Coffee not only perks up tired spirits but also gives your garden the right kick. The coffee grounds make it possible. The nutrients it contains make it an environmentally friendly fertilizer and also good for the plant itself! Let’s see what using coffee grounds on Christmas cactus can do to the plant.
Are coffee grounds good for Christmas cactus?
I am sure you are wondering why I would recommend using coffee grounds on your Christmas cactus. Well, it turns out that there is a lot of benefits to adding this yummy substance to the soil around your plants! It can help your Christmas cactus bloom in season and even revive dying ones if they need some extra TLC (all with just one simple step).
What’s better than having a flowering Christmas cactus at Christmastime? One that blooms without any effort from you whatsoever! The key ingredient here is….coffee grounds!?
Yes, as much as we love our morning brew, those left-over coffee grindings will have us covered when it comes time for watering.
Coffee grounds from the beans of the coffee bush contain many valuable nutrients, such as potassium and nitrogen. These are not completely removed when the coffee is brewed. In particular, “coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen that can help to improve soil structure,” according to Farm and Dairy.
The growth of the Christmas cactus is especially promoted by potassium without causing metabolic problems in plants. The nitrogen, which is important for the growth phase of Christmas cactus, is also sufficiently available in the natural fertilizer.
Symptoms of lack of nutrients
A lack of potassium is noticeable by a mostly yellowish discoloration of the leaves. Older Christmas cactus plants in particular are very sensitive to this — the leaves may die. You can counteract this with coffee grounds as fertilizer. If the pH value of your soil is too high, you can also achieve a balancing effect with coffee grounds.
How to use coffee grounds on Christmas cactus
In order to be able to use the coffee grounds as fertilizer, you should spread them out over a large area on a plate and dry them. Moist coffee grounds quickly begin to mold and are not suitable as fertilizer. Then fill the dried coffee grounds into an open vessel to keep them safe until they are used.
There are two ways to use the coffee grounds as fertilizer: Either you stir the dry coffee into the irrigation water or you scatter the fertilizer around the Christmas cactus and mix it into the soil.
How often to fertilize Christmas cactus
Christmas cacti are at home in damp rainforests. There they thrive with few nutrients. This fact should be borne in mind when fertilizing Christmas cacti. Less is often more here.
As a rule, you don’t need to fertilize a Christmas cactus at all, as you should repot it annually .
If you still want to fertilize, make sure that you avoid over-fertilization. It can be fertilized throughout the year. You only have to forego fertilizing completely during the short break after the flowering period .
- Fertilize a maximum of every fortnight
- Reduce the amount of fertilizer
- Do not fertilize after repotting
- Take a break after flowering
Do not fertilize after purchase or repotting
Immediately after buying or repotting a Christmas cactus, you should forego fertilizing entirely. The substrate is so rich in nutrients that additional fertilizers would simply be too much. In the worst case, the Christmas cactus dies.
You only need to fertilize after the cactus has grown in the same substrate for a year. If you then have to repot it anyway, you can do without fertilizing at all.
It can be useful to repot a Christmas cactus immediately after buying it. The earth is often very compact, very nutrient-rich or completely soaked. In this case, you should pot the cactus, rinse off the old substrate and put it in fresh soil.