an excellent natural fertilizer for pothos if used correctly. Coffee has a high content of nitrogen that serves as an excellent nutrient for the pothos plants. It is recommended to mix coffee grounds and compost or make a coffee liquid compost for ideal growth.
Pothos are highly benefited from coffee grounds. It is an excellent nutrient-rich fertilizer option for pothos.
However, if the coffee grounds are not used correctly, it can have adverse effects on the plants.
Go through this article to know more about how you can use coffee grounds to get the best benefits for your pothos.
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Are coffee grounds good for pothos?
Coffee grounds are readily available in households as it is a popular and widely used beverage. The fact that it can be used as an organic fertilizer for your indoor plants makes it more valuable.
Let’s check out why coffee grounds are suitable for your pothos.
Nitrogen – Coffee grounds have plenty of Nitrogen. And plants love Nitrogen. Nitrogen helps the plants to grow.
Plants need a large amount of Nitrogen, but it is hard for them to absorb the Nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Nitrogen deficiency can cause problems such as thin stems, discolored leaves, and stunted growth. It can even cause death if the plant doesn’t get enough Nitrogen.
Other minerals – Coffee grounds are a good source of other minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium that can make your pothos healthy.
You need to be aware of one thing. Coffee grounds increase the soil’s pH level, which helps some plants, but it can be harmful if the soil is already acidic. So check the pH level of the soil before adding coffee grounds to your pothos.
Also read: Do pothos need fertilizer? How much?
Best ways to use coffee on pothos
Pothos are self-dependent plants that are highly benefited from the application of coffee on them.
There are so many ways to use coffee grounds on pothos. You can use coffee grounds as compost, mix it with mulch, add it to the potting mix, or use it as compost tea.
Let’s find out more about these methods in-depth.
Coffee grounds are too fine, and it decomposes quickly and easily, so you can add the coffee grounds to the compost.
The Nitrogen present in the coffee helps the compost to break down faster.
Points to remember when composting coffee grounds:
- Keep the compost light and dry. It will fasten the decomposition process and fight against the antibacterial properties of coffee grounds.
- Add dried leaves, bark, sticks, etc., to the compost.
- Adding brown compost materials keeps the compost balanced.
- Adding compost to the potting soil while repotting is the best thing to do. The correct ratio would be three parts of potting soil and one part of the compost.
- Apply a limited amount of compost to the plant. Excessive compost will be harmful to the plant.
- Add cactus mix depending upon the density of the compost. Cactus mix will help the soil to lighten up and prevent water retention.
Mix coffee grounds with mulch
Another way of using coffee grounds on your pothos is to add them to the mulch. You should add organic matters such as compost and leaves to the mulch.
Using only coffee grounds in the mulch has a lot of disadvantages.
Coffee grounds have fine particles that will form a layer on the soil if not used correctly and will cause water and moisture retention that can give birth to fungus and diseases.
Two ways of using coffee grounds as mulch –
- Mix the coffee grounds with compost. Add other organic matter to the compost. Mix everything and add the mulch around the soil of the pothos.
- Another way is to put a half-inch layer of coffee grounds to the soil and then add a four-inch layer of mulch. That will be the correct ratio for the pothos.
Add coffee grounds to the potting mix
Adding coffee grounds to the potting soil speeds up the growth of pothos.
In case you are repotting or transplanting your pothos, it is a good idea to add a handful of coffee ground along with other organic matters to the soil.
Adding coffee grounds to the potting soil will boost the nutrients in the soil, which helps to aid the plant’s growth.
Also read: What kind of soil do pothos plant need?
Coffee grounds as compost tea
Coffee grounds can be used as compost tea. It is called liquid fertilizer, and using this is better than tossing coffee grounds on the soil.
Let’s find out how to create compost tea. There are many ways to do it. Two methods would be –
- Put coffee grounds in a sock and put it inside a bucket of water. Keep it like that for a few days and let the coffee grounds seep into the water. After that, you can pour it on the soil of the pothos.
- Another way is to add two cups of used coffee grounds to five gallons of water and mix it well. It would be best if you let it soak overnight, after which you can put it on the soil the next day.
Note: Adding coffee grounds as fertilizer can make the soil dry, so you must water your pothos within 48 hours from the time you have added coffee grounds to it.
Make sure that the water reaches the roots while watering the pothos.
Disadvantages of using coffee grounds on pothos
Coffee grounds can have adverse effects on your pothos plant.
Before you decide that you want to apply coffee grounds to your pothos, please look at the disadvantages that it can bring along with itself.
Moisture retention is not a good thing when you are talking about indoor plants. And this is one of the most common problems that the usage of coffee grounds brings with it.
With its fine particles, coffee grounds can change the soil’s texture and make it clayey if added to the soil directly.
If you have added a lot of coffee grounds to your pothos, and if the soil has become clayey, the chances are that it will become very hard when it dries, and that will hinder further growth.
To deal with this, you need to add a lot of organic matter along with the coffee ground so that there is a balance.
Hinders growth in young plant
Coffee grounds can be beneficial for your matured pothos plant, but it is not suitable for young plants.
Coffee grounds often make the soil really acidic, which can hinder the growth of young plants.
While the antibacterial property of coffee grounds can be great for humans, it might not be great for your pothos.
Sometimes excessive use of coffee grounds can kill a lot of good bacteria and microorganisms in the soil. These microorganisms were essential for the growth of the plant. Hence, the plant starts to suffer.
Coffee grounds are great at retaining water and moisture.
Adding coffee grounds directly to the soil can retain water, creating an environment that is perfect for fungus and bacteria.
If you want to prevent this, you can use the coffee grounds as compost or use it as compost tea.
Pothos can tolerate acidic soil up to a certain level. The ideal pH level requirement of pothos is 6.1-6.5.
If the soil’s acid level is already high, adding coffee grounds will increase it, which will harm the pothos.
How much coffee grounds should be added to the pothos?
You should add coffee grounds based on the volume of the soil.
Adding too much coffee ground can retain moisture and give rise to various plant diseases.
You should add a thin layer or half-inch of coffee grounds and add a 4-inch layer of mulch on it. That would be the ideal ratio.
How often should coffee be added to pothos?
You can use coffee grounds on the pothos plant once every 2-3 months. It is advised if you are using it as typical fertilizer.
If you want to use coffee grounds as liquid fertilizer, you can apply it on pothos once a month.
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.
Coffee grounds can serve as good compost for your pothos.
If you can use it on the soil and keep the pH level between 6.1-6.5, it will be fine for the plant.
However, do not use the coffee grounds on young plants as it can hinder their growth.
If you do not want to use the coffee ground on your pothos, an excellent organic replacement shall be Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food.
Also read: Do all houseplants need fertilizer? Why?
Source: Coffee grounds benefits, Field Evaluation of Coffee Grounds Application for Crop Growth, Effect of fresh and composted spent coffee grounds.