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Using Coffee Grounds for Citrus Trees

Category Fertilizer
Citrus trees grow well when fed with used coffee grounds. Care should be taken as it is possible to make the soil too acidic and that might cause issues. Citrus grows best at a soil pH of 6.5.


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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2018

I am trying my luck at growing 6 mandarin orange trees from seed inside my home. So far they seem to be doing good, the tallest one is about 24 inches and the smallest is about 18 inches. And I got the seeds from some seedless Mandarin oranges LOL. I am about to transplant them into larger pots and am wondering if used coffee grounds would be good for them. I really don't have any luck at growing anything, I'm a guy that can kill a cactus.


May 21, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

it is generally considered to be a good thing to add coffee grounds to a compost pile

specifically for citrus, it is also found to be a good thing because it helps bring the pH of the soil down ONLY IF your soil pH is too basic. The tree will not thrive if the soil is too acid, so I would recommend getting a pH strip to test your soil first.


if your soil is too basic (pH of 7 or more) then you can use coffee grounds as mulch lying it on top of the soil in which your trees are, making sure that there's at least a 12- inch ring wide of space separating the mulch from the trunk - you never want your mulch close to your trunk to prevent mold, decay

if your soil is already fairly acidic or you just don't want to bother with all that, I would recommend just using normal mulch (barks, leaves, moss) and using the coffee to start a compost pile alongside your vegetable wastes.

more info on citrus trees here

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May 22, 20180 found this helpful
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If your trees are 24 and 18 inches then it sounds like you may have the beginning of a "green thumb". Just so you know - a cactus is easy to kill


  • You do not say what USDA zone you live in or if you plan to eventually plant your trees outside but it is said they will only grow in zones 9-11 so that is pretty warm most of the time.
  • Coffee grounds are like a lot of other nutrients - a little bit may be good but a heavy feeding may hurt or even kill a plant. Sounds like putting them in compost would be good.
  • Ph for orange trees is very important:
  • The optimum pH level for citrus trees is between 5.5 and 6.5, but many areas have alkaline soils with a soil pH above 7.0, which can cause nutritional deficiencies that stunt the trees' growth.
  • The one thing that I have found very helpful when growing my lemon and lime trees is a ph meter. It is inexpensive and takes the guess work out of testing and also checks water needs.
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  • You may want to look for one of these at one of your local stores.
  • There are a lot of good sites to keep you up to date on when to repot as well as how long before fruit will appear (4-7 years from seeds).
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By 0 found this helpful
July 24, 2009

Can you give a Lemon and Lime tree coffee grounds? How do I know if a plant likes acidic soil?

By Rosa


August 3, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

Citrus do like a bit of acid soil, and are heavy feeders, meaning they use high N, as well as some P in the NPK mixes sold. Coffee grounds are probably good every 1-2 months now and 2-3 months when cooler, and are a good mulch near the trunk if dried.


People, never toss coffee or tea leftovers, or even stale drinks! Gardens love that, and so do worms.
By the way, some soil organisms love sugary things, so don't send sodas down the drain unless you're cleaning it- they're good for that too, though not for drinking.

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