Roses, Coffee & A Plant Hack

roses

Do you know the countries that supply the world with roses? According to an article that I just read in Quartz, for this past Valentine’s Day, the top cut rose exporter was Netherlands with 42.4%. Coming in second was Ecuador with 20.9%. Kenya was third with14.7%. Fourth was Columbia with 12.8%. Rounding out the top five was Ethiopia with 4.3%.

When I think of Kenya, I often think of coffee. Now that I look closer at this list, my mind often links Ethiopia and Columbia with coffee too. There are rich nutrients in the soil of lands where coffee beans and roses flourish.

A few days ago, I wrote about my problems growing roses. Back then, I hadn’t learned about the coffee hack for plants. Years ago, I heard that putting coffee grounds in or on the soil would help house plants. That never worked for me.

The coffee rose connection reminds me of the pH level of soil. I’ve never tested the pH level of the soil that I use. Maybe it’s something I can see on the packaging? I’ll have to look. According to a Homes & Gardens article, pH stands for “potential of Hydrogen.” I know I learned this back in grade school at some point! Acidity and alkalinity are measured against the pH scale. The scale measures different types of things, not just soil.

Water is also measured with this scale. The U.S. Dept. of the Interior states that the pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH under 7 indicates an acid and over 7 indicates a base, also referred to as alkali. Medical News Today states that the purest water is right in the middle with a pH of 7. An acid like vinegar has a pH of 2. Bleach, an alkaline, has a pH of 13.5.

Coffee Hack For Plants

Coffee is acidic, with a pH level ranging from 4 to 5, according to Healthline. I’m not sure of the pH level needed for the soil best to grow coffee or roses. However, it seems that depending upon the pH level of soil that you’re starting with, you’ll either make the soil more acidic or get it closer to being neutral if you add coffee grounds.

The Homes & Gardens article states that most plants prefer somewhat acidic soil (pH 6.5) but vegetables prefer more alkaline soil (7.5). I’m a proud plant parent with 30 plants at the moment and they mostly do quite well. Cacti, roses and African violets tend to be challenges for me. However, a few things changed. Snake plants used to be a problem and now one is thriving! A former neighbor gave me two baby snake plants. The soil was a different mixture than what I usually used. They grew a lot after just a few months. I repotted them together into one pot for a fuller plant. This plant is getting so tall now! The coffee hack isn’t the miracle here though.

Likewise, my cebu blue pothos and zz plant are both growing like crazy now after doing nothing for a year. My aunt suggested adding coffee. Not coffee grounds. She said to reserve a bit of the coffee that I would normally drink and use it to water the plants. I tried. Within a couple of weeks, the zz started growing new shoots! The cebu blue grows so fast now that I made cuttings and have several of these plants. The coffee hack absolutely works.

I water the cebu blue once every seven to ten days. For the zz, I water once every 10 -14 days. I also water my impatiens with coffee water and it has more flowers. Impatiens like a lot of water, so I water twice a week. I don’t use coffee water each time I water the impatiens, but at least every other watering. It’s an ongoing experiment though. The timing changes depending on the season and with each plant.

Recently, I’ve tweaked the coffee hack a bit. Instead of taking from the coffee that I drink, I remove the coffee filter with the grounds still in it. So more coffee for me to get my morning jolt. The coffee hack works for people too! I put the filter in a small glass of water, so the grounds don’t come out, but continues filtering into the water. After a few hours, I take out the filter and use the water for my plants.

If you try the coffee hack for your plants, let me know! ☕

Happy Mother’s Day!

Three picture collage, pink blossoms on tree, pink flowers in container on grass, pink petals scatterd on green grass beside a tree.

Hope all you moms out there have a wonderful day! I’m baking a cake right now and will see my family later on.

Recently on Twitter, I found the hashtag #FreeBlackMamas. It’s a movement to free black mothers from jail who are only there because they could not afford to pay bail.

This is truly unfair. Incarceration solely for the lack of money. Mama’s Bail Out Day is an offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement. The people involved have been raising money with the help of other organizations and bailing out women all over the country in time to see their children for Mother’s Day.

The work will continue after Mother’s Day, but I think it’s a great start. Part of the inspiration was looking back at history. During slavery, free black people would raise money to buy the freedom of their relatives. #FreeBlackMamas is in the same tradition of buying freedom for our loved ones.

From what I have read, most of the women were charged with minor nonviolent offenses. A Rewire article, gives a glimpse into the bail system and how it has needlessly broken apart so many families.

Most of the people in local jails have NOT been convicted of a crime, but they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. So they languish away in jail.

An estimated 700,000 people are condemned every day to cages and separated from their families often simply because they cannot afford to pay bail.

Prison Policy’s research shows that between 60 and 70 percent of people held in local jails have not been convicted of a crime. U.S. Code §3142 permits individuals who have been charged of a crime to be held if the judicial officer believes that the person will not return for trial. However, the criterion is very vague and allows counties to have broad discretion over the terms of keeping someone detained. Sadly, these laws disproportionately affect Black people.

If you’re interested in reading more, here are three good articles below.

For Mother’s Day, You Can Donate To Bail Out Moms So They Can See Their Kids
Why I’m Helping to Bail Out Black Mamas
In The Tradition Of Our Ancestors, This Mother’s Day We’re Bailing Out Our Mamas

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been raised, but there is a lot more work to do.

A Gentle Transition

tree + blue clouded skyThe past few days it’s been warm. In the 70s and I’ve ditched my jacket. October had some very cold days and nights.

But November has been a breath of fresh air before heading into winter. The change in seasons stepped back for a bit to let us enjoy a gentle transition.

pink flowers yellow leavesThe bright colors of the leaves only lasts for a few weeks, so I like to take pictures and notice the differences. The type of light and shadows. The blue of the sky. The fluffiness of the clouds. Each day, even minute to minute, there are subtle changes.

The contrast between yellow autumn leaves and pink summer flowers is striking. Within a couple of weeks, they will mostly be gone.

yellowish green treeThese trees will look different. A more permanent chill will have set in. But for the next few weeks, I’m enjoying the transition.

Have a good weekend!