Sitting with your loved ones in backyard with a cup of coffee!
Wait, are you throwing leftover coffee grounds?
Instead of increasing wastage around you, gardeners recommend adding used coffee grounds to plants.
But, are coffee grounds good for snake plants? How coffee with caffeine can be good for snake plant?
There are blogs that brag about the benefits of coffee grounds and there are some anecdotal reports claiming that use of used coffee grounds has negative impact on plant growth.
Coffee grounds include macronutrients like 2 percent nitrogen, 0.3 percent phosphorus and 0.3 percent potassium. (Source)
But, these nutrients will have no major impact on snake plant growth.
Instead, applying freshly used coffee ground to snake plant can attract pests and fungal infestation.
Benefits of coffee grounds aren’t scientifically proven. Moreover, it can’t improve soil pH, but you can use coffee grounds as mulch and add them to compost.
However, there are anecdotal reports that discard its use as mulch and composting product.
Do Snake Plant Like Coffee Grounds?
It’s confusing, top ranking gardening blogs state use of coffee grounds will benefit plants.
On other side, there are blogs that claim to burst myths don’t recommend its use.
Should I use it on my snake plant or throw leftover grounds in wastage?
To put an end to this discussion, I headed to Backyard gardener website from Dr. Chalker Scott.
Now, I have the answer.
You can use coffee grounds for plants, but with caution.
Every day increasing amateur gardeners claim use of coffee grounds as mulch. They also back the myth that it can repel snails, prevent weed, acidify soil, increase nitrogen and much more.
To reap these nutritional benefits, gardeners are running to get free used coffee grounds from coffee vendors.
Remember this: Anything in higher quantity isn’t good.
Also Read: Can ZZ Plant Live Outside?
Yes, coffee beans are packed with nitrogen and protein that can contribute seed germination.
But, water soluble elements are transferred to coffee and those non soluble elements are left in used coffee grounds.
Left over coffee grounds also has antibacterial and antimicrobial elements. This can kill some earthworms used in composting process.
However, it can benefit only when you use coffee grounds only 20 percent of total compost volume.
You can also use coffee grounds as mulch, but excess use can block air and moisture movement. Use thin layer (1 part) of coffee grounds with 4 parts of organic mulch like wood chips.
Is Coffee Good for Snake Plants?
Forget about coffee grounds, can you use coffee as it is packed with nutrients to fertilize snake plant?
Not exactly coffee, you can use liquid fertilizer obtained from coffee grounds.
- Add some water to a container and keep the stove on low flame.
- When water starts boiling, off the gas.
- After few minutes add coffee grounds to it.
- Let it settle for few days.
- Strain the liquid fertilizer and collect it in a gardening spray bottle.
In the course of time, beneficial bacteria are added to this liquid and nutrients in coffee grounds are transferred to it.
Though it can replace an average fertilizer, adding once in a month to your snake plant will benefit it to get some nutrients.
Check this out: Are Eggshells Good for Bougainvillea?
How to Use Coffee Grounds for Snake Plant?
You can sue coffee grounds for your plants in three ways:
- Add to compost (not more than 20 percent)
- Mulching (Mix with organic mulch like straw grass)
- Liquid fertilizer
Elements that are not soluble in water and leftover in coffee grounds, it exhibits antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
So, when you add coffee grounds to your compost bin, it can kill some earthworms and benefit some.
This is why University of Arizona states to use not more than 20 percent of coffee ground while composting.
Regular mixing and adding more organic compost to the bin will help to break down elements in coffee grounds.
When you add this composed coffee ground to the soil, it will enrich the growing soil.
Adding coffee grounds to compost bin won’t acidify your compost.
Fine texture of coffee grounds easily gets compact and can act as barrier to moisture and air movement, when used in bulk.
So, mix 1 inch of coffee grounds with 4 inches layer of organic mulch and use it around snake plant.
This will improve water retention ability of growing soil.
Important Note: Snake plant don’t like sit in water. Allow the potting soil to dry between watering cycles.
Check this: How much does a snake plant needs?
How Often Should I Apply Coffee Grounds to Snake Plant?
Once in a month will be enough to use composed coffee grounds.
Based on anecdotal reports it won’t show any instant result.
However, it can improve soil structure.
Are coffee grounds good for houseplants?
Packed with macronutrients coffee grounds can benefit your houseplants when used with certain conditions.
Use it as compost or mulching material.
Can too many coffee grounds hurt snake plant?
When you over use anything, it will damage the plant growth.
As mentioned, coffee grounds should be used in limited quantity even while composting.
Disadvantages of Using Coffee Grounds on Plants (Without Proper Care)
When you directly apply used coffee grounds on top soil, it will attract fungal infection.
Which may result in soil degradation.
Fungal growth will inhibit snake plant growth, eventually killing it.
Coffee grounds consist of fine texture that gets compact when watered.
This is why experts recommend mixing 1 part of coffee ground with 4 parts of straw grass or other organic mulch.
Else, excess moisture retained by thick coffee mulch can resulting yellowing of leaves and stunted snake plant growth.
Also Read: What are signs of underwatered snake plant?
When you use fresh coffee grounds directly on top soil, it attracts flies and gnats.
Eventually, resulting in infection.
You must use coffee grounds on snake plant either after composting or by adding small quantity as mulch.
There are researches stating that young plants can’t tolerate coffee grounds application.
How many coffee grounds should I use for snake plants?
While composting as mentioned earlier, use 20 percent of whole compost. Anything more than this will kill beneficial bacteria and earthworms in your compost bin.
When mulching, add 1 part of coffee ground to 4 parts of organic mulch.
Growing tips for Snake Plant
Snake plant, like most houseplant loves well drained and loose soil.
This plant can still do well with little fertilizer.
So, you don’t have to worry about adding leftovers like coffee grounds.
Watering, snake plant is a succulent. It stores water in its leaves. So, you don’t have to water every day. Else, you may overwater the plant.
When you don’t water at all, then plant leaves start drooping, discoloured foliage and at last dies.
Lighting is another important aspect of growing healthy snake plant.
Snake plant needs indirect sunlight.
Also Read: Why my snake plant is dying?
In a Nut Shell
You can use coffee grounds for snake plants, but only as compost or mulch with limited proportion.
Compared to other fertilizers, it can’t be the best fertilizer for snake plant. In some cases, it can do harm to your young snake plant. If not used properly.
Note: Using leftover coffee to water snake plant isn’t a good idea. Caffeine in this liquid will kill your plant.
If you’re still unsure about snake plant liking coffee grounds, I recommend don’t use it.
Very important: Read this before using coffee grounds on your plants.