Growing houseplants is a great way to brighten the room and cleanse the air. While succulents are a popular choice, there are many other equally lovely indoor plants that don't get enough attention. One such plant is the coffee plant, which is special because it's the same plant that grows your coffee beans!
I love the idea of drinking my morning coffee next to the same plant that grows coffee beans. There's something satisfying and full-circle about seeing the source of a product in your very own living room. Coffee plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, they're an excellent choice for beginning plant moms and dads because of their hardiness, and are considered one of the easiest plants to grow.
Coffee plants, or Coffea arabica, are in the Coffea genus and are native to Ethiopia. They grow glossy, dark green leaves and will produce lovely white flowers in the spring with proper care. The arabica coffee plant grows arabica beans, which will come from the fruit found in its flowers. While you can't use the coffee beans you buy at the store to grow this wonderful plant, you can buy beans at a garden store or on Amazon.
How to Grow a Coffee Plant
The plant care of the C. arabica is relatively easy- simply mimic its natural, tropical conditions. It thrives in indirect but bright light. An ideal spot would be next to a window that receives sun, but not actually in the direct sunlight. As for temperature, they can't withstand temperatures below freezing, and they'll only do well in an area that stays above 65 degrees F. It's important to keep them away from drafts in the winter.
When it comes to watering, these flowering plants do well in rich, consistently moist soil, but they can be overwatered. Keep it moist at all times, but ensure that your potting mix and pot allow for good drainage so that your plant isn't ever soaking wet. Coffee plants do well in acidic soil with a pH range of 5 to 7. They need high humidity as well, so choose a humid part of the house like the bathroom.
As for the soil, fertilizing every few weeks throughout the spring and summer with a liquid, balanced fertilizer is best. Most growers prune their coffee plant in the early spring to keep it at a manageable size. If you plan on allowing it to grow tall, it's also important to give it enough space- the plant can grow into a coffee tree of 6 to 15 feet in height!
Grow Your Own Coffee?
While the coffee plant does grow beans, you won't actually be able to brew a pot of coffee from your one plant, as it won't grow enough beans. You will see white flowers once it matures, which can take 3 to 5 years. If you hand pollinate these flowers, they'll produce coffee cherries, each of which will grow two seeds with beans in them. Although there will only be a few flowers, you might have enough coffee beans to roast a few and have a taste of coffee from your very own coffee plant!