Who says coffee should be limited to coffee shops, break rooms and morning commutes? In this article, we present a new place to put your caffeine fix-the garden! Wherever you live, you can grow your own coffee tree.
Growing coffee trees is an exciting business that is sure to be a topic of conversation. Caffeine aside, the plant is so beautiful that it is often gracefully grown in landscapes and as a houseplant. It has dark green glossy leaves and clusters of jasmine-scented white flowers. The flowers linger for only a few days, but are replaced by bright red berries resembling grapes.
Unfortunately, a tree is unlikely to give you enough coffee beans to make a casserole. However, you can roast them, use them in recipes and even turn them into ground compost. There really is no end to the benefits of choosing to grow your own coffee beans.
Quick Maintenance Guide
All About Coffee Tree
You may be surprised to learn that coffee beans are not beans at all -they are seeds! They grow in vibrant red berries, which are usually called coffee cherries. The berry itself is edible, but not as valuable as the caffeinated treasure.
Coffee trees are called trees, but actually grow like shrubs. They bloom in May and June and are ready to be harvested from September to March (depending on the location). There is usually only one harvest per year, but it takes 2-3 months.
Coffee trees are native to tropical Africa, where they are still grown commercially. In the United States, it can grow outdoors in zones 10-11. For colder regions, it thrives quite well as a houseplant. You can even take it with you on outdoor trips in the summer.
The coffee factory not only keeps half the world awake, but also creates agricultural jobs for 100 million people around the world. Coffee is an essential part of the Ethiopian economy. It also plays a major role in Latin American and African agriculture. In fact, it is one of the most popular drinks in the world, second only to tea.
Unfortunately, 60% of coffee species are endangered, including Coffea arabica (the most popular). This is caused by climate change, deforestation and the spread of pests and ailments. Some species may already be extinct.
Types of coffee trees
There are 124 known coffees, but we only have two a day: Arabica and Robusta.
Coffea arabica is the most popular and high-quality infusion. It is used in most types of coffee, as well as as a flavoring agent for desserts and other drinks. Chances are, the classic roasting can in your pantry is Arabica coffee.
Coffea arabica comes from Ethiopia, but has been widely cultivated in Arabia for more than 1000 years. It can grow up to 6 feet tall, but can be kept around 6 feet for indoor use. This plant is self-pollinating and produces large elliptical seeds.
Coffea canephora var. Robusta is like the off-brand version of Arabica. It is much affordable, but much more bitter. This variety is much easier to grow, so it is produced for economic purposes. The tree grows naturally up to 12 meters high and prefers warmer temperatures than Coffea arabica. Small round seeds need cross-pollination to grow.
The best things take work and coffee is no exception. The coffee planting process is detailed but the end result is a beautiful plant.
When To Plant
The growing season of the coffee tree is from April to August inclusive. We recommend planting the seedlings a little before this season, so that they have time to settle down.
Finding coffee plants or seeds can be random in stores, so you may have to order online. Give yourself enough time to shop before it’s time to plant.
Where To Plant
If you live in the tropics or in zones 10-11, feel free to plant this tree outdoors. Start the seeds indoors, then transplant them when they have firm roots. The beginning of planting can go directly into the ground.
Do not forget that these are large bushes that occupy a lot of vertical space. Place them at least 3 meters away from the surrounding plants. Choose a shady place for most of the day, especially in the afternoon.
How To Care For The Coffee Plant
The taste of coffee is greatly influenced by the conditions in which the plant is grown. So, if you want the best quality beans and a vibrating tree, you need to pay special attention to the care of coffee trees.
Sun and temperature
Outdoors, coffee trees need partial shade. They can not cope with direct sunlight and heat, which can burn the leaves. However, indoor plants should be placed through a sunny window. South-facing windows are ideal because they receive the most sun.
Since these are tropical plants, the temperature should be warm, but not hot. 60-80°F is ideal. Temperatures below 55°F can cause leaves to fall and frost can be fatal. Plant coffee trees where they are protected from cold winds, for example, on the south side of a wall.
Water and humidity
Keep the soil constantly moist by watering when it starts to dry out. Depending on your location, you will probably water twice a week. Water much less during the winter to stimulate flowering in the spring.
Avoid excessive watering or leaving the roots in the water. It is easy to tell if the plant needs more water because it wilts and recovers easily. However, do not rely on this method or you will cause unnecessary stress to the plant.
High humidity is absolutely necessary for this tropical tree. This should not be a problem in tropical or coastal areas. However, if your plant lives indoors, keep it away from the heating vents, which are extremely dry. To accurately monitor the humidity level in your home, consider using a hygrometer.
Coffee trees are heavy feeders, so they need rich and fertile soil. Before planting, do not hesitate to prepare the growing medium with organic compost. You also need to make sure that it does not retain water. If necessary, add sand or perlite so that it drains well and is still loamy. Mulch can be added for weed control and moisture control.
Feed your coffee tree at least a few times during the spring and summer growing season. This tree needs a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content. Fertilizers based on roses and citrus fruits are excellent for keeping your coffee tree healthy. You can also fertilize with coffee grounds, as they are full of the exact nutrients that the tree needs!
The most popular method of reproduction is the cultivation of coffee from seeds. The key is to get the right type of seed and germinate it correctly. You should get fresh, green (unroasted) coffee beans. They must be removed from the coffee grounds and rinsed. Collect some from a friend’s tree or order green seeds online. A number of varieties are available from retailers. Ask for seeds that are as fresh as possible. They are viable for four months, but the chances of germination decrease as they get older.
Once you have acquired your seeds, soak them in water for 24 hours. Then place them in wet, but drained sand or vermiculite. Keep the seeds here until they germinate. If these baby seedlings stick out, carefully remove the sprouted seeds and plant them one centimeter deep in fertile, well-drained soil (flat). Carefully keep it moist until the seedlings appear.
If you have a Robusta plant, you don’t have to worry about pests (thanks caffeine!). However, when it comes to the Coffea arabica houseplant, you should pay attention to these insects.
Nematodes are one of the most peril pests for a coffee tree. These coarse worms usually strike the roots, causing root nodes. Other symptoms include yellowing of the leaves, wilting and a decrease in fruit production. To prevent the appearance of nematodes, remove the soil from the old roots before planting and regularly add organic matter. Eliminate existing populations by introducing beneficial nematodes to defend your plants.
Coffee leaf rust looks exactly as it seems. It appears in the form of rusty spots on the leaves and eventually causes the loss of the leaves. This fungus is spread by mold spores in the wind and rain, so you probably won’t experience it if you grow indoors. Outdoors, prevent and control by spraying the tree with a copper fungicide.