The coffee tree (Coffea) is an evergreen, tree-like plant that belongs to the Marene family. The plant bears rich maroon fruits with seed grains. This tall shrub can grow to a height of 8 to 10 meters in the wild. Its large, supratially arranged leaves are leathery to the touch. Inflorescences are cream or white in color.
In culture the plant is shortened to a height of 150 to 250 cm. This makes it much easier to care for and harvest.
This shrub is native to tropical Ethiopia. It has an average rate of growth and development, with an annual growth rate of 50-100 mm per year. The longevity of such a perennial is directly related to how favorable the climatic conditions are for its growth.
Science knows coffee trees that are already more than 100 years old and do not stop bearing fruit.
Flowers of such a plant are observed in April-October. After that, fruit forms on the branches, which can be eaten. The first time the coffee tree blooms and bears fruit is at the age of 3-4 years.
In spring and summer, 20 to 30 degrees and in winter, 12 to 15 degrees.
- Humidity of air. Should be elevated (about 70 percent).
- Humidity. Pre-lighting or diffused sunlight.
The best option for the plant is a western or northern window sill.
- Pouring. Moisten the substratum with well-distilled softened water. During the warm months water with frequency of 1 time in couple of days (not less often), in the winter months after drying out of the top layer of the soil mixture. Should be slightly acidic.
Make a quality layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot.
- Fertilizer. Fertilization with organic fertilizer once every 15 days. At the same time, mineral fertilizers are added to the substrate once every 2 weeks.
It is only carried out when the roots no longer fit into the pot (approximately once every 3 years).
- Propagation. By seed and vegetative method.
- Care features. The plant reacts extremely negatively to even a slight draught and to stagnation of moisture in the roots.
In winter the shrub needs to rest, with it removed away from working heating devices.
The coffee tree: How to properly care for and transplant
Home care for the coffee tree
The coffee tree grows best in room conditions at an air temperature around 23 degrees. However, if the room temperature is higher than this value, the plant will not suffer, the main thing is to monitor the optimum level of humidity.
In winter, the shrub should rest. To do this, take it to a cool place of 12 to 15 degrees.
In the hot and dry summer months, moisten the coffee every day from a sprayer with well-drained soft water. Once every 30 days to spray the bush, it is recommended to use ash infusion, which is used to prevent the appearance of diseases and pests. During the cold season, moistening the foliage is highly discouraged. Spraying is only done if the shrub is near a working heating device.
Home coffee trees are not light loving.
It does not need direct sunlight, so north and west-facing windows are great for growing it. If necessary, the shrub can be placed not on the window, but near it.
But if the coffee will be constantly in the shade, this may cause a lack of flowering. In this case, you need to give it extra light.
The coffee tree is an exotic tropical plant.
Nevertheless, it reacts very badly to over-watering and to water stagnation in the sump. But it can also be harmed if the root ball dries out in the pot.
If you notice that the leaves are drooping, this is a sign that the plant needs watering immediately. If the shrub does not get moisture, it can die and be very difficult to save it. Water the shrub in winter about once every 7 days.
The substrate should be moistened only after the top layer has dried out.
The size of the root system should be the first consideration when choosing a pot for transplanting coffee. If the bush was growing in a small pot, it should not be transplanted immediately into a very large container. Ideally, the volume of the container when transplanting should be larger than the lump of soil with the root system by only 20-40 mm. A larger pot will quickly lead to souring of the substrate and rotting of the root system.
Mildly acidic clay soil with added organic matter is best for this crop. A commercially available universal soil mixture can be used for planting. If you want, the substrate can be prepared your own hands, for this mix peat, garden and mulch soil with river sand, with all components taken in equal proportions.
At the bottom of the container necessarily make a good layer of drainage. It will help to prevent stagnant fluid in the root system.
In addition to the soil mixture described above, commercial substrate for azaleas or gardenias can be used for transplanting coffee.
Throughout the growing season the plant needs regular additional nutrients. Timely fertilization will allow the shrub to grow and develop properly, with dense foliage and abundant fruit-bearing.
Scheme of fertilization recommended by experts:
- In March-May, a nitrogen fertilizer is added to the substrate. Then one fertilization with minerals and one with organics.
- Summer fertilization is carried out once every 1.5 weeks. For this purpose, single-substituted potassium phosphate. At this time organic fertilizers are not applied.
- In September the plant is provided with foliar feeding by potassium salts.
Besides that, regularly 1 time in 30 days the substrate should be watered with acidified water: 1 g of citric acid is dissolved in 1 l of water.
Transplanting a coffee tree
If the coffee tree is left in the same container for too long, the growth may become poor. That's why transplanting in time is the key to abundant flowering and good fruiting.
After removing the shrub from its old pot, inspect its root system. Remove all withered and rotten roots.
The bush is then planted in a new container filled with fresh potting soil. Pay attention to the fact that after planting the root neck of the plant should be 0,5-0,7 cm above the surface of the substrate. Carefully fill all voids with the new potting soil.
Moisten the substrate in the pot well with melted or settled water, which should be slightly warm. Loosen the surface of the pot after a couple of days in order to lightly moisten the pot so that the roots do not become stagnant.
KEFA GROWTH CARING AND REPLACEMENT
Trim these domestic shrubs may be systematically cut back if desired. This will help to give the crown the desired shape. If you want to grow a bamboo tree, it is better not to cut it back at all, because often short branches stop growing after pruning.
Most often intensive branching is observed when the bush is 0.5-0.
8m high, so the bamboo forms itself without the intervention of a florist. But if the coffee tree is shrub-formed, the excess shoots must be plucked to achieve the desired shape.
The indoor coffee tree is in flowering and intensive growth from April to October. At this time, small inflorescences consisting of 4-6 white flowers are formed in the leaf axils. They have a pleasant, unobtrusive scent that is similar to that of jasmine.
Please note that flowering is only observed on adult specimens. If well cared for and given a dry wintering, the first flowers will most likely form on the branches in the third or fourth year of growth.
From about October the shrub begins its resting period, for which it needs to be given certain conditions. How to take care of it during its resting period:
- A room temperature must be between 12-15°C;
- Moisturize the pot only when the top layer is very dry;
- Here it must be in the shade, but light a few hours daily.
In the last winter or first spring weeks, move it to a warmer place.
But no bright sunlight is allowed at this time.
How long may a coffee tree be left unattended?
If the coffee tree needs to leave urgently for a while, it should be prepared beforehand to avoid its death:
- All flowers or fruits should be cut away. This is because the plant uses a lot of moisture for them.
- Have the young shoots pruned to stop their growth for a while.
- Before you leave, it is recommended to put the pot with the bush on a mat made of foam rubber that is in a container of water.
Make sure that the drainage holes in the bottom of the container are not too tightly plugged with pieces of foam rubber.
An automatic watering device can also be fitted if possible. This will allow the shrub to have a regular supply of water for 15-20 days.
Growing from seed
You can easily plant your coffee tree from seed if you wish. Only freshly harvested seed is suitable for this purpose.
The older the seed, the lower the chance of a seedling appearing.
Substrate for sowing use loose and well water permeable. For example, river sand mixed with leafy soil can be used. Before sowing, the substrate should be sterilized by steaming it over boiling water for 10 minutes.
The seed is not buried, it is spread on the surface of the soil mixture.
Otherwise it may rot. Seeds should be placed on the surface of the substrate with the flat part. Next, water the seeds with slightly warm water. Above the container is covered with glass or film. Ventilate the seeds regularly: for this purpose, the cover is removed for three hours with a frequency of 2 times in 7 days.
25 degrees is the optimal temperature for the emergence of seedlings. However, the first shoots may not appear until six to eight weeks after sowing. Once the seedlings have developed several true leaves, they can be pickled. The seedlings will first bear fruit in their third or fourth year of growth.
How to grow a Coffee Tree at home ☕
The previous year's branches are cuttings with two nodes in each piece.
Before planting, soak the cuttings in a solution of Heteroauxin for a few hours. Then, they are planted in a mixture consisting of 1 part peat and 1 part sand. Deepen the cuttings into the substrate by 30 mm. Remember to make a good layer of drainage at the bottom of the container.
The cuttings should be given the same air temperature and watering regime as when the seeds were sown.
For the cuttings to give roots faster, they need the lower heating of the container.
After the cuttings start to grow and young leaf plates appear from the buds, they can be planted in a permanent pot. These bushes will bear fruit for the first time in their second year of growth.
Growing and propagating coffee trees at home
Main problems may occur with the coffee tree such as:
- Darkening and withering of the leaf-plate edge. The air in the room is excessively dry.
- The foliage becomes yellow. Root system rotting has occurred.
- Brown spots form on leaf plates. Nitrogen deficiency in the substrate.
- The appearance of holes on the leaves.
This occurs as a result of sunburn.
- Young foliage turns yellow, with veins colored green. The substrate is not acidic enough.
- The foliage becomes yellow, begins to rot and flies off. Moisture stagnates regularly in the soil mixture.
- Leaves fall off in winter time. Shrub feels severe lack of light.
- Excessively slow growth. Lack of nutrients in the soil mixture.
- The foliage becomes wrinkled and yellow spots develop.
Lack of potassium or the soil mixture is moistened with hard water.
- Leaf plates become covered with brown or purple spots. Too little phosphorus in the substrate.
- Young foliage is pale yellow and very small. This is how iron deficiency manifests itself.
- Pests such as: mealybug, scab, and spider mite are the most common pests to settle on the plant.
Types of coffee trees
The following will describe the coffee tree varieties that are most popular in indoor culture.
The Arabian coffee tree (Coffea Arabica)
In popular usage, this variety is better known as Arabica. In the wild, the shrub reaches a height of six meters. In room culture, its dwarf variety "Nana" is cultivated with a shrub height not exceeding 0.
8 m. Flowering is observed twice a year. The shrub can be easily shaped.
Congolean coffee tree or Robusta (Coffea canephora)
The variety is unpretentious and has a well developed root system. A characteristic feature of this variety is that once the fruit branches have died back naturally, they will fall off.
Liberian Coffee Tree (Cofféa liberica)
This tall and rather large shrub has a pyramid-shaped crown. It can be grown both indoors and in a greenhouse. The variety is highly resistant to most coffee tree diseases.
The seeds of the coffee tree contain valuable trace elements and substances. Caffeine is considered the most famous and active ingredient.
Caffeine is used in preparations and drinks to stimulate, energize and tone the body. They are used in the treatment of fatigue, headache, nervous exhaustion and other diseases. Coffee has a rich, unique aroma and flavor, which is why it is widely used in cooking for a variety of drinks, ice cream, desserts, baked goods.
The coffee tree - secrets of growing at home.