How to Grow an Indoor Coffee Tree

Written by rachel turner
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How to Grow an Indoor Coffee Tree
Produce fresh coffee beans indoors at home. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Growing your own coffee beans at home is an appealing project for many gardeners. Maintaining a coffee tree gives you a greater appreciation for the work involved in producing that hot cup of coffee you enjoy on a daily basis. Coffee trees are perennial flowering shrubs native to Ethiopia, requiring a tropical environment for optimum growth and coffee bean production. Most coffee produced today is cultivated from two main types of coffee trees, arabica (Coffea arabica) and robusta (Coffea canephora). It is possible to grow your own coffee bean tree indoors under artificial grow lights.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fresh coffee beans
  • Bowl
  • Sand
  • Biodegradable peat pot
  • 24-inch planting container
  • Good quality potting soil
  • Artificial grow lights
  • Balanced fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Purchase fresh coffee beans that are unroasted from a reputable coffee bean distributor. According to the Talk about Coffee website, only about one coffee bean out of 50 will be viable for germination.

  2. 2

    Fill a bowl with warm water and soak the coffee beans for 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Place sand into a biodegradable peat pot, leaving a 1-inch space from the sand to the top of the pot. Moisten the sand with water until it is damp, but not soaked and dripping. Using a biodegradable peat pot to germinate the coffee bean will reduce the risk of damaging the delicate seedling at time of transplant.

  4. 4

    Push your finger 1 inch into the top of the sand and place one green coffee bean into the hole, flat side down. Cover the coffee bean with sand.

  5. 5

    Water the pot once in the morning and once in the evening to keep the sand moist. Continue to water the sand until the coffee bean germinates, which can take up to six months.

  6. 6

    Fill a large, 24-inch planting container with good quality potting soil. Create a hole in the centre of the soil for the coffee bean seedling. The planting container must be large enough to accommodate the growing coffee tree's long taproot.

  7. 7

    Place the peat pot in one hand and use the other hand to peel one side of the pot away from the sand. You now have an open side of the pot to reach in with your hand and gently grasp the coffee bean seedling.

  8. 8

    Insert the coffee bean seedling into the planting hole and cover the roots with potting soil.

  9. 9

    Set the coffee bean seedling in an area indoors that has a steady and constant temperature range of between 18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius. If you use artificial grow lights, adjust the bulbs of the grow lights no closer than 12 inches above the coffee bean tree.

  10. 10

    Provide the growing coffee bean tree a twice-weekly watering. For one of the two weekly waterings, add a balanced fertiliser to the water according to the package directions. Keep the soil surrounding the coffee bean plant moist, but not soaked.

  11. 11

    Harvest the coffee bean berries when they are ripe and bright red in colour. Coffee bean trees will normally begin producing coffee beans five to seven years after seed germination.

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