August 21, 2009
How To Grow Your Own Coffee Tree
As I am sitting at Starbucks writing this blog, I’m thinking about how many times I’ve come here in the past few years and how much money I have spent buying coffee and other products. While Starbucks seems to be one of the leaders in green and healthy drinks, as well as contributing positively to the environment and world, I thought I’d give us all a tutorial on growing your own coffee plants.
As a fun project, or to spend less money at starbucks, coffee plants are fairly easy to grow in the home as a potted specimen, which should be moved outdoors for the summer if possible.
They do best in filtered sunlight, with night temperatures in the lower to mid 60s and day temperatures of 70F or higher. Plant them in any good commercial, fast draining potting soil . The soil should be kept on the moist side, but never soggy.
Coffee plants will produce fruit without any fertilizing whatsoever, but for best results and maximum yield, they should be fed every 2 weeks from March to October, and then monthly from November through February. You can find seeds for coffea and other rare and unusual plants online from The Whatcom Seed Company
The plants will grow to about 10 feet if given ample root room, but can be pruned if this is too big for the allotted space. Pruning may involve simple pinching to produce a bushier plant, or you may go as far as cutting it way back…. Right down to where only two branches near the bottom are left on it.
The fruit are red when they ripen in the fall, with a sweet pulp surrounding the bean. Each coffee berry has two beans. The coffee tree’s fruit does not all ripen at one time. In fact it will have blossoms and berries in various stages of ripening. Only the ripe berries can be picked. The berries cannot be picked when green since they will not ripen once picked.
So give it a try and let us know how it goes!