Cultivating Your Own Coffee Plant Indoors

by Sophia Chen
1 comment
Indoor Coffee Plant Cultivation

Roughly two decades ago, during a holiday in Nashville, Tennessee, I encountered my inaugural indoor coffee plant in a greenhouse. It was intriguing to discover the plant’s red “cherries” clustered together, each housing a pair of seeds – the coffee beans we are familiar with.

It was a revelation to me that coffee plants can thrive indoors. With diligent care and patience, they can even yield beans suitable for roasting, albeit sufficient for just a few cups. Moreover, Coffea arabica, with its vibrant green foliage, aromatic white blossoms, and bushy appearance, serves as an attractive and engaging indoor plant.

These plants are readily available at most large nurseries, as well as through houseplant catalogues and online platforms.

In their natural habitat near the equator, Coffea trees can reach heights of approximately 25 feet. However, when cultivated as indoor plants, they usually grow to about 6 feet and can be trimmed down for convenience without harm.

To cultivate your own, plant it in a potting mixture that drains well and maintains a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5, possibly supplemented with peat moss. Ensure the soil remains moderately moist – watering thoroughly every one to two weeks, and then waiting until the soil is partially dry before watering again.

Position the plant in a room with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, away from drafts, in a location with bright, indirect sunlight, such as near a sunny window.

To maintain sufficient humidity, mist the plant daily, use a humidifier, or place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water to create a humid microclimate.

Fertilize your coffee plant quarterly using a balanced fertilizer, adhering to the instructions on the package. Pruning can be done in spring if desired.

The Reward

When your coffee plant reaches an age of 3 to 5 years, it should begin to bloom. To produce beans, manually pollinate the flowers using a cotton swab or a small paintbrush, transferring pollen from one flower to another. Successful pollination will lead to the formation of cherries.

Harvest the cherries when they turn completely red. Spread them out to dry, rotating them regularly to prevent decay. After a couple of weeks, remove the dried skin and pulp to uncover the beans.

Roast the beans in a hot pan, stirring constantly until they turn brown. Once cooled, grind the beans and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee made from your homegrown beans.

Jessica Damiano, the writer behind the acclaimed Weekly Dirt Newsletter and regular gardening columns for The AP, offers more tips and advice. Subscribe to her newsletter for weekly gardening insights.

Discover additional AP gardening stories at BigBigNews Gardening Section.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Indoor Coffee Plant Cultivation

Can coffee plants really be grown indoors?

Yes, with the right conditions and care, coffee plants, specifically Coffea arabica, can thrive as indoor houseplants.

What are the key requirements for indoor coffee plant cultivation?

To successfully grow coffee plants indoors, you’ll need well-draining potting mix (pH 6.0-6.5), moderate watering, bright indirect light, humidity, and occasional fertilization.

How long does it take for a coffee plant to start producing beans?

Typically, coffee plants start blooming and producing beans when they are 3 to 5 years old.

Do I need to hand-pollinate the coffee plant’s flowers?

Yes, to get beans, you’ll need to hand-pollinate the flowers using a cotton swab or small paintbrush to transfer pollen between blossoms.

What is the process for harvesting and preparing coffee beans from indoor plants?

Harvest ripe red cherries, dry them, remove the skin and pulp, then dry-roast the beans in a pan before grinding and brewing.

Who is the author of this gardening guide?

The gardening guide is written by Jessica Damiano, known for her Weekly Dirt Newsletter and gardening columns for The AP.

Where can I find more gardening tips and articles by the same author?

For additional gardening insights, you can subscribe to Jessica Damiano’s Weekly Dirt Newsletter and explore more gardening stories on BigBigNews Gardening Section.

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1 comment

GreenThumbExpert November 14, 2023 - 2:14 am

coffee plant indoor care tips r super helpfl! jessica damiano rocks!


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