Do Pothos Like Coffee Grounds: Facts and Tips for Plant Care

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Coffee grounds are a popular natural fertilizer that many gardeners use to help promote healthy plant growth. When it comes to pothos plants, however, the answer is a bit more complicated. While some gardeners swear by using coffee grounds to fertilize their pothos, others caution against it. The reason for this is that coffee grounds are acidic, and if used in excess, they can actually harm the plant. Pothos plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0, and coffee grounds can lower the pH too much if used in large amounts. That being said, small amounts of coffee grounds can be beneficial to pothos plants, as they contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are important nutrients for plant growth. If you choose to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer for your pothos plant, it’s important to do so in moderation and mix them into the soil well. By using coffee grounds responsibly, you can potentially give your pothos plant a boost in growth and health.

Do Pothos Like Coffee Grounds?

Pothos plants are indeed fond of coffee grounds, as they provide several benefits when used as a natural fertilizer or soil additive. By utilizing the nutrients and properties of coffee grounds, pothos can grow healthier and stronger.

Benefits for Pothos

Adding coffee grounds to the soil surrounding pothos plants offers numerous advantages. First, they contain essential nutrients like nitrogen, which is crucial for plant growth and development. Moreover, coffee grounds can improve soil structure and moderate its temperature, thus creating a more hospitable environment for pothos(source).

Furthermore, coffee grounds have the ability to increase soil acidity, which pothos plants especially appreciate. As a result, they perform well in potting mixes supplemented with this valuable waste material(source).

Potential Drawbacks

While there are numerous benefits to using coffee grounds as a soil amendment, it is essential to employ them correctly to avoid any adverse effects on the pothos. One such issue that can arise when using coffee grounds improperly is damage to the plant. Ensuring you apply this natural fertilizer correctly can prevent such occurrences (source).

Additionally, before using coffee grounds in your pothos soil, it is vital to prepare and incorporate them appropriately to maximize the benefits. This may include adding them to a compost pile or turning them into a liquid fertilizer, both of which can be highly beneficial to pothos plants when done correctly (source).

How to Apply Coffee Grounds to Pothos

Applying coffee grounds to your pothos can be an effective way to provide essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, magnesium, and phosphorus. Before applying the grounds, they must be properly prepared. This section will guide you through the process of preparing the coffee grounds and applying them to your pothos plants.

Preparing the Coffee Grounds

Before applying coffee grounds to your pothos plants, you need to ensure that they have dried out. To dry the grounds, spread them on a tray or a baking sheet in a thin layer. Place the tray in a well-ventilated area or under direct sunlight for several hours, allowing the grounds to dry thoroughly. Drying the grounds will help prevent mold and fungus growth, as well as make them easier to apply to the soil.

Application Methods

There are various ways to apply coffee grounds to your pothos plants. Each method serves a different purpose, and some are better suited for particular situations. Here are three common application methods:

  1. As a soil amendment: Mix coffee grounds into the potting mix to improve the soil structure and provide vital nutrients for your pothos plants. You can do this by mixing a half-inch layer of grounds into your potting soil before planting the pothos or by gently working the grounds into the top layer of the soil if your plant is already potted.
  2. As a mulch: Apply a half-inch layer of dried coffee grounds across the surface of the pothos soil, followed by a 4-inch layer of mulch. This will create a barrier that helps retain moisture, keep weeds at bay, and slowly release nutrients into the soil.
  3. As a compost tea: Add coffee grounds to your compost pile or mix them with other organic matter to create a nutrient-rich compost tea. You can then apply this compost tea to your pothos plants to provide them with additional nutrients and promote healthy growth.

It’s important to experiment with these methods and observe how your pothos reacts to the application of coffee grounds. Adjust the amount and application frequency based on your plant’s response to ensure optimal growth and health.

Alternative Nutrients for Pothos

While pothos plants can benefit from coffee grounds, there are other nutrients that can contribute to the plant’s overall health.

Commercial Fertilizers

There are numerous commercial fertilizers available specifically designed for indoor plants like pothos. These fertilizers often come in various forms such as liquid, granular, or slow-release pellets. As indoor plants, pothos plants typically require a balanced fertilizer with equal parts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Look for a fertilizer marked as 10-10-10, 20-20-20, or another evenly balanced ratio. Additionally, ensure that the fertilizer has the essential micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, and zinc that benefit the overall health and growth of the plant.

Organic Amendments

Apart from commercial fertilizers, several organic amendments can be used to enrich the soil and supply nutrients to pothos plants.

  • Worm castings: Worm castings are a rich, natural source of essential nutrients and beneficial microorganisms for plants. They help improve soil structure and water retention while providing essential nutrients.
  • Compost: A well-decomposed compost is another excellent option for providing organic matter and essential nutrients to pothos plants. Compost improves soil structure, boosts beneficial microorganisms, and helps retain moisture, benefiting the overall health and growth of the plant.
  • Eggshells: Crushed eggshells can be mixed into the soil to provide a steady source of calcium, which helps strengthen cell walls and promote healthy root and leaf development.
  • Seaweed extract: Seaweed contains essential trace minerals and growth-promoting substances like cytokinins and auxins. Adding seaweed extract to the water when watering pothos plants can provide essential nutrients and promote healthy, robust growth.

It’s crucial to monitor the health and growth of your pothos plant and adjust the nutrient sources as needed. Whether you use commercial fertilizers, organic amendments, or a combination of both, your pothos plant will have the necessary nutrients to thrive and maintain a healthy and vibrant appearance.

Common Pothos Care Mistakes

Pothos plants are popular houseplants due to their low maintenance and versatility. However, even the hardiest plants can suffer from common care mistakes that can affect their health and growth.


One common mistake in caring for pothos plants is overwatering. These plants prefer to have their soil dry out slightly between waterings, as consistently wet soil can lead to root rot and other issues. It’s essential to check the moisture levels in the soil before watering a pothos plant, ensuring that the top inch or two of soil is dry to the touch.

While coffee grounds can help retain moisture in the soil, this characteristic can quickly become a disadvantage when it comes to pothos plants. If used excessively, coffee grounds may lead to waterlogged soil, which could harm the plant or lead to root rot (source).

Improper Light Conditions

Another common mistake is exposing pothos plants to improper light conditions. These plants can tolerate a range of light levels, from low to bright indirect light, but they should not be placed in direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, while insufficient light can lead to slow growth and leggy vines. To ensure a happy and healthy pothos plant, it is crucial to place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light, or if needed, supplement with artificial lighting sources.

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