The Q&A Archives: Bay Leaf and Coffee Plants Indoors

Question: How do I care for an indoor bay leaf tree and a coffee plant?

Answer: Bay, or Laurus nobilis, is a tree that thrives in tropical and subtropical areas. You can plant it outside after all danger of frost in a sunny location. Just sink the pot right into the soil so that, come fall, you can dig it up without
disturbing the roots. Place it in a sunny window for the winter season. Fertilize with a dilute water soluble fertilizer only when it is in active growth, and do not expect it to grow very fast -- this is a relatively slow grower in the best of conditions. Repot during the growing season as needed into a well drained or soilless mix. During the growing season, it requires ample water. Check the soil two or three times a week; if it is dry, soak it with room temp. water.

Coffee plants (Coffee arabica) like a moist soil rich in organic matter. Use half planting mix and half compost. They need shade outdoors, but indoors will need more light. Keep out of direct sun and hot drafts from heating units. Use an all-purpose plant fertilizer during growing season. Keep soil consistently moist. Trim in spring as needed for shaping. If you put it outdoors at all, it must be protected from frost. Good luck!

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