There are many plants that grow well on acidic soils. For such plants, you need to keep the soil pH between 5 - 6, and one of the ways to achieve this is by adding coffee grounds. It has been proven that coffee grounds boost soil acidity due to their high nitrogen content.
Rhododendrons actually grow well on acidic soils, but do rhododendrons like coffee grounds? Apparently, they do - rhododendrons like coffee grounds. When you add coffee grounds to your garden where rhododendrons are planted, it makes them grow better and healthier.
However, while using coffee grounds in your garden poses a lot of benefits, when it is not done in moderation, things could go "south."
What do Coffee Grounds do to Plants?
Normally, coffee grounds are considered waste, and most people dispose them as such.
However, some gardeners and researchers have come to discover that this "waste product" contains several nutrients that are needed by certain plants.
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and others. These nutrients are actually essential for certain plants.
More so, coffee grounds are acidic; thus, when added to the soil, they tend to increase the acidity of the soil. This increase in acidity makes certain plants blossom and grow stronger.
Furthermore, due to the rich nutrients in coffee grounds, they generally increase soil fertility, which is beneficial to any plant cultivated on that soil.
Some research claim coffee grounds also possess antimicrobial properties, and they can repel plant pests; these qualities of coffee grounds are yet unproven, but what we all know is that coffee grounds improve soil fertility, as well as increase the acidity level.
There are a few ways to add coffee grounds to your garden, but before we discuss that, here's a detailed explanation of what coffee grounds do to rhododendrons.
Do Rhododendrons Like Coffee Grounds?
The simple answer is YES. Rhododendrons like coffee grounds because of their nutrients and ability to increase soil acidity levels.
It is important to note that Rhodos do not need much artificial fertilizers, but you can treat the soil (where they are planted) with coffee grounds.
When growing Rhodos, all you need to keep in check is your garden's soil pH. You need to keep the pH high, which implies that the soil needs to have high acidity - that's literally what Rhodos need and not artificial fertilizers.
A number of farmers and gardeners that used coffee grounds on their gardens where they planted rhododendrons attested that they got impressive results.
There is actually no definite quantity of coffee grounds required to make the soil more acidic; thus, it is advisable to check the soil's natural pH level, and then add a reasonable quantity of coffee grounds to increase it further.
So, basically, what coffee grounds do to Rhodos is to boost the soil acidity levels, therefore making the Rhodos grow better.
How To Add Coffee Grounds To Rhodos
Generally, there are three ways to add coffee grounds to your garden. But remember, before you add coffee grounds to your garden, you have to ensure that you only cultivated plants that love highly acidic soil.
If you have plants that prefer soil with normal pH, you should not add coffee grounds to the entire garden.
1. Make Coffee Grounds Tea
This can be done exactly as you make your regular drinking tea. Here, you will have to pour some cups of coffee grounds into a bucket/gallon of water, allow it to soak for about two (2) days, then sprinkle on your garden.
The recommended quantity is 2 cups of coffee grounds to a 5-galloon bucket of water. You can increase or decrease the quantity to fit into your plans.
2. Add the Grounds to your Compost
Adding coffee grounds to compost reduces the acidity a little bit; this method is recommended if you're using fresh coffee grounds.
According to experiments, fresh coffee grounds have higher acidity than used ones. Regardless, some people still add used grounds to compost before adding it to their garden.
That said, it is entirely safe and normal to add coffee grounds to compost. You could even regulate the frequency at which you add coffee grounds to your garden using this method.
That is to say, you will only add grounds to your garden during the times you're adding your compost.
3. Spread and Water
Yes, you could still spread coffee grounds right on top of your garden soil and then water them down.
When the grounds are watered, they'd mix with the soil and their nutrients would be deposited into the soil where your cultivated plants can benefit from them.
Most people don't like this method, so they prefer digging holes and pouring the grounds into the holes. If you dig holes to pour your coffee grounds inside, there's no need to water them down anymore.
Either of these methods is a way to add coffee grounds to your garden. It is important to say that there are other plants that like coffee grounds too.
There are home test kits you can get for checking your garden soil pH. When you know your garden soil pH, it can help you to ascertain the quantity of coffee ground to add.
Well, there is no specific season to add grounds to rhododendrons, you just need to keep doing it regularly to keep the soil acidity high.
In conclusion, do rhododendrons like coffee grounds? Yes, they do. Rhododendrons are acid-loving plants, and coffee grounds deliver various nutrients that increase soil fertility and acidity.
While there is no exact quantity of coffee grounds to add to your garden, it is advisable to also keep the application moderate.
Although most plants grow well in highly acidic soils, add too many coffee grounds can cause more harm than good.
Hopefully, this article answered your question about rhododendrons and why they need coffee grounds.