Ask a Question forum→Coffee troubles, please help

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Germany
elens
Jun 9, 2020 6:40 AM CST
Hi,
I searched the forum but couldn't find anything on my particular problem, so maybe someone out there can help me. Here's the story :-)

I have been growing a coffee plant indoors for the past years that was given to me by a friend who has since passed away, and therefore is very dear to me.
It's been somewhat of a ride. I've had severe issues with browning leaves, maybe due to watering or fertilization or who knows what. I haven't been able to exactly figure out what's causing it, but instead have just adapted constantly, adding light, altering watering schedules etc. just overall giving the plant a lot of care and extra attention.
So far the coffee plant has had problems mostly during winter, so I have raised the humidity and sprayed it with filtered water every day. In the warmer months it has always recovered fairly well, growing new and healthy leaves (that would then maybe die off again during winter).
So imagine my surprise when this spring for the first time the plant was sporting some buds! They grew into flowers and I couldn't have been more excited at the idea of maybe growing some more plants from the berries as to make it "live on" (as every winter the threat of the plant dying off entirely seems very real).
I tried pollinating the flowers with a very soft brush but unfortunately now it seems some/most of (what I believe is called) the disks have turned almost black. I couldn't find anything in a book on coffee plant diseases nor on the web. Does anyone have an idea what could be causing it? Or is it supposed to look like this? Did I not pollinate correctly? Or could it be related to the thing that is turning the leaves brown starting from the tips?
I would be so happy to get some information.

Cheers,
El

(The small white things on the leaves are mostly dust, I checked for bugs but couldn't find anything moving)

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 9, 2020 8:20 AM CST
Congratulations on getting your Coffee Plant as far along as you have. Normally, berries form at that base of the spent flowers. Those berries slowly turn from green to red over the course of up to nine months as they ripen. Inside the ripened red berries is where you find the coffee beans. That's if all goes well.

I am concerned about the dark color at the base of the flowers, but it may be too early to tell if it is a problem. The berries develop slowly, so stay with it and see how they develop. If the berries whither or turn black and die, that's the end of it. Otherwise, look for the berries to develop from green to red.

The browning of leaf tips is a generic symptom that can be caused by over or under watering; root damage; not enough light; or chemical damage. Depending on the cause and the severity of the condition causing it, that may also affect the health of the berries.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Germany
elens
Jun 9, 2020 9:02 AM CST
Thank you so much for your reply! It has really made me a but more hopeful.
I know coffee can be a bit of a diva when it comes to watering (too much, or too little) but I did check for root damage when I transplanted it carefully a while (maybe a year or so) back (not too big a pot though, only just so there is some more room for growth, I read coffee likes a fairly tight space with well draining soil).
Considering the age (almost 7!) my plant hasn't actually grown much so I wasn't expecting to see flowers at all in the next years (as all the photos I have found of coffee buds and flowers show big healthy trees, which mine clearly isn't). I have gotten comments previously on how bad it looks, but I consider it an oddity I am just not willing to give up on Smiling Thanks to your help I will be patient and keep observing. Crossing Fingers!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 9, 2020 9:17 AM CST
For future reference, a pot size that looks "comfortable" to our eyes and provides room to grow is probably too big. Most indoor plants grow slowly and prefer to be kept moderately potbound. Large pots tend to retard the growth of plants and also increase the chances of inadvertent overwatering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Germany
elens
Jun 9, 2020 9:35 AM CST
Thanks for the info. I'll keep that in mind, although I believe the pot I used when repotting was probably just an inch or so bigger (I think I remember my first goal was to check for the roots to rule them out as a cause for the leaves browning, so I just put it in a new pot to give it a tiny more room and in case there were spores or bacteria or what not in the old pot). Since there are a lot of new leaves coming now I assume the plant isn't putting all its energy into roots and has a chance to survive a little longer. Thanks so much for your expertise on the subject.

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