Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) are popular indoor succulents thanks to their easy and undemanding care requirements. Snake plants should be fertilized once every two months, but what if you could use coffee grounds? In this article, we’ll find out if you can feed snake plants coffee grounds.
What Type of Soil and Fertilizer Do Snake Plants Need?
Snake plants like well-draining soils that can still hold some moisture. These soils need to be slightly acidic or alkaline, with a pH range between 5.5 and 7.5. Snake plants are native to dry, rocky areas of tropical West Africa, so they are used to slightly acidic soils.
Although snake plants don’t need much fertilizer, it’s still vital for providing the proper nutrients for these popular succulents to enable them to thrive for years to come. Snake plants should be fertilized once every two months during the spring and summer. Always use balanced liquid fertilizers that have been diluted.
Can You Feed Snake Plants Coffee Grounds?
Most houseplant fertilizers are pre-made products that use chemicals or salts. However, you can recycle some household products to make homemade fertilizers, including coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds are ideal for plants that need slightly acidic soils. Coffee is quite acidic, which means that adding it to the soil helps increase acidity. They also contain a lot of nitrogen, which helps fuel the production of leaves and foliage.
Most types of snake plants need plenty of nitrogen and like slightly acidic soils. This means that coffee grounds are potentially a convenient, low-cost way to cater to your snake plant’s needs.
Any type of coffee grounds will work well for snake plants. However, just sprinkling coffee grounds onto the soil of your snake plant might cause problems. Adding too many coffee grounds at once can make the soil too acidic, which will damage your plant.
Coffee grounds can also attract pests like fungus gnats because they like decaying organic matter. Used coffee grounds can also make your snake plant more vulnerable to fungal infections.
How to Use Coffee Grounds for Snake Plants
Instead of heaping used coffee grounds onto the soil around your snake plant, it’s best to dilute them. Simply add your used coffee grounds to a container of water and leave it to sit for a few days. Then, strain the diluted liquid to remove any remaining grounds. You can then use this coffee solution like a normal liquid fertilizer.
You can also mix small amounts of coffee grounds into the growing medium whenever you repot your snake plant. This provides a nitrogen boost to help your plant keep growing without overpowering it. Repot snake plants every 1 to 3 years.
Although coffee grounds contain lots of nitrogen, they don’t provide much phosphorus or potassium. When you fertilize your snake plant, alternate between doses of balanced liquid fertilizer and coffee-based fertilizer. Under optimal growing conditions, snake plants may even flower.
Snake plants can benefit from being fed coffee grounds because they contain lots of nitrogen which may assist these beneficial plants throughout the growing season. Coffee grounds can also increase soil acidity but must be diluted before use.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.