Are Coffee Plants Easy to Grow: A Beginner’s Guide

Are Coffee Plants Easy to Grow: A Beginner’s Guide

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the most popular beverages in the world. Many of us rely on a cup of joe to kickstart our day and keep us going. But have you ever wondered where your beloved coffee beans come from? The answer lies in coffee plants. These plants, scientifically known as Coffea, are cultivated for their berries, which are then processed to obtain the coffee beans that we all love. If you’re an avid coffee drinker and have considered growing your own coffee plants, you might be wondering: Are coffee plants easy to grow? In this article, I will provide a beginner’s guide to growing coffee plants and shed light on the topic.

Understanding Coffee Plants

What are coffee plants?

Coffee plants are evergreen shrubs or small trees that belong to the family Rubiaceae. There are over 100 species of coffee plants, but the most commonly grown for commercial purposes are Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora (also known as Robusta coffee). These plants are native to tropical regions, including Africa, South America, and Asia.

Climate and growing conditions

To successfully grow coffee plants, it’s essential to understand their preferred climate and growing conditions. Coffee plants thrive in tropical climates, where they can enjoy a consistent temperature ranging between 60°F to 70°F (15°C to 24°C). However, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 30°F (-1°C) for short periods.

Additionally, coffee plants require adequate rainfall, preferably around 60 to 100 inches (150 to 250 cm) per year. They also need a well-draining soil rich in organic matter. If you do not have a tropical climate, fear not! Coffee plants can be grown indoors or in greenhouses, mimicking the ideal conditions.

Starting from seeds or cuttings?

When it comes to growing coffee plants, you have two main options: starting from seeds or using cuttings. If you opt for seeds, keep in mind that they take longer to germinate and grow compared to cuttings. Coffee seeds have a tough outer layer that needs to be softened before planting by soaking them in water for a day or two.

Alternatively, you can choose to propagate coffee plants using stem cuttings. Cut a 6 to 8-inch (15 to 20 cm) section from a healthy coffee plant, remove the lower leaves, and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining soil and keep it in a warm and humid environment until roots start to form.

The Care and Maintenance of Coffee Plants

Choosing the right location

Whether you decide to grow coffee plants indoors or outdoors, selecting the right location is crucial for their growth and productivity. For outdoor cultivation, choose a spot that receives partial shade, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Indoors, place your coffee plant near a bright window, but ensure it isn’t exposed to intense sunlight.

Watering and humidity requirements

Coffee plants require regular watering to stay hydrated, especially during the growing season. However, be cautious not to overwater them, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again. Furthermore, coffee plants prefer high humidity levels, so consider misting them or using a humidifier to maintain the desired moisture.

Fertilizing and pruning

To promote healthy growth, coffee plants benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer, rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, once every two months during the growing season. Pruning is also essential to keep your coffee plant in shape. Remove any dead, diseased, or overcrowded branches to promote air circulation and prevent pests or diseases.

Patience and Persistence

Growing coffee plants does require patience and persistence, particularly when it comes to harvesting coffee beans. It typically takes three to four years for a coffee plant to mature and produce berries. However, once your plant reaches this stage, it will continue to produce coffee beans for many years to come.

Harvesting coffee beans

When coffee berries turn from green to red, they are ready for harvest. Coffee beans are found inside these berries, and the extraction process involves removing the pulp and drying the beans. Once dried, the beans can be roasted, ground, and brewed to make your favorite cup of coffee.

It’s worth noting that growing coffee plants may not result in an abundant supply of coffee beans, especially if you are only growing a few plants. However, the experience of growing and harvesting your coffee beans can be immensely rewarding and satisfying.


In conclusion, growing coffee plants can be a fascinating and fulfilling endeavor for coffee enthusiasts. While it may take time and effort to cultivate these plants, the joy of harvesting and brewing your own coffee is unmatched. Whether you have a green thumb or are just starting to explore gardening, with the right knowledge and care, coffee plants can be successfully grown, either indoors or outdoors. So, if you’re passionate about coffee and up for the challenge, don’t hesitate to give coffee plant cultivation a try!

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