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coffee grounds

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Connie_d on May 21, 2004 06:03 PM
I have heard that coffee grounds are good for roses, but how about houseplants?
Also, I have been told that fish tank water makes a wonderful treat for plants.
by Chrissy on May 21, 2004 06:19 PM
Hi Connie [wayey]

Here are some tips I found online:
Coffee grounds
Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of your plants. Use a fork to stir them into the top layer of soil to add minerals and fluff. Cooled, brewed coffee (no cream, please!) also works. If you like your coffee strong, you might want to dilute it first.

Herbal and black teas
Loose tea or tea bag innards also enhance soil.

Fish tank finds
If you have a fresh water aquarium, save the water when you clean the tank and use it to water your houseplants. If it has been awhile since you last cleaned out the tank, dilute the tank water first. And watch for little fish that accidentally get tossed onto the soil!

Rice rinsings
Save the water used to rinse white, sticky rice before cooking.

Vegetable liquid
After steaming vegetables in unsalted cooking water--everything from spinach and okra, to potatoes and carrots--pour the cooled liquid around your plants. Yum, yum.

Fish bones
No, we're not talking whole salmon carcasses here. Just the sharp, pin bones leftover after a meal. Just poke them into the soil and they will break down easily, adding much-needed nutrients to the soil.
Aquarium Water and Coffee Grounds

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by Connie_d on May 21, 2004 06:45 PM
I am pretty sure that is where I read it the first time!

hahaha [Big Grin]
by Will Creed on May 23, 2004 02:56 AM
All of those substances may be fine in the compost that you use for outdoor plants, but I don't recommend that you use them for indoor plants. Many of those food substances don't break down properly indoors where they are not exposed to temperature extremes, bacteria, worms, etc. Odor can be a real problem with these additives and they also tend to attract insects.

Coffee and coffee grounds are definitely a no-no because they will gradually cause the soil to become too acidic. When that happens all of the nutrients in the soil become insoluble and unavailable to the plant.
by boxmonkey on May 24, 2004 01:04 AM
Will is right. Coffee grounds are good for some plants that like high levels of acidity in soil. Anything that likes a normal or low level of acidity in soil will suffer if you put coffee grounds in the soil.

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by Connie_d on May 24, 2004 05:35 AM
Wow, thanks guys, I am glad that I waited to try it.
What is the best kind of water to use? I used to use tapwater all the time, but I didn't think that was too good for the plants, so I have been using Brita water lately. I guess rainwater would be good, but I never think to have anything outside to catch it in.

by sachis2112 on May 28, 2004 01:49 AM
I agree with Will. While most of the acid found in fresh coffee ends up in the coffee you drink, there is still some residual acid that, over time, could logically build up in the soil.

I have never used it on my indoor plants. I do, however, put it everywhere outside. In the compost pile, as mulch, etc. It seems to help keep the kitties out of my freshly tilled soil and I noticed that the ants don't like it much. I don't use much. Just a dusting everywhere. Mainly because it's supposedly a good source of nitrogen. I know that, after I lay down two or three layers of the stuff, I'll have to add other goodies to balance out the acidity.

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by Will Creed on May 31, 2004 04:01 AM

Tap water is fine as long as it is not hard water. If it is, switch to filtered (not softened), distilled or rainwater.

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