The Q&A Archives: Coffee Plant

Question: Bought a coffee plant (arabica) at local supermarket as an experiment. Pretty little plant. Following directions, misting every day, not in direct sunlight, placed in west window. What can I expect except tons of beans?

Answer: Coffee plants are actually trees so over time, the bottom leaves may yellow and fall off. Eventually they can reach about 15 feet high. Tiny white flowers will cluster near the base of leaves. Next appear fruits, green, then they turn red or purple. Each fruit will contain two seeds, or coffee beans.

If you want Coffee arabica to be bushy plants, pinch out the terminal buds on the ends of the stems. This will force growth toward the center and result in a compact shrub instead of a bare-trunked tree.

Coffee arabica plants 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.

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