Do Old Coffee Grounds And Tea Leaves Help Gardens?


“Are sprinkling used coffee grounds around flowerbeds or tree and shrubs a good idea?  We have our neighbor dogs and cats issues. Thanks!” Misty from South Carolina

Answer: It’s a question that I asked myself some time ago because my grandmother’s favorite amendments for roses were old tea leaves and coffee grounds. Both organic materials, derived from plant leaves and seeds, are slightly acidic and break down quickly, so essentially they act as quick compost at a slightly low pH suitable for roses. Coffee grounds also contain needed plant macro and micronutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, while tea leaves contain a decent level of nitrogen, a macro-nutrient that encourages leaf growth.

Extra organic matter is always beneficial and encourages beneficial microbes as well, so placing grounds and leaves around other plants that appreciate slightly acid soil would also be a good idea, especially if you work them into the soil. Following up with proven soil amendments designed to make your garden plants thrive, like Black Gold Garden Compost Blend and Earthworm Castings, is also highly recommended.

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist