Do Roses Like Ground Coffee? (Good Or Bad Feed?)


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Roses are stunning plants that boast brightly-colored blooms, each of which has its own symbolic meaning.

But despite being such a popular option for gardening enthusiasts, the rose isn’t always the easiest plant to grow and maintain.

Don’t get us wrong, they’re certainly not the most difficult plants to grow and would be considered suitable for a beginner, but without the proper care, they won’t thrive.

Used ground coffee
Used ground coffee

Feeding your roses will boost their growth and keep them happy and healthy.

But what is the right feed; do roses like ground coffee?

Coffee grounds are a great way to provide nutrition to your roses but it is very important not to go over the top. If you apply too many coffee grounds then there is a risk of burning the roots and damaging your plants. 

If you’re keen to reuse your old coffee grounds then this is a great way to do it but be sure to read our guide on using coffee grounds for roses to make sure you reap the benefits of this process. 

Using Coffee Grounds For Roses

Plants need a variety of nutrients to thrive and one of the most important is nitrogen which can be found in abundance in coffee grounds.

However, you must be careful when you apply the grounds as doing it too late or too early in the year may encourage new leaves to grow which will then easily be damaged in the frost.

Woman holds Red roses
Growing red roses

Best practice approach:

  • The best time of year to apply coffee grounds to your roses is in the early spring, around April or May. It is at this time the rose will be coming out of its dormant stage and new leaves will be opening up.
  • Later in the year, you should avoid using coffee on your roses after the middle of August as the plants need time to toughen up for winter.
  • Many people make the mistake of using nitrogen fertilizers after this point and quickly notice that, during the first frost, the leaves turn black and it’s essential that you remove these for the greater health of the plant.
  • Another important thing to keep in mind when using coffee grounds for your roses is that there can be too much of a good thing so apply sparingly.

Coffee is very high in nitrogen and while this is important for your roses, giving them too much can burn their roots.

There are several ways that you might apply coffee grounds to your roses and each is effective when done correctly. 

Apply Coffee Grounds In Water

You will need around half a pound of coffee grounds for this method as well as a full watering can of water; this will be around two gallons.

The coffee grounds should be sprinkled around the soil where the roses are growing and then watered in.

By doing this, you are boosting the nitrogen content of the soil but there is very little chance of causing any root damage. 

Dark red roses
Using coffee ground for roses

When performing this method, it is imperative to avoid digging the coffee into the soil as this comes with the risk of root damage.

Moreover, keep in mind that any worms in the ground will help to work the grounds into the soil so nature will do the hard graft for you.

Good News: What’s great about this method is that you only need to do it once. At the beginning of the season in the early spring, this can be done and your roses will thrive over the coming months.

Mixing Coffee Grounds And Water

If you prefer, then you can take the same measurements as before (half a pound of coffee grounds and two gallons of water) and mix them together before delivering them to the soil around your roses.

What we love about this method is that you get a very even distribution of the ground and this prevents you having to rewater the area.

Ground coffee and roses tips
Ground coffee and roses

We would recommend putting the coffee grounds into the watering can before the water as things will mix together much more easily.

Much like the previous method, it’s essential to do this at the beginning of the growing seasons and this is again, something you will only need to do once. 

Coffee Compost Heap

If you have a compost heap or bin then you could add coffee grounds to this as this will create an amazing balance of nitrogen and carbon.

You can then use this compost to feed the soil around your roses.

Not only will it provide an amazing nutrient boost for the plants but this is also an excellent way of preventing pesky weeds.

Red roses in a garden
Enjoying red roses

And if that wasn’t enough, it’ll ensure that the soil stays well-drained.

It won’t surprise you to learn that when applying coffee grounds with your compost, this will also need to be done at the beginning of spring for the best results.

Pay Attention: Don’t dig the compost into the soil as there is a potential for root damage. 

How Are Coffee Grounds Good For Roses?

We’ve talked about how to use coffee grounds for your roses but we haven’t yet discussed the why.

The good news is that there are many ways that coffee grounds can be beneficial for your roses.

As we have discovered, the main nutrient found in coffee is nitrogen which is something that roses absolutely love.

It’s also packed with potassium and phosphate which are great news for your plants. These will ensure that your roses develop healthy new growth.

Moreover, when applying coffee grounds during the early spring, your roses will be much more resistant to disease.

They’re hardy plants at the best of times but this is a welcome boost by anybody’s standards. 

As well as the nitrogen, the other compounds in the coffee grounds will ensure that the soil remains healthy which is also essential for your roses.

Rock roses in a garden
Rock roses

In addition to this, the soil structure will be improved which means that worms and other creatures will better be able to break down the coffee grounds and other organic materials making it easier for the rose roots to absorb these.

Roses need to have well-drained soil and adding something like coffee grounds is excellent for improving drainage.

This type of material will hold onto moisture, but just enough to feed the plants while any excess will easily drain through. This is what many would agree to be a perfect balance.

When growing plants, it is essential that the acidity of the soil is just right and for roses this means keeping it between a pH of 6 – 6.8.

From Experience: Different types of coffee beans will have different acidity levels but as a general rule, this is usually compatible with your soil and so provides an excellent environment for your roses.


If you love the romantic, pretty flowers that roses yield then you’re likely keen to have several plants adorning your garden.

However, if you really want them to thrive then you need to make sure that they are well fed and this means providing them with the right nutrients. 

Leftover coffee grounds are excellent for this as they are bursting with nitrogen and other great ingredients that will vastly benefit your roses.

Just be mindful not to go over the top and apply too much as this can affect the roots and cause damage. 

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