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Are Coffee Grounds Good for Citrus Trees? The Surprising Answer

orange tree

When you wake up each morning and make yourself a pot of coffee, you may feel like you’re tossing away a treasure trove of vital nutrients when you place your used coffee grounds in the trash. If you enjoy gardening, plants, and flowers then you’ve most likely heard people talk about using coffee grounds on their plants. While this is a popular method many people use, it’s important to know whether this method works for everything in your backyard and how to do it properly.

Citrus trees are a common addition to a family’s garden or landscape. Whether you choose to grow lemons, limes, or even oranges you want to do everything you can to ensure your trees are healthy and strong. One question you may be asking as a coffee lover is, are coffee grounds good for citrus trees? The answer is yes, but there are things you have to keep in mind when trying this. Let’s take a look at what coffee grounds can provide your citrus trees, how to use them, and the precautions you should take for healthy tree growth.

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Why Are Coffee Grounds Beneficial for Citrus Trees?

You may not realize it but inside your coffee grounds is a great deal of phosphorus, magnesium, nitrogen, and copper. All of these nutrients are necessary for healthy trees and soil. Why are they good for the soil? It helps increase the acidity, which is the type of environment citrus trees prefer. For a strong, healthy citrus tree, the soil’s pH needs to be between 6.0 and 7.0.

hand holding coffee grounds
Image Credit: Weerayuth, Shutterstock

Citrus Trees and Caffeine

While the caffeine in coffee is a great snail and slug repellent, too much caffeine can be harmful to plants, and even citrus trees. As we’ve learned, citrus trees need certain levels of pH in the soil to thrive. When adding coffee, or more importantly caffeine, to the soil, too much can easily stunt the growth of your plants. Knowing this, it’s crucial that if you’re planning on using coffee grounds on your citrus trees, you understand how to properly do it.

How to Use Coffee Grounds on Your Citrus Trees

Using coffee grounds for citrus trees can be done safely by composting. Composting is when you recycle organic materials from around your homes such as leaves or food waste to use for better soil and healthier plants. Used coffee grounds can be added to your compost pile, after you’ve enjoyed your tasty coffee, of course, then left for a few months to break down. This makes them safer for your citrus trees or other plants around the garden.

Before you add your compost, double-check the pH in your soil. If it’s in the 6.0 to 7.0 range, it may be best to hold off for a bit. If your levels are low, simply sprinkle a bit of compost around the tree and let it do its work. As an extra precaution, if you want to avoid stunting your trees, never put fresh coffee on your plants. Ensure it has at least been brewed, even if you decide not to compost.

natural compost with used coffee grounds
Image Credit: photoschmidt, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts on Coffee Grounds and Citrus Trees

If you’re interested in using your brewed coffee grounds to help enrich your citrus trees, go for it! While there are risks and certain precautions should be followed, the benefits for your soil and your trees can’t be denied. With a little work and some time, you’ll see your trees blossom. Then, you can reap the benefits of tasty citrus fruits.


Featured Image Credit: Pennys15, Pixabay

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Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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