Coffee grounds are an excellent solution to help plants thrive. Since it is readily available and packed with nitrogen, many plant owners want to use it to boost the growth of their green gems. But to be honest, this natural fertilizer is not well-compatible with most indoor plants. Now the question is: is coffee friendly to fiddle leaf figs? How much is safe for them? Can coffee create any adversity before its growth? To answer most of your queries, we have come up with today’s topic, ‘Do fiddle leaf figs like coffee? So, with no more delay, let’s get started.
Due to high nitrogen content, coffee grounds can react with the soil pH, and make it more acidic. It is, in fact, bad news for the fiddle leaf figs. Acidic soil can burn the roots, halt their growth, and lead to fungus issues. However, a small number of coffee grounds, especially, when used as a liquid or compost fertilizer, can serve your beloved fiddle leaf figs with numerous benefits, including uninterrupted growth and a beautiful glaze to their leaves. The pH level of the fig soil should be within 6.5 to 7.
Can You Use Coffee Grounds As A Natural Fertilizer For Your Fiddle Leaf Fig?
As mentioned in the beginning, coffee grounds have loads of nitrogen content in them, which accelerates the growth of plants. But, it cannot equip a fiddle leaf fig with the other necessary nutrients it needs. Mainly, this natural fertilizer works well with plants that adore acidic soil. However, the situation differs when it comes to fiddle leaf fig. This tropical indoor plant does not enjoy acidic soil. Thus, you must be careful while using it for your plant’s growth. Before you opt for this fertilizer for your fiddle leaf fig, you must have in-depth knowledge regarding the ideal pH level for the fiddle leaf fig soil.
The Ideal pH Level Of Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s Soil
When it’s about your plant’s health, understanding the ideal pH level of the soil of your fiddle leaf fig is essential. Since coffee tends to make the soil more acidic, it simultaneously reduces its pH level, which is dangerous for your houseplant.
If you want to use coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer for your green baby, make sure it’s rinsed or brewed. It is because raw coffee tends to be more acidic compared to the used ones.
Generally, fiddle leaf figs enjoy a moderate pH level that rotates between 6.5 and 7. If the quantity exceeds, it can show adverse reactions, burning the roots of your adored houseplant.
The pH level in coffee grounds depends on two aspects. These include whether it’s raw or brewed, and the brand you’re using. However, on average, the pH level remains around 5.2 when the coffee is brewed and around 6.9 when raw.
The difference might seem to be very insignificant. But even the slightest imbalance of the pH level can turn out to be deadly for your fiddle leaf fig plant.
The Top-notch Ways To Feed Your Fiddle Leaf Fig With Coffee Grounds?
It’s not just the pH level that matters. The way you use the coffee grounds also determines whether it would be beneficial or leave negative impacts on your fiddle leaf fig. For instance, if your fig plant comes in direct contact with the coffee grounds, it can prove to be toxic.
Well, when you add coffee to the soil surface, a layer of manure is formed, interrupting the drainage system. As a result, the water starts accumulating in your fiddle leaf fig pot, restricting evaporation. All these things could make your green baby suffer from rotten roots as well as fungus growth.
So, knowing the correct ways of using the fertilizer for your plant’s benefit is crucial.
Use It As Compost Fertilizer
Since coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen, using them as a compost fertilizer can be a smart idea! However, coffee alone cannot serve your fiddle leaf fig the proper nutrients it seeks. Combining a safe amount of potassium or phosphorus can enhance its competence, making it ideal for your fiddle leaf fig.
While preparing the compost, mix 15 to 20% coffee grounds with your kitchen or garden mulch and let them sit. And here comes your organic, nutrient-rich composite! This particular step is very vital, so be careful enough. Adding more coffee can ruin the pH proportion, pushing your gorgeous plant towards decay.
There is one more aspect to which you should pay attention! And that is the right interval for using the compost. Well, using it every six to eight weeks can be the safest bet. Also, make sure you keep an eye on the plant’s response upon using the fertilizer.
Read: Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Fertilizer?
Tips To Keep In Mind While Making The Compost
Unless the compost is precisely made, your fiddle leaf fig might not be able to absorb all the benefits that the coffee has to serve. So, make sure you follow the below-enlisted tips while preparing it:
The compost should not be runny in consistency. It must be dry and lightweight.
To dilute the nitrogen presence, add sticks, bark, and dried leaves to the coffee grounds.
Do not overdo the compost, else it might show adverse effects on your houseplant.
Since the compost already retains water, you must not add any extra water to it.
Another great way of adding coffee grounds to your fiddle baby is in the form of liquid fertilizer. Instead of adding coffee directly, make a fine liquor using coffee and water, and leave it for one to two weeks. Do not forget to stir your liquid fertilizer every two to three days. After the coffee breaks down, refine it and add it to your fiddle leaf fig plant. Doing this frequently can harm your plant and damage its roots. However, make sure to observe the results, and continue the process only if your plant responds well. While preparing your liquid fertilizer, make sure there is no cream or sugar in it.
Consequences Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Can Encounter With Overuse Of Coffee Grounds
Coffee can be dangerous for your fig plant, pushing it towards death. Here we will be discussing the adverse symptoms your plant can show with wrong or overuse of coffee.
1. Leaves Turning Yellow And Pale
Your fiddle fig leaves can turn pale and yellow when the acid level of the soil exceeds the ideal scale. If the pH level of the soil drops down below six, the soil becomes too acidic and harmful for your green baby. Running a frequent check of the soil’s pH level is suggested to keep your fig plant safe and healthy.
2. Water Retention
When you add coffee grounds to your houseplant too often and directly, it impacts your fiddle leaf fig adversely, resulting in water retention. In this situation, the excess water does not drain out and starts accumulating near the roots. And as a result, the roots start catching fungus and eventually lead to damaged and rotten roots.
3. Reduced Growth Rate
Usually, a plant slows down its growth when it receives insufficient fertilizer and nutrition. And when the pH level of your fig soils starts exceeding the average scale, your plant’s regular growth is halted. This is a severe sign that your plant shares with you, informing you not to manure it frequently with coffee.
Read: Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing? Causes And How To Fix It
4. Welcomes Toxic Pests
A large number of pests are strongly attracted by the aroma of coffee. So, using it directly can invite some unwanted pests, which are greatly poisonous for your fiddle leaf fig. So, always mix it with compost or use it in the form of liquid fertilizer.
FAQs About Coffee Grounds And Fiddle Leaf Figs
How often can I add coffee grounds to my fiddle leaf fig?
Coffee grounds are well-known for boosting your plant’s growth. However, adding coffee grounds too much and too often can be harmful to your fiddle leaf fig. It might result in stunted growth, damaged roots, and fungus growth. So, make sure you add it in a small quantity once in a month or two and continue only when your plant responds well. Keep a close eye on your fiddle leaf fig!
How to rectify the problem of soil acidity?
If your fiddle leaf fig soil becomes more acidic due to the wrong use of coffee, take immediate action before it spoils the roots. If possible, re-pot the plant immediately. Place your plant in direct contact with sunlight so that it does not retain too much water. In case, it’s not possible to re-pot your plant, use a few drops of alkaline-water solution, until the pH level is balanced.
Coffee can be an excellent superfood for your fiddle leaf fig if used in the right amount and interval. However, its wrong usage can be fatal for your favourite plant. So, make sure to follow all the above-mentioned tips before using them to fertilize your houseplant. Keep in mind that if the plant doesn’t show signs of growth or show distress, discontinue using coffee grounds right away.
Have you ever used coffee grounds to manure your fiddle leaf fig? Let us know what tricks you used and how your experience was in the comment section below.
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.