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How to Grow Coffee From Cuttings

Coffee made of coffee image by Yanir Taflev from

Coffee gives you the early jolt needed to get through the day. Typically, it grows in tropical or near-tropical regions away from frost that could damage the plant, but people may also grow it at home. Obtaining a coffee bean crop from a plant grown from seed may take four or five years. A more efficient means of propagating the plant, therefore, is through cuttings taken from an existing plant. Knowing how to create the correct environment for these cuttings will give you a bean-producing plant within two years.

Take a cutting from an existing coffee plant. Choose a healthy, straight branch to avoid vine-like growth caused by crooked branches. The best branches will measure 3/16 to 5/16 in diameter and contain two or more leaves. Measure 4 or 5 inches from the tip and make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife. Wrap the end in a damp paper towel while transporting.

Prepare a small pot for the cutting by filling it with a potting medium such as a mix of half perlite and half peat. Use clean potting mix to give the coffee plant a good start and help keep it from disease.

Prepare the cutting for planting. Pluck off leaves from the bottom third of the stem. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and swish it around for 15 seconds. Immediately stick the cutting a little less than one-third of its length into the soil and tamp the soil down around the base for support.

Water the cutting and place a plastic bag over the potted cutting. Place in a warm area with some light.

Monitor the coffee cutting, keeping it evenly moist but not soaking wet. Also look for new growth on the plant and remove the plastic bag as the cutting starts to grow. Rooting could take up to 75 days.

Repot the coffee plant into a larger pot with any evidence of new growth, keeping the plant well-watered. Use the same potting medium, filling the space around the plant. Keep repotting the coffee as it grows bigger, eventually using a pot that is at least 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Alternatively, in warm climates with no frost, you can plant the young tree outside in the spring once it has four to six leaves.

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