Growing coffee beans indoors can be a fun hobby for coffee lovers. Coffea arabica plants are handsome evergreens whose compact growth habit makes them perfect candidates for pot culture.
Fragrant white, star-shaped flowers appear on the plants during the summer months.
Inch long oval-shaped fruits follow the tiny blooms. The fruits turn red as they ripen. Each contains two hard brown coffee beans.
The dark green foliage is crinkled and shiny.
Coffee plants are tough and easy to care for. When growing coffee beans indoors give them as much light as possible. If you set the pot outside during the summer, set it in light shade.
Remember to bring it back in before the first frost as this native of tropical Africa does not like cold weather.
Keep on the look out for scale and mealy bugs. If they attack during warm weather, try setting the plant outside for a few weeks. This will often allow the pest's natural enemies to rid you of it. The fresh air and natural light will also rejuvenate the plant.
If insect pests launch their offensive during the winter, rubbing alcohol and q-tips will strengthen you for the battle. Just wipe the bugs off with the alcohol soaked q-tips. This won't hurt the coffee plant but it will kill the bugs. You may need to repeat this treatment once a week for a month in order to kill all the stragglers.
To propagate Coffea arabica plant fresh seeds. Once the berries turn bright red, the coffee beans (seeds) will be ripe.
The sooner you sow them, the higher the germination rate will be. Cuttings are difficult to root.
Plant the seeds in moist compost and keep the flats warm. Pot them up as they grow. If you keep them warm and moist, they can grow into 7 foot bushes.
You can keep it small by keeping it in a small pot or by trimming it to maintain it at the desired size.
Coffee plants will not tolerate drought. Letting them dry out can cause permanent damage. The leaves will fall if they are kept too wet or too dry. Feed the plants in late spring and summer only. Repot them in the spring.
Plants begin to flower at 3-4 years of age.
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Gymnocladus dioicus is a plant unrelated to Coffea arabica.
This deciduous tree is called American Coffee Berry because the early settlers used its seeds to make a coffee substitute during colonial times.