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Are Coffee Grounds Good for Lemon Trees? What to Know!

lemon tree

If you are an avid coffee drinker who’s trying to be eco-friendly at the same time, you might often wonder if there’s something you can do with your used coffee grounds other than throwing them in the trash.

If you’re a gardener, who grows lemon trees, then you’ll be happy to know that coffee grounds are good for lemon trees. However, there’s one very strict stipulation you should follow for success. The coffee grounds must be properly broken down to work; if not, you’ll be doing your lemon trees more harm than good.

We’ll talk about why coffee grounds are good for your lemon trees and much more in the article below.

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Are Coffee Grounds Good for Lemon Trees?

Yes, coffee grounds are excellent for your lemon trees, but only if they are reduced in your compost until the chemicals are gone. Since coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, they are great to add to the soil before planting your tree, or you can use them to dress the top of the lemon trees once you do.

However, there are several chemicals left over after brewing coffee into used coffee grounds. Since the chemicals are so concentrated, they can easily damage your lemon tree and soil if you don’t break them down into compost.

hand holding coffee grounds
Image Credit: Weerayuth, Shutterstock

Tips for Preparing Coffee Grounds for Lemon Trees

As previously stated, breaking down your coffee grounds is the easiest way to use them for your lemon trees.

Keep Coffee Grinds in a Jar or Container

If you’re looking for a way to store used coffee grounds, you can usually find containers for as little as $5 at any local department store.

Ensure the container has air holes or the lid isn’t screwed on tightly. Also, let your coffee grounds cool instead of pouring them directly into the container after your coffee is brewed. Moist, steaming coffee grounds in a container will end up trapping moisture, which will cause the grounds to mold.

Mix the Coffee Grounds with the Brown Materials

It’s never a good idea to just toss coffee grounds on your lemon trees. Instead, you should mix the grounds with the compost you use.

Since the grounds are a green material, due to the nitrogen, they need to be mixed with materials of the brown variety.

Brown material consists of fall leaves, hay, straw, or even bark chips. Only use a small scoop of grounds and mix it with a garden fork. A good ratio to follow is 2/3 brown materials and 1/3 green materials. If you need more to make up your green material, food scraps and grass clippings work just fine.

coffee grounds compost
Image Credit: Neslihan Gunaydin, Unsplash

Allow the Material To Decompose for Six Months

While it might be tempting to use them sooner, it’s best to allow your coffee grounds to break down for six months.

Allowing them to break down for around six months enables the grounds the time they need to mix with the other green and brown materials. It also gives them time to get rid of the chemicals that are in certain types of coffee.

Once the chemicals are broken down, it’s time to add them to the tree.

Are the Grounds Good for Your Lemon Trees?

Coffee grounds are good for your lemon trees once you follow the tips above, and they are broken down properly. You can feed the coffee ground mixture directly to your lemon tree or dilute it to make a liquid.

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In answer to the question, “Are coffee grounds good for lemon trees,” the answer is yes if you do it the right way. While six months might seem like a long time to wait to use coffee grounds on your lemon trees, it’ll be worth the wait when the trees bloom.

See Also: Are Coffee Grounds Good for Grass? What You Need to Know!

Featured Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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