Coffee Grounds and Azalea


Posted by Horticulture Guy - Peter Punzi | Posted in Midwest U.S. Gardeners | Posted on 15-05-2012

Q. I tested the soil @ my Azalea: pH-7.0  Nitrogen- Low, no # given  Phos- High, no #  Pot- Medium, no # Coffee  Grounds suggested for pH and Nitro. correction. What who you suggest to correct ALL issues or where can I find out? Thanks for your Time and Assistance! I appreciate it! Monte Cardwell Wichita KS 67213

A.  Hello Monte – Coffee grounds probably won’t help lower the pH much unless you are dumping the coffee with the grounds.  But they will help some with Nitrogen and a good source of organic matter but t may not be sufficient if your readings are low.  If you are looking for fertilizer follow the lead of your soil test and go with a fertilizer that has a N-P-K ratio (those three numbers on the bags showing the percentage of each nutrient K being for potassium)of approximately 3-1-2. Or apply a nitrogen based fertilizer like urea or blood meal and a potash fertilizer like Muriate Of Potash. To adjust the pH I would use Sulfur soil amendment (azaleas would prefer a pH around 5.5)  – Alternately you could also try a chelated fertilizer like Miracid – which contrary to what you might think – does not lower the pH but protects the nutrients from being affected by a high pH (through chelation which comes from the Latin for claw).

Hope that helps – HG