Monstera is native to tropical rain forest, where it gets lots of organic matter. So, this basically translates that this plant is a heavy feeder.
To grow a successful Monstera, you must replicate the same environment of a rain forest at your home. Instead of opting for chemical fertilizers, most gardeners love to use home available natural fertilizers. Coffee ground is one such thing that gained lot of attention.
Before using the leftover coffee grounds on your Monstera, let’s first discuss about its nutritional value for houseplants.
Let me clear this, there is no scientific evidence backing the nutritional value of coffee grounds for houseplants.
However, there are few anecdotal reports that claim benefits of coffee grounds.
This raises the question, are coffee grounds good for Monstera?
Using coffee ground directly on Monstera or any houseplants will lead to fungal growth and may attract fungal gnats. Instead, it’s recommended that you use coffee ground in compost. There are reports that using coffee grounds will improve drainage.
Also Read: Can Monstera Plant Live Outside?
Initially, we must enquire do houseplants like coffee grounds?
Good levels of NPK will boost healthy growth of the plant, improve root system and increase the yield.
To check if coffee grounds are nutritious to your plant, you must see its NPK ratio.
- Nitrogen levels in coffee grounds are only 2%, which has no major impact on your houseplant.
- Phosphorus is around 0.3% and
- Potassium levels are around 0.3%
If you’ve gone through any blog over the internet that says coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, you can recheck these figures. (Source)
Acidic ability of coffee grounds
According to this site, gardening plants grow well in neutral to slightly acidic soil.
Though coffee is acidic, coffee grounds are pH neutral ranging from 6.5 to 6.8 pH.
So, adding coffee grounds to your garden soil will not make it fertile.
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Monstera?
Using coffee grounds on your houseplant will have very little to zero impact on the plant growth.
There are anecdotal reports that back the use of coffee grounds for Monstera. However, as mentioned above, using them directly on the soil will attract fungal growth. Thus damaging overall plant.
Though coffee grounds can’t be substituted with fertilizers, they will improve the soil structure to improve its drainage.
This method of fertilizing the plant may seem easy and convince most people for reusing the leftovers.
However, if you check the NPK percentage above, they say it has no major effect on plants.
But, few gardeners noticed positive effect of using this home available fertilizer. How is it possible?
Coffee grounds did nothing to the plant. It’s the natural growth of your plant and you may mistake it as the magic of coffee grounds.
Can I replace perlite with coffee grounds, to improve the drainage?
Again there are few gardeners who claim coffee grounds do similar work as perlite. Apart from this, there are claims that it can avoid certain diseases. So, you don’t have to use activated charcoal.
How to Use Coffee Grounds to Fertile Monstera?
Because adding coffee grounds directly to the plant will attract gnats and lead to fungal growth, there are other effective ways to use leftover coffee grounds on Monstera.
#1 Use Coffee Grounds in Compost
Instead of throwing coffee grounds, add it to your homemade compost pile. When you see the organic matter is ready to use, then add 1 inch of compost to the soil while potting. Else, you can also add this homemade compost on the surface of the soil and cover it with garden soil.
If you’re growing Monstera indoors, you may be worried about the smell from homemade compost, don’t worry the smell will dissipate after few hours.
Note: Excess use of homemade compost may burn foliage with nutrients toxicity.
#2 Liquid Coffee Grounds Compost
If you don’t have compost at your home, you can add leftover coffee grounds to a container filled with water.
Allow it soak for 2 weeks and stir after every 3-4 days.
Use cheese cloth to strain the liquid and use the obtained liquid fertilizer on Monstera plant.
This water consists of nutrients that can improve the plant growth to some extent.
#3 Adding Coffee Grounds in Potting Soil
While planting add coffee grounds to potting soil, this will increase nutrient value of the soil.
However, using coffee grounds in potting soil will attract fungal growth and pests. Your potting soil mixed with coffee grounds will retain excess moisture.
So, if you’re using coffee grounds make sure to water wisely.
Do Monstera Need Fertilizer?
Monstera plants are good feeders. They growth when you feed them with lots of organic matter.
Lack of nutrients in the soil will make the plant look dull and holes appear on the foliage.
Over-fertilization, will stunt the Monstera growth and the plant will eventually die.
It’s easy to revive the plant with lack of fertilization, but reviving the plant with over-fertilization is nearly impossible.
Use organic or liquid fertilizers to your Monstera plant to improve its growth in growing season.
Fertilize after every 6 weeks with 20-20-20 NPK ratio fertilizer.
Best Fertilizers for Monstera
You can use liquid, granular or slow-release fertilizer for your plant.
Apart from fertilizers, you can also use homemade compost to improve the steam and foliage growth.
If you don’t like the foul smell of compost, you can opt for chemical fertilizers available in the market.
How Often Should You Fertilize Monstera?
Fertilization will increase the plant growth, but over use will stunt its growth.
Use fertilizers in growing seasons i.e. Summer and Spring. In these seasons use fertilizers after every 5-6 weeks.
Reduce or stop using fertilizers in dormant seasons (Winter and autumn).
Use only 1 inch of fertilizer in the pot, excess use will affect the plant growth.
Coffee grounds have no scientific backing. They have little impact on your plant growth. Part from this, using them directly on plant will attract fungus.
Instead, you can add coffee grounds to your compost. Nitrogen percentage (2%) in coffee grounds will help to balance the NPK ratio of your compost.