Using Coffee Grounds in Succulent Soil: Benefits and Tips

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Succulents are known for their ability to thrive in dry, hot conditions, but they still need proper care to thrive. One way to support the health and growth of your succulents is by adding coffee grounds to the soil. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using grounds in succulent soil and provide tips for using them effectively.

Benefit #1: Nutrient Boost

Coffee grounds contain small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential nutrients for plant growth. These nutrients can help to support the overall health and growth of your succulents.

Benefit #2: Improved Soil Structure

Coffee grounds can help to improve the structure of the soil, making it more porous and allowing for better drainage. This can be especially beneficial for succulents, which thrive in well-draining soil.

Coffee grounds can improve soil structure in a number of ways. One way is by adding organic matter to the soil. Organic matter helps to improve the overall structure of the soil by increasing the number of beneficial microorganisms and earthworms, which in turn improve the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients.

Another way coffee grounds can improve soil structure is by increasing the soil’s acidity, which can be beneficial for plants that prefer more acidic soils. Coffee grounds have a pH of around 6.5, which is slightly acidic, and can help to lower the pH of alkaline soils.

Benefit #3: Pest Control

Coffee grounds can help to repel certain types of pests, such as snails and slugs, which can be a problem for succulents. It is believed that snails and slugs do not like grounds because of the caffeine content. Caffeine is a natural pest deterrent that can help to repel certain insects and invertebrates. While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is thought that caffeine may interfere with the normal functioning of the central nervous system in these animals, making them less likely to crawl over or consume plants treated with grounds.

In addition to the caffeine content, coffee grounds may also have a physical effect on snails and slugs. The rough, abrasive texture of grounds can irritate the soft bodies of these animals, making it uncomfortable for them to crawl over.

It’s important to note that while coffee grounds can help to deter snails and slugs, they are not a foolproof solution. These pests can still find ways to get around grounds if they are determined, so it’s important to use other control measures in addition to grounds. 

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Tips for Using Coffee Grounds in Succulent Soil:

Use fresh, untreated coffee grounds: Be sure to use only fresh, untreated grounds, as treated grounds can contain chemicals that can be harmful to plants.

Use in moderation: It’s important to use coffee grounds in moderation when adding them to the soil of your succulents. Too much coffee can lead to excess acidity in the soil, which can be harmful to some plants. A thin layer of grounds mixed into the soil is generally sufficient.

Mix with other soil amendments: Consider mixing grounds with other soil amendments, such as compost or perlite, to create a well-balanced soil mix for your succulents.


Coffee grounds can be a helpful addition to the soil of your succulents, providing a nutrient boost and improving soil structure. By using fresh, untreated grounds in moderation and mixing them with other soil amendments, you can help support the growth and health of your succulents.

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