Using Kitchen Scraps as Mulch on Houseplants

Using kitchen scraps as mulch


Using kitchen scraps as mulch is something I’ve been doing for an almost entire year and has proved to be a good thing. I’m using kitchen scraps as mulch for my houseplants and plants in containers. Not all kitchen scraps will do, but this is a way to cut down your waste.

Using kitchen scraps as mulch – which ones are ok?

If you want to start using your kitchen scraps to mulch your plants, be aware that not all kitchen scraps are usable. I wouldn’t recommend using onion scraps to add to your indoor planters. Composting of onion can have a bit of oniony smell. The ones that I’ve been using are

  • used coffee grounds
  • used tea leaves
  • eggshells

These have proven to be odorless or have a faint smell of coffee and tee that I like. Eggshells just need to be well dried to be odorless. I would use the coffee grounds for plants that love acidic soil since coffee as mulch reduces pH levels of soil. This is great for conifers and other acid-loving plants.

Preparing kitchen scraps for mulching

To prepare the scraps as mulch not much is needed. When it comes to tea and coffee, the main thing to ask yourself is: “Do I mind to see tea/coffee bags?”. If you don’t mind seeing tea bags in your planters then just put them on the soil in the container. If you do mind seeing them, then simply empty the teabag. The same is true for coffee if you are using those coffee pellets as we are. Empty the contents of the coffee pellets into the container and discard the thin paper they came in. One note: BEFORE ADDING COFFEE AND TEA LEFTOVERS MAKE SURE THEY ARE COLD. That way they won’t burn you nor your plants.

To prepare eggshells I simply leave them to dry till the next day and then crush them in my hands and add them to the plant pot. If you have white eggs they will add a nice white layer. If you do mind seeing them in the planters then you can use the blender to powder them and then add them. You can even mix them with tea leaves or coffee and then spread them over the planters. If you are worried about adding the eggshells, you can first wash them then let them dry.


Using kitchen scraps as mulch reduces the amount of waste we produce while providing our plants with some extra nutrition. As a further waste reduction, I plan using carrot scraps. I also plan to dry tea and coffee bags, and then see if I can grind them with my blender so that even bags are used in the mulch. Yes, this is not a big reduction in waste, but I believe every little thing we do helps. And besides, if plants are happy, I am as well. And they are more than happy to get some extra nutrition in their pots, so give this a try 🙂

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