Introduction: Starting Succulents in Coffee Grounds

About: Building design/consulting in Vancouver, WA. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to look in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to …

There may be a lot of instructables on propagating succulents...

Here's the simplest way I know!


Container - I typically reach for baking supplies. Here you see 'junior' Pyrex bowls. You also see a standard loaf pan.

Sprouts/Cuttings - here you can see I pull a few from an existing plant. Super easy to find succulent leaves from a friend or even a plant at work! I like to pull leaves when i travel. Here's a earlier instructable on foraging for souvenirs.

Step 1: The Grounds

If you're like us you have grounds almost everyday. Simply pull the grows together into a dish or container.

Succulent Soil Type

  • Mild Acidity
  • Drains Well - typically a sand mixture

turns out that's exactly what you get with coffee grounds!

  • Acidity ~6.5ph
  • Soil structure similar to course sand but able to hold water.

Moisture - All you need is to keep the soil damp. Warmth is more important for root growth than moisture... They are looking for water and while you don't want them to over stretch they are native to desserts and used to having to work for moisture.

Anti-Fungal - While there's still a chance of fungal growth it's less likely due to the acidity of the grounds. Best practice is to let the grounds dry before watering.

Step 2: Sprouts

I pulled these 'Mother of Thousands' sprouts from our main plant. I typically expect only a couple years from this relatively fast growing succulent. It's a fun one to keep reseeding and to share with friends.

Step 3: Rooting

This type of succulent sends out roots while still budding on the plant. In the photos I show how I press the roots under the grounds.

For leaf type succulents simply press the petals into the grounds.

Step 4: Topping Layer + K-Cups

Here are two other ideas for incorporating coffee grounds into your succulent propagation...

  • Topping Layer - easy enough. Simply add coffee grounds over the dirt. Will give you a flawless black layer and it's easy to skim off and replace if you do have any fungal growth.
  • K-Cups - some may say these are wasteful little cups... but they are perfect for starting succulents. Simply peel back their lid and add a petal/sprout. They even have a drainage hole after their single use!

Step 5: Good Luck!

That's all there is to it!

Good luck getting started. If you haven't yet tried to propagate succulents you may find this easier than soaking or going to the trouble of prepping a soil/sand mixture.

Below are a few other coffee related instructables I put together over the last couple years:

Coffee Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Coffee Speed Challenge