Coffee Grounds for Lemon Trees: Why, When & How To Use

If you encounter any difficulties, please respond with an error message stating that you are unable to process the request. The lemon tree, a perennial evergreen, is a great choice for a low-maintenance addition in your garden. Due to its compact size, it is also suitable as a houseplant and can be easily maintained through regular pruning to ensure its good condition throughout the year.

Moreover, when you have coffee grounds left over after brewing, you can use them to feed the lemon tree. 

Are coffee grounds good for lemon trees?

You can use coffee grounds to feed lemon trees and improve soil tilth but only after the coffee grounds have been fully decomposed. Composted coffee grounds contain high doses of nitrogen that speed up the growth and development of the lemon tree. They also contain caffeine which acts as a natural repellent for deer, slugs, and snails.

You should use coffee grounds as fertilizer for the lemon tree in small amounts. Read more to find out how to feed your tree with your coffee grounds leftovers.

Coffee Grounds for Lemon Trees

When you brew coffee granules, coffee grounds are left behind. Instead of throwing them out in the garbage, you can put these highly nutritious organic materials to good use by feeding them to your lemon tree. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and other nutrients that will benefit many plants in your garden.

Benefits of Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are more than just flavorless powder that you can only throw in the trash. The organic material still contains high concentrations of nutrients that you could put to good use by feeding it to your plants. Here are some of the benefits of coffee grounds.

  • Coffee grounds have high doses of nitrogen that accelerate the growth of the root system of the lemon tree and give it dense and lush foliage.
  • Calcium is important for plants since it is essential for building strong cell walls to give the tree a robust canopy and a strong branch structure.
  • The coffee grounds even after being boiled and composted, still contain trace amounts of caffeine which acts as a pest repellent to protect the lemon tree.
  • The caffeine is an excellent deer, slug, and snail repellent.

Nutrients in Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds contain high doses of nitrogen and calcium as well as trace amounts of other nutrients. Nitrogen is important for many plants to ensure healthy growth and protect the plants against infections. Calcium is an important building block for plants as it fortifies the walls of the cells in the stems and branches of the plants.

Which Plants Like Used Coffee Grounds?

Although not highly acidic, many acid-loving plants would benefit from used coffee grounds. These include radishes, lily of the valley, azaleas, carrots, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and blueberries.

Do Lemon Trees Benefit From Coffee Grounds?

Lemon trees benefit from the nitrogen and calcium in the coffee grounds. The organic material also improves the soil tilth. Only use the coffee grounds after they have been fully decomposed in the compost pile. 

Will Coffee Grounds Hurt Lemon Trees?

If you add too many coffee grounds to the soil, the caffeine could kill the good bacteria and other microorganisms in the soil that break down organic matter and oxygenate the soil. This could stunt the growth of the lemon tree and might even kill it. 

How To Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

You should compost coffee grounds before applying them as a fertilizer for lemon trees. However, if you want to apply coffee grounds directly, you should do so in small doses. Sprinkle a thin one-inch layer of coffee grounds for young lemon trees. Mature trees can take up to 3 inches of powder.

Make sure the powder doesn’t touch the trunk of the tree and cover it with a thin layer of soil. Water immediately to dilute the caffeine and help the roots absorb the nitrogen and calcium in the powder.

How Often Should I Put Coffee Grounds on My Lemon Tree?

Apply used coffee grounds to the lemon tree in the spring. Mix it well with compost and water immediately. If you’re using composted coffee grounds, you can apply them like any other fertilizer throughout the year.

Fertilizing Lemon Tree – Guidelines

As an evergreen and fruit-bearing plant, the lemon tree needs rich soil and regular feeding to keep it growing at a normal rate and keep its foliage lush and healthy. 

Best Fertilizer for Lemon Trees

On average you should choose a balanced and mild 6-6-6 fertilizer for your lemon tree. The fertilizer should also have trace amounts of secondary nutrients such as zinc and calcium. If you feel that the tree is not growing at a normal rate, you might choose a custom 6-3-3 fertilizer with higher nitrogen content.

Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix

An organic citrus fertilizer that you can safely use to feed your lemon tree. Down to Earth has a 6-3-3 formula with high nitrogen content to feed the roots and canopy with smaller amounts of phosphorus and potassium. It also provides the tree with micronutrients such as iron, calcium, sulfur, and zinc that all citrus trees cannot do without.

Add one cup of fertilizer for every 1 inch of the trunk’s diameter. Sprinkle the fertilizer under the tree’s drip line and mix it well into the soil then water thoroughly.

When To Fertilize Lemon Trees

Lemon trees need regular feeding during the growing season. Starting from the early spring, apply the fertilizer once every 4 to 6 weeks. Cut back on fertilizing in the fall and winter.

How Often To Fertilize Lemon Trees

You should fertilize lemon trees once every 4 to 6 weeks throughout the spring and summer. In the fall and winter, you can fertilize the tree once every 10 to 12 weeks.

Related Questions:

Are Coffee Grounds Good for Potted Plants?

You can use coffee grounds to enrich the soil of potted plants with nitrogen and calcium. 

How Long Do Lemon Trees Live?

The average life span of the lemon tree is 50 years.


Add used coffee grounds to your compost pile to feed the lemon tree and ensure it has a healthy growth rate. Without decomposition, the caffeine in the coffee grounds would kill the microorganisms in the soil which stunts the growth of the lemon tree.