How to grow coffee trees at home?

How to grow a coffee plant from coffee beans?

Coffee can make us happy both in liquid form and in the form of a plant, which is where it all starts. In domestic conditions and in our climate zone, coffee is very unlikely to be harvested. But a few exceptions have already appeared.

Although you might not expect it, the coffee plant is a very good houseplant. Its glossy green leaves grow from woody parts and it is ashrub, not a tree or flower.

Theideal way to start growing a coffee tree is with a freshly picked coffee cherry. But we don't live in a coffee growing country and you probably won't get to a coffee plantation that way.

However, if you are lucky enough, pick ripe coffee cherries by hand, hollow them out, wash them and let them ferment in a container until the flesh peels off. Then rinse them again and discard any beans that float away.

Dry the grains on a sieve in open, dry air, but not in direct sunlight. The green grains should be slightly soft and moist inside and dry on the outside; you can bite into them to find out.

The other option is to get green coffee beans. You can buy these from your favourite roaster, for example. Green beans should ideally be very fresh. The beans then germinate for almost four months on average.

Fresh seeds take 2.5 months to germinate, while older seeds take up to 6 months. Ideally sow more seeds, despite the freshness of the seeds, it is not certain that they will all germinate.

How to plant a coffee bean?

Soak the beans in water for 24 hours, then drain them and place them in damp sand or moist vermiculite. Once the coffee seeds have germinated, remove them. Place the coffee beans, flat side down, in a hole made in loamy soil with a high humus content.

You can also try light and permeable soil. Do not compress the soil. Water the grains daily, but only lightly. Just keep them moist.

After germination, you can leave the plant in its original soil or transplant it into a porous soil with a low pH and high nitrogen content. You can also use anorchid fertiliser to keep the pH low and give the plant the minerals it needs.

Keep the soil moist and well drained. Patience is now definitely a virtue. It takes two to three years for the tree to flower and any cherries to form. To encourage flowering, limit watering in early winter for the next two to three months. As soon as spring begins, water the plant well to aid flowering.

The specific form of the coffee plant also varies depending on thevariety of Arabica it is. Some have larger leaves, while others have darker leaves.

How to care for a coffee tree?

Coffee trees need plenty of light, but completely direct. This means that they should be placed near a window, but not right next to it. It is a deciduous plant, if the leaves are falling, it is probably exposed to draughts.

They also do not tolerate temperatures below freezing and do not thrive in temperatures consistently below 18℃. Temperatures of around 20 to 25℃ in summer and 15 to 20 in winter are ideal , if it drops below 12℃ the plant will hibernate.

When growing a coffee plant, the soil needs to be moist, but do not allow the pot to float in water. Also make sure that both the soil and the pot you grow the coffee plant in have good drainage.

Thehumidity around the plant should be high. It will help withhumidity if you place the coffee plant on a pebble tray filled with water. This will provide moisture, but the coffee plant will not have direct access to the water. Like many other houseplants, the coffee plant needs less water in winter than in summer.

You can also include light fertilization with a balanced fertilizer every two to three months in the spring and summer.

In my experience, spreading the coffee tree into smaller sections also helps its growth. 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, which you can provide by immersing it in a bucket of water. Remove the pot from the water after half an hour.

Water only with stagnant water or, better still, rainwater. If you see yellow leaves on the coffee plant, you have probably overwatered it.

If the coffee plant is grown in ideal conditions indoors, it will eventually flower when it matures, which can take three to fiveyears. However, even in the best conditions you can expect only a few flowers to form, but if you hand pollinate them they will produce berries that contain coffee beans.

Arabica and Robusta are the best known coffee plants, but these are not the only varieties of coffee plant, there are several thousand. In a few years, however, we could also be enjoying coffee of the Stenophylla variety.

How to make a coffee tree bear fruit?

As I mentioned at the beginning, growing coffee cherries is not exactly common in our climate. But you can try. So here's a tip on how to encourage flowering. However, you will need a little patience to do this.

If you grow a coffee cherry tree in ideal conditions, it may even flower, which can take three to five years. Even in the best conditions, however, you can expect only a few flowers to form, which also need to be hand-pollinated. Only then will theberries form, which contain the coffee beans.

To encourage flowering, limit watering for the next two to three months at the beginning of winter. Water the plant well as soon as spring begins. This will support the simulation of a typical environment.