Do Roses like Coffee Grounds?

Adding coffee grounds around roses or to compost is often referred to as a cost-effective and convenient way to fertilize your soil. While there are many benefits to adding coffee grounds around rose gardens, there are also some drawbacks …

Coffee ground can be very beneficial for rosebushes if used in moderation. However, it is best to use moderately. Coffee grounds can cause rose roots to rot if they are used in excess.

Continue reading to learn about the many benefits of coffee grounds to soil, how to apply it and most importantly, WHEN to use this natural fertilizer …

(Do NOT apply too early or late during these seasons as this will stimulate new development which will then be destroyed by the first frost of Winter. Keep reading for more information.

Where can I get coffee Grounds?

If you don’t drink coffee, one of the best is for you.
You can approach your local independent to obtain used grounds.
Coffee houses

Most independent shops will gladly give away any used materials.
It is a surplus product they have and can give it away for free
It saves them the hassle of disposing of it.

You can also ask at larger coffee chains like
Starbucks is one example of a chain that has established procedures for dealing with customers.
They may not be as inclined to give over their property if they are full of waste.

These coffee chains often have independent management, so the policy regarding giving away coffee grounds may vary from one store to another.

How coffee grounds benefit roses

Nitrogen is the primary nutrient found in coffee grounds. The most important nutrient in healthy roses is nitrogen. It is also required in large quantities as it stimulates new stem, leaf and cane growth.

Coffee grounds provide a welcome boost of nitrogen in spring to stimulate new growth and ensure that the rose is more resistant to disease.

Although coffee grounds are most valued by rose growers because of their higher nitrogen content they also contain essential minerals like phosphorus and potassium that will help improve soil health and be valuable nutrients for roses.

White Rose

Improves Soil Drainage and Feeds The Soil’s Ecosystem

Roses also love organic material, such as coffee grounds or leaf mulch. This will improve the soil’s structure and feed the ecology of soil microorganisms. These microorganisms break down organic material and make it available for the roses to absorb.

Organic material can absorb water and retain it, but let excess water run freely through the soil. This is ideal for roses that require well-draining soil that can retain water.

Organic material is the best choice for roots that don’t get waterlogged. It retains moisture but allows water to drain away.

*Coffee grounds are also a favorite food of the local worm population. The worms can aerate the soil, which in turn improves drainage and soil structure.

In fact soil with a high amount of worm activity will drain 10 times faster then an area with no worms thanks to the channels in the soil that they create which will help your rose avoid root rot if you have compacted heavy soil or slow drainage.

Worms eat coffee grounds. The worm casts that result from this process, which concentrate valuable nutrients and minerals, increase nutrient availability for the rose roots.

The worms’ casts and tunnels allow your rose roots to penetrate deeper into soil, allowing for greater stability, water access and nutrients. This will ensure that your roses are healthier and more resistant to drought.

Coffee grounds can be added to your compost pile to add nutrients and fertile material.

Maintains the Right Soil Acidity

Roses thrive when the soil pH is between pH 6 and 6.8, with a pH of at least 6.5 the ideal. Coffee grounds can be slightly acidic depending on the bean, but they are pH neutral to slightly acidic once broken down. This is ideal for fertilizing roses.

If you are not sure of the pH of your soil, you can purchase a pH soil tester on Amazon to ensure that it is within the ideal range.

How to Apply Coffee Grounds (Important!) )

Nitrogen is the primary nutrient found in coffee grounds. This makes it ideal for fertilizing roses. However, if you apply coffee ground too late or early in the season, the nitrogen will stimulate leaf growth and make them more delicate and vulnerable to frost damage.

Wait until April/May to use coffee grounds on roses that are just emerging from winter dormancy. The new leaves will be almost fully open by then. After August 15th, coffee grounds should not be applied to rose beds as the new growth needs time for hardening and preparations for winter frosts.

If you apply nitrogen-based fertilizer after August middle, the new growth will likely turn dark and die in the first freeze. You should remove any damaged growth as quickly as possible with pruners if this happens. The rose will be fine as long as you act quickly. Most rose species are hardy.

How To Use Coffee Grounds to Fertilize Roses (Don’t Use Too Much )

There are many ways coffee grounds can be used to benefit roses. You should use coffee grounds sparingly when fertilizing roses. Coffee grounds have a high level of nitrogen.

Nitrogen is essential for soil and plants to thrive.
Too much nitrogen can cause damage to rose roots and other plants.

There are 3 easy ways that your roses can benefit from safe coffee grounds …

  1. Distribute half a pound of coffee grounds around each mature rose plant and water in with 2 gallons of water (a whole watering can).

Adding half a pound (2 cups, 500g) to the soil around rose plants will increase its nitrogen content. This will not harm the roots. It is not necessary to drill the ground into the soil. This could cause soil structure and roots to be disturbed.

Worms also love coffee grounds and will pull it down and work it into the soil. They will produce worm casts as they digest coffee grounds. This is a form of the coffee that is more easily available for the plant to absorb.

Rose beds with high levels of worm activity indicate healthy soil and favorable growing conditions.

This should only be done once during the beginning of the growing season (late April/early May). You should not fertilize too late as this can encourage rose plants to produce new, delicate leaves late in the season. This will cause them to be damaged by the first frost of the winter.

This quantity of coffee grounds can be distributed.
The right amount of nitrogen, with no side effects.

Another option is …

2. Half a pound of coffee grounds in a 2 liter (9 litres), water can

To place approximately half a pound (or 500g) of coffee grounds in a watering container (standard watering containers have a 2 liter capacity). Water the roses’ soil. This will ensure that nutrients are evenly distributed to the soil, and it also saves you time watering again.

Place the coffee grounds in the watering can, then add the water. This will allow you to mix the coffee grounds and water evenly.

*Mixing water and coffee grounds is an option.
Effective fertilizer because it encourages the solution infiltrating into the soil
Ensure that you reach the roots quickly.

I must emphasize again that it is crucial to do this at beginning of growing season, not towards the end. The hit of nutrients could encourage later season growth that will be immediately damaged by the first frost in winter.

Do not add more than half a pound coffee grounds to your 2 gallons (9 L) of water around each plant. This rule is an excellent way to make sure your roses get the right nutrients and not suffer from the side effects caused by excessive nitrogen.

3. For a balanced carbon-nitrogen based mulch, add coffee grounds to the compost pile.

Adding coffee grounds to your compost can ensure that there are
is the right mix of carbon and nitrogen.

Applying a layer compost around roses will reduce weed growth
a better soil structure and drainage.

Also, organic mulch like coffee grounds is great.
So that the rose roots can absorb water,
When you have to.

It is best to apply compost mulch around roses in spring, as this is when weeds are most active and will be trying to compete for resources. Mulch should not be incorporated into the soil. This could cause damage to the roots and alter the soil’s ecology and structure.

Instead, spread the mulch around roses about 1-2 inches
Deepen the soil and let the rain and worms work their magic. Avoid piling
Mulch around the stem of roses to prevent it from rotting.
Aim for a 1-inch radius around the stem, leaving no mulch. The rose will thrive.


Coffee grounds help improve the fertility, drainage, and structure of soils to ensure roses thrive and produce great flowers.

Be careful, as coffee grounds can be so high in nitrogen that you should not use them all. It is best to only add the grounds once a year to your rosebed. Follow the instructions to prevent burning the roots.

Nitrogen (or phosphate or potash) is an essential nutrients that roses require in large quantities in spring, when they are trying to grow new leaves. You can help your rose thrive by adding coffee grounds to the rose bed when the rose leaves are just beginning to emerge.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)