I love coffee and plants too! If you feel the same way, you can combine both passions by growing coffee plants yourself at home. The result is at least one beautiful coffee plant with white, jasmine-scented flowers! With a little luck and the right care, you can even manage your own coffee harvest.
In this post I will explain to you what is important when cultivating coffee plants at home in our latitudes.
The choice of seed There are over 120 types of coffee, but only a few of them store enough caffeine to be used in a good coffee. If you not only want to enjoy the sight of your coffee plant, but also harvest your own coffee, you should choose one of the classic Arabica or Robusta varieties. With the Java Kayumas bean, I chose a highland Arabica coffee from fair and ecological trade. This is how I make sure my beans have not previously been treated with pesticides. In order for the beans to sprout, you should make sure that they are as fresh as possible. You can easily tell by their slightly sour smell. The best thing to do is to take your bean seeds straight from the package and start growing them right away.
Properly tighten the coffee seeds
Fresh and still fragrant, put a handful of coffee seeds in lukewarm water (approx. 25-30 degrees) for a few hours. I put them in a small pot with warm water and put them on the heater overnight. The first beans are already beginning to sprout. Alternatively, you can put the beans with the warm water in a thermos overnight.
Sow the coffee plant
From the sprouting coffee beans, you now choose the most promising ones and place them in a small flower pot with fresh, moist soil. Press the beans lightly, but do not cover with soil. Coffee plants are tropical plants and like to be warm and humid. Find a warm and light place for them and make a small plastic hood to keep the humidity in. To do this, you can either attach some cling film with toothpicks or put a bright plastic cup with holes over each coffee sprout. Make sure that they still get enough air, otherwise unwanted mold can form.
Now it can take up to 2 months for the first green of your slowly but steadily growing coffee plant to appear. Keep the soil well moist during this time. When the coffee plant has two leaves, it’s time to transplant it into a slightly larger pot. Take the soil from the first pot with you and add more so that it still feels “at home” after repotting.
Take care of the coffee plant properly
Coming from tropical regions, your coffee plant likes to be warm and humid, but prefers to be in partial shade. Therefore, you shouldn’t expose them to direct midday sun. Since it feels particularly comfortable in high humidity, it will thank you if you spray it with a little water every day for care. You should use soft water with a low lime content as irrigation water, to which you add a little lemon juice every now and then (coffee plants prefer acidic soil). If the temperatures climb above 20 degrees in summer, your coffee plant likes to be outside. But don’t put them in direct sunlight. Just like our skin, the coffee plant also wants to slowly get used to the sun, otherwise the leaves will burn quickly. She especially likes it in the warm summer rain. The coffee plant grows most actively in summer, which you can support with occasional fertilizing (once a month). When the temperatures drop again, your coffee plant wants to move back to the living room to overwinter.
How the coffee plant hibernates well
The coffee plant is in a dormant phase between October and March. During this time, it is watered less and no longer fertilized. She still prefers a light and moist location so you can continue to spray her with water every day. It shouldn’t be that warm now, the temperature can easily drop to 15 degrees. If your coffee plant looks limp in winter, and the leaves are wilting or brown, put a plant lamp next to it, which provides it indirectly with a good light spectrum.
Harvest your own coffee beans
It can take a few years for your plant to flower for the first time. But then she gives you a wonderful scent of jasmine and a few months later the first coffee berries. To increase the chance of coffee berries, you can help with the pollination with a soft brush. After about 8 months the berries will turn red and can be harvested. The harvest is not enough for your own portion of self-harvested and roasted coffee beans? Then just loosen the seeds from the berry and put them back on. So you will soon have your own small local coffee plantation 🙂
Cheat sheet for growing your own coffee
Since there were a lot of points, I would like to summarize the most important key points on the way to your own coffee plant:
- choose fresh and green coffee beans as possible
- soak them in warm water (25-30 degrees) for a few hours – put the seedlings in a small flower pot (just press down, do not cover with soil)
- choose a warm, bright location with high humidity
- occasionally add a little lemon juice to the watering water
- Repot the coffee plant in a larger pot as soon as it has its first two leaves
- spray them with water every day
- if possible, put them outside in summer, but not in direct sun
- fertilize them once a month in summer
- give her a rest at about 15 degrees to winter
- water them less often in winter, do without fertilizers, but keep spraying them regularly
- support the pollination of the flowers with a soft brush
Have fun growing your own coffee plant! Share your experiences and your progress in the comments!