Do Roses like Coffee Grounds?

Yes, Roses do like coffee grounds. They help improve the fertility, drainage, and structure of soils to ensure roses thrive and produce great flowers.

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient 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.

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.

Why Coffee Grounds Benefit Roses

Nitrogen is the primary nutrient found in coffee grounds. It is also the most important nutrient in healthy roses. It is also required in large quantities as it stimulates new 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

How Much Coffee Grounds to Fertizile Roses With

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.

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

You should use coffee grounds sparingly when fertilizing roses. Coffee grounds have a high level of nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can cause damage to rose roots and other plants.

Fertilize at 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.

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.

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.

Best Way to Apply Coffee Grounds to Roses 

Your roses can benefit from coffee grounds if you apply them using any of these methods:

  • Distribute half a pound of coffee grounds around each mature rose plant and water in with 2 gallons of water. 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.
  • 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.

  • Encourage worms as they 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. 

  • For a balanced carbon-nitrogen based mulch, add coffee grounds to the compost pile. Adding coffee grounds to your compost can ensure that there is the right mix of carbon and nitrogen. Applying a layer compost around roses will reduce weed growth a better soil structure and drainage.  Spread the mulch around roses about 1-2 inches and let the rain and worms work their magic. Avoid piling too much mulch around the stem of roses to prevent it from rotting. Aim for a 1-inch radius around the stem, leaving no mulch. 

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. 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.

Soil Acidity is Maintained With Coffee Grounds

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 to ensure that it is within the ideal range.

Coffee GroundsFeed the Soil Ecosystem and Improve Drainage  

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 than 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 concentrates valuable nutrients and minerals, increases nutrient availability for the rose roots.

The worms’ casts and tunnels allow your rose roots to penetrate deeper into the 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.

Where to Get Coffee Grounds From

If you drink coffee you can use your leftover coffee grounds. If not, try your local independent coffee house or shops who gladly give away any used materials. It saves them the hassle of disposing of old grounds and they may give it away for free.

Larger coffee chains will have plenty of surplus. However, they may have strict rules around what to do with their waste. Check your nearest store to find out if this is an option for you.



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