Can You Compost Coffee Grounds

  • By: Rob
  • Date: November 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Coffee lovers will often throw their coffee grounds into the trash after they have used them. You may be surprised to know that coffee grounds can be used for many things, but Can you compost coffee grounds?

You might be surprised to learn that coffee grounds can be composted. In fact, they make an excellent addition to your compost pile! Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plants. They also help to aerate the soil and improve drainage.

If you want to know more about coffee grounds and compost, be sure to read along with this article to find out new and exciting things!

Can You Compost Coffee Grounds And Filters

You may be wondering, can you compost coffee grounds? If you are wanting to create compost with your leftover coffee grounds, you can absolutely do that. But what about composting the filter, too? Is it possible to compost the coffee filter along with your coffee grounds?

using coffee grounds for compost

Yes, you can compost both your coffee grounds and the filter. Be sure that the filter is a paper filter, as these are completely compostable. If you want your compost to be fully organic be sure to use coffee filters that are unbleached and free of chlorine.

You may be interested to know which plants like coffee grounds. Check it out to find out more!

How long does it take for coffee filters to decompose

Coffee filters are fully compostable, but did you know that it could take them six to eight months to decompose? If you want the most natural filters to use in your compost, use unbleached coffee filters. This will keep your compost completely organic. 

used coffee filter

Remember that six to eight months is a ballpark time estimate. Other factors can speed up or lengthen the decomposition process. The temperature, humidity, and type of filter can all cause the time frame to vary. 

Why are coffee grounds not good for compost

Coffee grounds are a debated compost addition. There are pros and cons when using coffee grounds for your compost. One reason that coffee grounds are not good is that they can still contain caffeine. Caffeine is not great for your garden. It can cause your plants to die because they are unable to germinate.

Coffee grounds are also acidic. The acidity in fresh coffee grounds can affect your soil. If you do choose to add coffee grounds to your soil, wait until they are dry.

What Can You Mix With Coffee Grounds For Plants

If you plan on using coffee grounds to help grow your plants, be careful. Coffee grounds often clump together, these clumps create a barrier that doesn’t allow the proper moisture through. 

If you want to use coffee grounds to help grow your plants, you will need to add them to other organic matter to create compost. Use leaves, soil, and even the coffee filter to make a Ph neutral compost that will help your plants grow. 

Some plants love coffee grounds while others are not too keen on them, so ensure you know which plants like coffee grounds before you start adding them to compost.

Can You Put Too Much Coffee Grounds in Compost

If you are using your coffee grounds in your compost, you may be curious if it is possible to use too many coffee grounds in your compost. The simple answer is, yes, it is possible to overuse coffee grounds in your compost. 

coffee grounds in compost

If you use too many coffee grounds in your compost it is possible that your compost will become too compact. When coffee grounds compact it becomes harder for water to get through. If you are using your compost to grow plants, the plants may not stay as moist as they need to be in order to thrive. This can cause them to dry out and die.

Too much coffee grounds in your compost may also cause your compost to smell bad. No one wants stinky compost, so limit the amount used to 30% or less of the overall total.

Growing tomato plants? Ever wondered if tomatoes like coffee grounds, too?

Can You Put Coffee Grounds Straight Into The Garden

When you are growing plants in your garden you may be wondering if you can simply put your leftover coffee grounds directly into your garden. There is not a simple yes or no answer to this question. 

First, it will depend on what types of plants you plan on growing, and if they can thrive in an acidic environment. Plants like azaleas, blueberries, gardenias, and rhododendrons will love the addition of coffee grounds directly onto their soil. But, many other plants can’t survive in an acidic environment and will rot and die quickly.

used coffee grounds for plants

If you want to be safe, it is best to use your coffee grounds to create compost. This process helps to neutralize the acidity and is better for your plants and garden. Use the compost on your plants, rather than straight coffee grounds to enhance your garden.

Which Plants Do Not Like Used Coffee Grounds

We discussed which plants can thrive in gardens that have direct coffee grounds placed in them, but what about the plants that do not like used coffee grounds? Which plants can not thrive and survive when used coffee grounds are placed in their environment? 


Orchids are beautiful, but they can not survive when used coffee grounds are placed in their soil. Orchids do not break down nitrogen, and coffee grounds release a lot of nitrogen. When it is released into the soil but unable to be broken down it can cause the orchid to deteriorate, often causing root rot and death.


Lavender is a plant that doesn’t require much water. It thrives in dry climates that provide ample sun and hot soil. The worst things about lavender are too much water and acidic soil. When you put coffee grounds on lavender it causes an acidic environment and the lavender will die.


Rosemary does not thrive in environments that contain ground coffee because it can’t handle the acidity. In order for Rosemary to respond well to coffee grounds, they must be diluted or composted to create their ideal environmental balance.


So, can you compost coffee grounds? If you want to use coffee grounds in your garden, always be sure that the plants that you wish to grow can handle the acidity. If you want to grow something that can’t handle an acidic environment, compost the coffee grounds first before adding them to the soil.

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