Growing Coffee with Unprocessed Green Beans


Although it is easier to grow a coffee plant from a cutting, growing coffee from unroasted green coffee beans can work with time and patience. The overall process of sprouting and growing a coffee plant can take more than a year. With patience and perseverance, however, growing a coffee plant from green coffee beans is possible.

Step 1

Place around 20 coffee beans in a pan. Not all the unprocessed green beans will viable, so you need more beans to start.

Step 2

Cover the beans with an inch of water and let them soak for 12 to 24 hours. After that amount of time, a number will have a white bump on one end. This white bump is a coffee plant embryo.

Step 3

Remove the seeds with embryos from the pan. Throw the other beans away.

Step 4

Fill deep peat pots with vermiculite. The pots need to be deep to accommodate coffee's long tap root.

Step 5

Plant the germinated seeds about 1 1/2 inches deep in the vermiculite. Water the vermiculite thoroughly, but not so much to make it soaking wet.

Step 6

Cover the pot with plastic wrap. Keep the vermiculite moist, but don't over water.

Step 7

You will see a tiny goose neck above the vermiculite after about 60 days if one or more of the seeds was viable. If you don't see a goose neck after 90 days, try another batch. It might take several attempts to get a viable coffee plant. Once you see the goose neck, remove the plastic wrap.

Step 8

Continue watering your goose neck until the first two young leaves appear. These first leaves may take as long as four months to grow.

Step 9

After the first two leaves appear, place your young coffee plant in indirect light for a few hours a day. Increase the time by a few hours per day until your plant can tolerate a day's worth of indirect light.

Step 10

Keep watering the young plant until it grows its adult leaves. This can take up to nine months. Watch the roots to ensure they aren't crowded in the peat pot. If they start to deform the pot, repot the plant in a larger pot.

Step 11

Once your tree has four of its adult leaves, after nine to 10 months, repot it in a more permanent pot. Plant coffee in large, deep pots that can accommodate their deep roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Green coffee beans
  • Deep pan
  • Vermiculite
  • Large, deep peat pot
  • Plastic wrap


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Keywords: coffee cultivation, growing coffee, coffee plants, coffee trees

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.