David Domoney provides advice on popular houseplants

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Plants require less watering and food during the winter months as they enter their dormant period. However, the expert team at WeThrift has shared how using coffee can be used in the garden as well as on houseplants. According to the experts, coffee can be a great fertiliser for plants because it contains some of the essential nutrients plants need such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

They said: “Coffee is an especially great source of nitrogen, which your plants need to produce greener, healthier and stronger stems. Mixing coffee grounds into your compost heap is an organic way to give your plants a huge boost.

“Despite their brown colour, coffee is considered to be a green compost material because it is kitchen waste. A healthy compost mix should contain even amounts of both greens and browns.

“Greens include kitchen waste products such as coffee or eggshells, as well as any other fresh or green products like fresh grass, clipped flowers or even weeds.

“Browns include any carbon-rich products such as fallen leaves, dried grass, wood shops and paper including paper coffee filters.”

As well as being a great fertiliser, the experts explained that coffee can be used as a natural pesticide.

Spreading coffee grounds around plants can make them less susceptible to damage from pests such as slugs.

The experts added: “It is thought that a combination of the high caffeine content and the abrasive texture of coffee is off-putting to slugs and may be enough to deter them from munching on your plants.

“Luckily, caffeine-high coffee in your soil will not be off-putting to worms. 

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“Those wriggle creatures are incredibly useful to your soil’s fertilisation process and are thought to love coffee grounds. Coffee in very small quantities is not harmful to worms, and a caffeinated worm will unsurprisingly do its job much faster, plus they will be likely to procreate in the soil.

“A bit like with ourselves, be wary not to over-feed your plant with coffee, no matter how groggy they might be looking. 

“Your plants should only need a coffee boost once a week to see the benefits. Coffee can be naturally acidic, so over-feeding your plant with it could have a negative effect.”

If using an appropriate amount, using coffee during the winter months can be extremely beneficial.

According to WeThrift, coffee is a natural and organic way to get green fertiliser into the compost when other products such as fresh grass are less readily available.

The experts added: “Coffee is also a particularly useful fertiliser in the winter month because coffee grounds will still work their way into the soil during freeze-thaw cycles, whereas other products may end up freezing in cold or snowy conditions.

“Coffee will help protect your pocket as well as your plants since you can feed them with any leftover coffee you had in the house anyway, rather than going out and buying expensive fertilisation products to supplement your plants’ diet during winter.”

While outdoor plants like blueberries, hydrangeas, hollies and azaleas particularly love coffee, the granules can also be used on houseplants.

WeThrift said: “Whether they are to be found outside or inside, most plants will benefit from the extra boost in nutrients that coffee grounds can provide.

“Coffee grounds can still be used for most houseplants for very similar results. Diluted coffee will continue to work as an efficient and organic fertiliser for a much healthier looking houseplant.

“You will struggle to find any plants that will not benefit from being fed coffee, however, there are plants that should only be fed coffee in moderation and others that like plenty of it.”

Whether sprinkling coffee grounds or pouring diluted coffee into your plant, the experts said the best results will come from applying the coffee thinly to the soil, away from the plant’s stem.

The experts continued: “If you are using coffee grounds, be sure to rake them into the soil to avoid clumping, as the coffee will be more effective the more it is spread out.

“Remember there is no need to go out of your way to make coffee for your plants when you can simply use the leftovers from your own morning cup.”

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