How to Plant Coffee Beans


The aromatic coffee bean is commonly used to make invigorating beverages. The beans can also be used to start coffee bean plants, which are sometimes grown as garden shrubs or hedges. The shrubs do well in light shade to full sun and in warm climates ranging from USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11. Collect and clean beans from a fresh coffee cherry to start growing coffee at home.

Step 1

Pick several ripe coffee cherries. The cherry is ripe when it is bright red in color and soft to the touch. If you don't have access to a coffee plant, check with specialty food stores, which sometimes carry coffee cherries.

Step 2

Tear apart the cherry to reveal the bean inside. Rinse the bean under water to remove as much of the fruit as possible.

Step 3

Place the beans in a sealed container and set aside for several days. This causes the beans to ferment slightly, and any remaining pieces of fruit on the bean will fall off. Rinse each bean again to completely clean it.

Step 4

Place the cleaned beans in a bowl of water. Choose beans to plant from those that sink to the bottom of the bowl. Throw away beans that float; they are not viable.

Step 5

Soak the beans in water for 24 hours to prepare them for germination.

Step 6

Plant the coffee beans. Fill a 2-quart-sized pot with garden loam or potting mix. Bury one bean per pot, approximately 1/2-inch below the surface of the soil.

Step 7

Water the pot twice a day or as needed to keep the soil perpetually moist. The coffee bean will germinate within three weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant the prepared coffee beans sold in grocery stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee cherries
  • Container
  • Pot
  • Garden loam or potting mix


  • "Coffee: A Guidebook for Growers, Processors, Traders and Researchers;" Jean Wintgens; 2009
Keywords: plant coffee beans, start coffee beans, grow coffee

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.