What Plants Do Not Like Coffee Grounds?

You have heard that some plants tolerate coffee grounds as fertilizer very well but other plants do not like coffee grounds at all?

In order not to make any gross mistakes and not to harm your plants, I will show you in this article which plants do not like coffee grounds.

Welche Pflanzen mögen keinen Kaffeesatz

Plants that prefer a neutral to alkaline soil (pH 6.5 and above) do not like coffee grounds. These include well-known flowers such as asters or Christmas roses or shrubs such as boxwoods or ivy. But also vegetables like carrots and onions, herbs like oregano and sage or fruits like currants do not like coffee grounds.

What plants do not like coffee grounds?

In general, you can use coffee grounds as fertilizer, because they contain many valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium or phosphorus.

However, coffee grounds also contain tannic acid, which, as the name suggests, is acidic and thus determines the acidic pH of coffee grounds.

However, since not all plants like acid or can handle acidic soil, coffee grounds are not suitable for fertilizing all plants.

Many plants do not like coffee grounds, mainly due to their acidic properties. These plants much prefer a more neutral or alkaline soil that has a pH equal to or greater than 7.0.

List of plants that do not tolerate coffee grounds
In the following I have summarized probably the best known plants that do not tolerate coffee grounds. That is, the flowers, ornamental shrubs, vegetables, herbs and fruits in the following table all prefer a neutral or alkaline soil.

FlowersVegetablesHerbsFruitOrnamental shrubs
ColumbineAll cabbageBorageRaspberriesBoxwood
CyclamenGreen asparagusLavenderFruit treesIvy
AstersCarrotsOreganoGooseberriesCommon rock pear
Flowering perennialsGarlicChivesElderberry
Christmas rosesLeeksWoodruffButterfly Lilac
FuchsiasBrussels sproutsOther shrubs
Garden Ball ThistleBeets
Garden silverrootCelery
Small snowdropTomatoes
ClovesChicory salad
Rispy veil crat
Roses (partial)
Spiraen (spire bushes)
Roller spurge/colored spurge

What flowers do not like coffee grounds

Flowers that do not tolerate coffee grounds prefer a soil pH of about 7.0 or above.

These coffee-sensitive flowers include asters, Christmas roses, fuchsias and gladioli.

  • Columbine
  • Cyclamen
  • Asters
  • Barberry
  • Flowering perennials
  • Christmas roses
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Fuchsias
  • Garden globe thistle
  • Garden silverroot
  • Gladioli
  • Small snowdrop
  • Carnations
  • Peonies
  • Spikey veilwort
  • Roses (partial)
  • Spiraea (spirea shrubs)
  • Roller spurge/colored spurge

What vegetables do not like coffee grounds

Most vegetables like a neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH of about 6.0-7.5.

This means that most vegetables do not like coffee grounds, such as all cabbage varieties, carrots, asparagus or onions.

Potatoes and tomatoes are a small exception. Both vegetables tend to like a neural to slightly alkaline soil but at the same time are heavy growers and thus require a large amount of nutrients.

Therefore, potatoes and tomatoes can easily be fertilized with coffee grounds as the nutrients they contain are more valuable to the plants than small fluctuations in pH.

All cabbage varieties

  • Green asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Leek
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Beetroot
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Chicory salad
  • Onions

What herbs do not like coffee grounds

Most herbs prefer a rather poor soil and a slightly acidic pH. Nevertheless, there are some herbs that do not like coffee grounds and therefore rather alkaline soil. These are, for example, oregano, sage or woodruff.

  • Borage
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Woodruff

What fruit does not like coffee grounds

Although many types of fruit do very well with coffee grounds and like the nutrients they contain in addition to the acidity, there are also some types of fruit that do not tolerate coffee grounds well.

Coffee-sensitive fruit varieties include gooseberries, grapes, and fruit trees in general.

What shrubs do not like coffee grounds

Many ornamental shrubs like a rather alkaline soil, that is, a pH higher than 7.0, and therefore do not like coffee grounds.

Probably the best known coffee-sensitive shrubs are boxwoods, ivy but also elderberry or lilac do not like coffee grounds.

  • Boxwood
  • Ivy
  • Common rock pear
  • Hedges
  • Elderberry
  • Butterfly bush
  • Daphne
  • Other shrubs