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How to Grow Coffee Plants Indoors

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
You can order green coffee beans online.

The coffee plant is native to various tropical regions around the globe. A flowering shrub, the coffee plant can be successfully grown indoors if you mimic the natural conditions in which it thrives. Although ground-grown coffee plants can reach heights of 50 feet, in cultivation the bush is pruned to keep it to within 4 to 6 feet in height. Your coffee plant will flower and produce coffee cherries within four years of planting the seed.

Place the coffee beans into a bowl and cover them with room temperature water. Allow them to soak in the water for 24 hours.

Fill a seed flat with sand, to within 3/4 inch of the rim, and water it until the water runs from the bottom. Allow the tray to drain completely.

Push the coffee beans 1 inch into the soil and cover them with soil.

Place the flat in a well-lit area, out of direct sunlight, and keep the soil moist. Your coffee bean should sprout within three months. If the bean was not fresh, it could take as long as six months to germinate.

Remove the seed carefully when it germinates. You will know it has germinated when a small green growth protrudes from it. Use a small spoon, such as a baby's feeding spoon, to carefully scoop it out of the tray and place it, with the flat side of the bean facing down, 1/2-inch deep into a prepared hole in a pot of moist cactus mix. Do not press the soil down over the seed.

Place the coffee seedling 6 inches below the grow light.

Water the seedling once a week. In the winter, allow the soil to dry before watering and resume normal watering in the spring.

Fertilize the coffee tree seedling once a week with an orchid fertilizer, at half the rate suggested on the package. Discontinue fertilizing in the winter and resume the following spring.

Prune the coffee tree when it reaches 20 inches in height. Pinch off the top 2 inches of the tree. This encourages the tree to grow additional vertical branches. From these branches, lateral branches will grow. These are the branches that bear the coffee fruit.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Raw, green coffee beans
  • Bowl
  • Seed flat
  • Planting pot
  • Cactus mix
  • Grow light
  • Orchid fertilizer

Tip

  • Place the coffee tree in a shady area outdoors during the summer.

About the Author

 

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.