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How to Grow Coffee Tree Plant as a Houseplant

Coffee Tree Plant


Have you ever thought about growing a Coffee plant? You can grow it outdoors, as long as you have a tropical environment, where there is never a frost, and the low temperatures do not go below 65 ° F for any length of time. The good news, is a Coffee plant, which is actually a tree, is easy to grow indoors as a houseplant.

Native to the Mediterranean, Coffee plants are an evergreen which does not annually shed it leaves. It make an excellent indoor houseplant. It is hardy and easy to grow, a great choice for the beginner gardener. It is an attractive plant, and will be a conversation piece for your visitors to your home.

The tree takes about 4-5 years to reach maturity ,and first begin to produce flowers. The sweet scented flowers are long lasting, about a month. Don't expect an abundance of indoor blooms. But, you can get enough to produce a "cup of joe" after the beans have grown and ripened.

Plant Height: A mature coffee tree grows 6-8 feet tall. You can prune it into a bush shape, and limit it to a shorter 3-4 feet height.

Coffee Tree Plant Propagation:

Coffee trees are grown from coffee beans, the same ones you use in your morning coffee. But, you can't take a bean out of the bag you use to make your cup of coffee, as they have been roasted. Rather, you need a mature, raw coffee bean that has been dried and ready for planting.

Most people look to purchase a coffee tree seedling, that is available in some garden stores and online. They are usually 3-4 inch seedlings that you can take home and plant in a 4" pot.

How to Grow Coffee Tree Plants Indoors:

Coffee Tree plants are easy to grow indoor as a houseplant. The plants are long lived. The tree requires about 4-5 years to reach maturity, before it blooms and produces coffee beans.

Temperature: Normal to warm indoor temperatures. Do not let it drop below 65°F  overnight, or for long periods of time

Soil: Use a rich, organic potting soil that is well draining.

Potting and Repotting: Most people buy 3-4 inch seedlings. There are usually several plants with the roots balled together in the package. Place the root ball in water overnight, to make it easier to separate the individual plants. The next day, carefully separate each coffee tree, and plant them in 4" pots. Do not plant more than one per pot. As the plants grow, they need to be repotted twice more. After they outgrow the 4 inch pots, repot them into 12" pots. Then, as they become really big, they will outgrow the 12 inch pots. Finally,  repot them once more into 24" or larger pots. It is important not to let them get root bound, allowing the roots plenty of room to grow.

Light / Sunlight: The plants grow well in bright, indirect light. You can provide full morning light, but avoid direct sunlight in the afternoon. Plant leaves can burn in direct lighting, and it can kill the plant.

Water: Use warm water for the plants on a regular basis, keeping the soil moist but not wet.

Fertilizer Regimen:  Use a light fertilizer every two to three months. As it grows to maturity, it needs a fertilizer high in nitrogen, to fuel the plant's growth. As it matures, switch from high nitrogen, to a fertilizer higher in phosphorous to promote blooming.

Humidity: Plants like high humidity.

Pruning: Prune your coffee plant if you want to keep the plant in a shorter, bushier shape. Many people prefer the bushier appearance. Pruning is best done in the spring.

Pollination: The flowers will appear on mature trees. They are self pollinating. Trees grown indoors, will produce fewer flowers. Hand pollination will ensure more successful pollination of the flowers that bloom.

Bean Growth and Development: After the flowers die off, a pod will appear and begin to grow. The pod is called a "Coffee Cherry". Inside each coffee cherry, one or two coffee beans will grow, taking about six months to ripen. The coffee cherry will change colors as it grows and ripens. A ripe coffee cherry is dark red and takes 6 months before it is ripe.

Picking and Drying Coffee Beans:  Remove dark red coffee cherries from the plant. Squeeze the beans out of the pod. Soak the beans in water for 24 hours. Place the beans on a screen or newspaper to dry. It takes about a week to dry. Finally, wipe any remaining dried pulp off off the beans.  

Related Information:

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