Do Snake Plants Like Coffee? Expert Advice on Plant Nutrition

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I work a lot to maintain my comfortable lifestyle. I like being healthy and productive all day. Also, I like to relax on my garden bench. Recently, I had a long business campaign, and I had to sleep late. So I drink a lot of coffee. 

One night, I had a micro-sleep, and coffee spilt on my table. Some of it spilled to my snake plants near my desk. Several days later, I found that my snake plants were somehow shinier and more sturdy. I thought it might be the coffee that boosts the strength of the plant.

Do Snake Plants Like Coffee

Then I found out it was true! What a coincidence! Then, I tried to know more about it. Do snake plants like coffee? Is it right for them? Let’s see if it’s true!

So, what problem can it cause? Is coffee good for snake plants? Read on to find out.

Main Facts:

  • Coffee for snake plants? How does it work? 
  • Snake plants prefer 4.5-7 pH levels in the soil.  Coffee can help in this regard. 
  • Conversely, coffee contains caffeine and tannins. These can be toxic to plants in high concentrations.

Do Snake Plants Like Coffee?

I really didn’t know about snake plants like coffee. After the incident, many questions came to my mind. I have to learn, do snake plants like coffee grounds?

Then I went to an expert and asked can I put coffee grounds in my snake plant? Apparently, you can; you can just use milk in your snake plant.

Coffee grounds for snake plants are a great source of nitrogen.  The coffee ground can be mixed with other organic matter to form rich compost. It’s ideal for your snake plant because it makes the soil acidic. Snake plants prefer 4.5-7 pH levels in the soil.  Coffee helps to maintain the ratio, which means a healthy snake plant without any yellow or droopy leaves.

Do Snake Plants Like Coffee

You need to be careful about using too much compost on your plant. Adding coffee grounds to the compost will make it rich in nitrogen and nutrients. But don’t put too much. You can add 20% coffee ground fertilizers to your kitchen or garden waste.  And you will be able to make a compost rich in vitamins and minerals. 

You can fertilize your snake plants with this mix once every 8 weeks. You can put the liquid mix in a spray bottle and strain the remains. 

When you sit for a few days, beneficial bacteria will colonize. This will allow coffee grounds to be broken down and released into the water. The quality of the soil will be enhanced because the water is enriched with organisms. This means snake plants also like to have a cup of coffee sometimes.

Risks Or Side Effects Of Using Coffee On Snake Plants

I know everything has both good and bad sides. That’s why my next question was about the potential risks or side effects. 

He replied, Yes, there are some potential risks and side effects to consider when using coffee on snake plants:

  • Too much moisture: Snake plants thrive in well-draining soil and don’t need frequent watering. Coffee grounds can absorb and retain moisture, potentially leading to root rot if used excessively.
  • High acidity: As I said, snake plants prefer slightly acidic soil. However, too much coffee can tip the pH balance too far (1.5-3 pH)  in the acidic direction. This can hinder your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. Which also impacts the regrowth of a snake plant.
  • Coffee toxicity: Coffee contains caffeine and tannins, which can be toxic to plants in high concentrations. Brewing coffee directly on the soil poses a higher risk than composted grounds.
  • Fungus gnats: Coffee grounds can also attract fungus gnats. They are small flying insects that don’t harm the plant directly but can be a nuisance.

Overall, it’s best to be cautious with coffee on these indoor plants. If you want to try it, stick to a very diluted solution or composted grounds for a slow-release effect.

Right Time To Use Coffee In Snake Plant

Not only coffee but also every fertiliser should be used in the growing seasons of your snake plants.

So, the ideal timeframe for using coffee on your snake plants is spring and summer. This is when they’ll most benefit from a diluted coffee solution (1 part coffee to 3 parts water).

Even during the growing season, limit coffee application to a maximum of once a month. You know snake plants are not heavy feeders, and overdoing it can cause harm.

Right Time To Use Coffee In Snake Plant

Additionally, you should only use coffee on a healthy snake plant. Avoid situations that aren’t already stressed by repotting, underwatering, overwatering, or other issues.  A stressed plant won’t benefit from the coffee. Oppositely, they may be more susceptible to negative side effects.

Also consider coffee a very occasional supplement. But not a substitute for a balanced fertilizer formulated for snake plants. 

How Much Coffee For Snake Plant?

One of the most important parts is quantity. You may be wondering how much coffee I should provide to my snake plants. Too much coffee can make the soil more acidic, doing more harm than good. 

Fresh coffee grounds contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other trace minerals, which can contribute to your plant’s overall health. However, they also contain acids. When used undiluted or in excess, they can harm your plant’s roots and soil pH balance. 

How Much Coffee For Snake Plant

To utilize coffee effectively, you should use dilute brewed coffee at a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 with water. It will ensure the acidity level is manageable.

For example, if you have one cup of brewed coffee, mix it with three or four cups of water, respectively. This diluted coffee solution can be applied to the soil around your snake plant. Provide once every two to three months during the active growing season. 

Additionally, incorporating coffee grounds into the soil mix can help improve drainage and aeration and promote healthy root development. 

So never think: the more coffee your snake plant drinks, the fresher it will be. Don’t provide more than one cup of coffee at once.  Also, adjusting the frequency and concentration accordingly is key to maintaining a thriving snake plant.

How To Use Coffee In Snake Plants?

 You can use the coffee grounds in three different ways. The following include: 

  • Composting
  • Liquid fertiliser
  • Mulch

Composting

This is the safest and most recommended method for snake plants. Composting breaks down the grounds slowly, releases nutrients over time, and reduces the risk of wilting your snake plant.

You have to combine the coffee grounds you use with compost. A good ratio is 1 part coffee grounds to 3-4 parts brown materials and 1 part green materials (fruit/vegetable scraps). This ensures proper aeration and decomposition.

How To Use Coffee In Snake Plants

You also have to maintain a moist but not soggy compost pile. Too much moisture can slow down decomposition. 

Once your compost is mature add a small amount. Around 10-20% of your total potting mix volume is ideal for your snake plant. This provides slow-release nutrients.

Liquid Fertilizer

You can create a weak coffee solution by combining 1 part used coffee grounds with 3 parts water. Steaper solutions can be harmful to your plant.

Liquid Fertilizer

Steep the coffee grounds in water for 24-48 hours. Strain the liquid to remove the grounds before using. Don’t pour the solution directly on the soil. Use it as a substitute for your regular watering routine. Water your snake plant thoroughly with the diluted coffee solution. It will ensure proper drainage to avoid overwatering.

Mulch

Coffee grounds can also be used as a light mulch. But this method requires the most caution due to potential moisture retention issues. To make it use a thin layer of coffee grounds, no more than ½ inch thick. A thicker layer can prevent proper air and water circulation.

Mulch

Apply this coffee grounds mulch only during the cooler months when evaporation rates are lower. Avoid mulching during hot summers when moisture retention can be detrimental.

Things To Be Aware Of While Using Coffee In Snake Plant

Is coffee grounds good for snake plants? Using coffee as a fertiliser for your snake plant can provide some benefits. But there are also a few things to be aware of:

  • Acidity: Coffee is acidic, and this acidity can be beneficial in moderation. So you have to be aware that too much acidity stunted growth. Make sure to dilute the coffee with water to reduce its acidity.
  • Salt Buildup: Coffee grounds contain salts that can accumulate in the soil over time. Excessive salt buildup can damage the roots of your snake plant. To prevent this buildup, you need to flush the soil occasionally with water.
  • Nutrient Balance: Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen, which can encourage leafy growth. But an imbalance in nutrients can lead to deficiencies in other essential nutrients. It’s crucial to ensure your snake plant is getting a balanced diet of nutrients.
  • Mold and Fungus: You should also be aware of mold growth and fungal infections. If not properly managed coffee grounds can create a favorable environment for mold and fungus growth.  
  • Moderation: Like any fertilizer, moderation is key when using coffee grounds. Too much coffee can overwhelm your plant and cause more harm than good. Start with a small amount. Additionally, observe how your plant responds before increasing the dosage.
  • Pests: Coffee grounds can attract pests such as ants and fruit flies. Keep an eye out for any signs of pests and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.
  • Quality of Coffee: It’s also a consideration.  The quality of the coffee you use can affect its impact on your plant. You should use  organic, pesticide-free coffee grounds to avoid introducing harmful chemicals into the soil.

Tips: If you notice any signs of stress or decline, discontinue using coffee and switch to a different fertiliser.

Free Tips

Ever wondered if you can feed your snake plant milk or if lemon juice benefits its growth? Find out the answers and more in our informative article.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What Plants Should You Not Use Coffee On?

You should not use coffee grounds on plants that prefer alkaline soil, like lilacs or lavender. Because coffee’s acidity can harm them. 

Which Houseplants Like Coffee?

Houseplants that thrive in slightly acidic soil can benefit from occasional diluted coffee watering. For example, African violets, azaleas, and snake plants like coffee.

What Happens If You Water Plants With Coffee?

Watering plants with diluted coffee can be a double-edged sword. The coffee grounds offer a mild nitrogen boost, but overuse can be risky.

Conclusion

Finally, I just want to say snake plants can perk up with an occasional diluted coffee drink. But it’s important to use coffee cautiously. The potential benefits of a nitrogen boost come with risks of overwatering and excess acidity. So, stick to using coffee as a very occasional treat.

It is better to opt for a balanced fertilizer for their main source of nutrients. Stay with Plant Trick for more updates.

Raina Trick

Written by

Raina Trick

Meet Rayna Trick: Your Indoor Plant Whisperer! With her roots in environmental science and a passion for exotic succulents, she’s the Green Thumb of the Year. Rayna’s here to be your plant companion, sharing her expertise and nurturing your green oasis at PlantTrick. Let’s make your indoor space bloom, one leaf at a time, together!

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