Everything you need to know about growing coffee trees at home


If you dare to grow a coffee plant from the very beginning, i.e. from the bean, you need to get the freshest one possible. A bean that is a month old will not germinate as it is already dry. The seeds must have a protective layer around them, called the endocarp or parchment. Arabica seeds/grains are the easiest to find.

The soil likes a more acidic coffee plant with a pH of 5-6.5. Place the pot with the seeds (plant a maximum of 5 in each pot or germination container so as not to crowd each other) in a place in the apartment where you are able to maintain a temperature of around 20℃, and also in a place where the sun does not shine too brightly and where there is diffused, soft light. Preferably, for example, in a conservatory or near a heater. Keep the soil for the seeds moist at all times.

Seeds will germinate in about 3 to 6 weeks after planting. You can then scatter the two-leaved, approx. 4 cm tall sprouts in their own pots. To keep the plants strong and hardy, you need to fertilise them every day during the growing and flowering period with a mixture with a higher nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content.

If you are not such a skilled gardener or are simply worried that the seeds won't germinate, buy an already grown coffee tree.

With proper care, a coffee tree can grow into a 3 m shrub in a few years, densely covered with foliage. Already at one metre tall, you can expect the first yellow-white flowers from which the first coffee cherries will ripen in a few months. To make an espresso (approx. 7 g) you will need approx. 26 cherries. The cherries contain two coffee beans each, so roughly 52 coffee beans.


The coffee plant likes temperatures of around 20 to 25℃ in summer and abundant watering. In winter between 15 to 20℃, when it drops below 12℃ the plant hibernates. It overwinters best around 18℃. The coffee plant is sensitive to cold and excessive moisture. It does not like draughts. When the air in the apartment is heated, the air can be quite dry, refresh the coffee plant by dewy leaves.

Transplant a slightly larger plant into a larger pot each spring. Observe the plant and use various indicators to gauge what it lacks or has in excess. If it has drooping leaves, it needs intensive watering. It is best to take the pot with the coffee plant and submerge it in a bucket of water to moisten all the soil in the pot. After half an hour, remove the pot from the water.

Water only with stagnant water or, better still, rainwater. If you see yellow leaves on the Coffee Plant you have probably overwatered it. Check the soil moisture in the pot, if it is too wet, repot the plant and ensure proper drainage. The Coffee Plant is sensitive to direct sunlight and may start to dry out quickly. It is a deciduous plant, if the leaves are falling it is probably exposed to draughts.


If you would like to improve your coffee tree care and perhaps learn some more stimulating information about growing coffee trees, here is a short summary of the two latest Coffee Tree Growing Guides published by WCR:

Last year, WCR (World Coffee Research) and its collaborators developed and published two important guides that focus on growing coffee trees from seed and on the management around growing and caring for seedlings. They have been published in both important languages for the coffee world, English and Spanish. WCR hopes to make farmers more aware of them, as it is up to them which coffee they choose to grow and how they choose to grow it, in order to make the most of their plantations' fruiting potential.

World Coffee Research (WCR) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to research and development in the global coffee industry. In collaboration with other organisations and experts around the world, it aims to improve the current conditions for growing coffee bushes and producing quality coffee, as well as improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers and their families. The research focus is primarily on quality, which is applicable to all sectors of the coffee industry.

You can learn more about WCR on the World Coffee Researchwebsite .


The WCO is committed to professionalizing the most important link in the coffee production and distribution chain, the coffee nurseries and the coffee plantations that grow from them, producing the highest quality beans. They want to help farmers, through greater awareness and general education, to take fewer risks in their business and to give buyers really good quality coffee for which they pay adequately.

The guide/manual basically aims to serve as a recipe book for growing and subsequent processes such as harvesting, bean washing and drying, proper storage. For growing, the first two chapters are important. They describe planting or sowing and soil treatment step by step, addressing in detail the risk factors and critical moments that can occur when growing coffee. It includes detailed instructions and advice on how to avoid them, as well as, for example, elaborate downloadable tables to facilitate planning and monitoring of seed growth (Excel spreadsheets).


Plant health, based on properly selected seeds, eliminating mortality and ensuring maximum yield, is, simply put, the most important thing about the coffee industry. Therefore, the guide is scrupulous about the correct purchase of seeds or planting. It follows the genetic endowment of the seeds, the agricultural criteria. It also describes the proper selection of choosing quality seedlings for final planting and recognizing atypical plants.

Very important for proper and healthy seedling development or seedling growth is soil preparation and treatment. The guide covers all possible aspects related to soil preparation and treatment. It looks at waterlogging, pest levels, soil fertilisation and the subsequent use of agrochemicals. It thinks about the degree of shading and encourages solutions for good irrigation.


The guide covers and explains the best growing and treatment techniques that have been proven for WCR by collaborating specialists. With comprehensive chapters on coffee varieties ranging from pollination and reproduction of coffee plants to the actual treatment of the plants, it provides very useful information even for the more experienced farmer. It is based on the latest research and practical experience.

On the subject of genetic purity of seeds, both guides offer information on what to look for when buying seeds or plants to produce mother plants for planting or selling.

The guides are complemented by a catalogue describing the characteristics of more than 50 varieties of Arabica. According to this catalogue, farmers are able to choose the best variety for their needs.

The catalogue can be found at https://varieties.worldcoffeeresearch.org. Both guides can be studied in more detail on the World Coffee Research website.