How to Fertilize Roses with Coffee Grounds

By Holly Schoch , last updated April 6, 2011

Using coffee grounds as fertilizer is not only a great way to give your roses the nutrition they need but it also helps cut down on the amount of waste your home produces. If you are like the average American, quite a bit of coffee grounds are consumed and discarded on a daily basis. Before you toss them in the trash, think about how much your roses, and other plants for that matter, would benefit from being fertilized with them.

Amending the Soil

Some experts suggest that you amend soil like you normally would, using compost and other fertilizers. If you add in homemade compost and worm castings every three months, plus cover the area around your plants with a layer of mulch, the ground will become better at allowing oxygen to flow through the soil unhindered. It will also make it a much better home for earthworms and other essential microbes that help to keep your plants healthy and happy. After amending your soil in whatever way you consider best, as a final step, add in coffee grounds. You can apply these by sprinkling over the soil each month. If you can plan it right, sprinkle just before a rain storm. The coffee grounds will eventually sink into the mulch or dirt and the clumps will be broken apart on their own.

Why Coffee Grounds?

Using coffee grounds for either or both compost and fertilizer can truly have a lasting effect on your rosebushes. Some gardeners suggest that it boosts your plants natural defense mechanisms, making it easier for them to ward off pests and disease. Coffee grounds contain about 2 percent nitrogen, another third of a percent of phosphoric aid, some level of potash, and varying levels of other nutrients. They are considered a great fertilizer for plants that normally have an acidic diet, such as roses, providing minerals, carbohydrates, sugars, and vitamins to its roots.

However, when you are applying coffee grounds, don't apply them in a thick layer or have them too wet. Coffee grounds tend to get mold if left in this state. If you mix with ground up eggshells and dried coffee grounds, this could help to stimulate the plant, especially ones that may need lime added to their soil. They receive the lime from the egg shells and are then provided an extra boost through the coffee.

An Eco-Friendly Solution

All of this can help to reduce the amount of waste you produce while also doubling the production of your roses. By eliminating the amount of coffee grounds you send to the landfill, you are helping to reduce the amount of methane that is leached into the ground and then sent into the atmosphere. Thus, if you are a follower of global warming and are a part of the green movement, you will be doing your share just by saving the remnants of your breakfast and throwing them into your garden! Some coffee shops and other local businesses are ecstatic to have a way to get rid of their coffee grounds. Make a phone call or go in person. You'd be amazed at how willing people will be.

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