Growing Coffee in the House

An intriguing houseplant that has become fairly widespread lately is the coffee plant. I have seen it show up a lot in almost all establishments that sell plants. These plants grow mostly near the equator, but are also grown in Hawaii.  Coffee grows best in high elevations along mountainside under the shade of taller trees in rich soil.  I saw many coffee plantations while in Nicaragua high in the mountains and tucked in the lush jungle growth. The plant most commonly grown for coffee production is Coffea arabica, although there are many other similar species, each with their own distinct flavour.  What you may not have known is that when this small tree of 10 to 12 feet is in bloom, its flower colour and aroma is very similar to Jasmine. How bad could it be working in a coffee plantation when they are all in bloom?

Coffee produces a small fruit, which matures about nine months after flowering.  The seed, which isn’t really a bean at all, is what is used to make the much-loved beverage.   So how do you grow it in the house?  First thing to remember is that because this tree grows on a mountainside, you can be sure of the fact that it likes good drainage.  Never let this tree sit in water after watering.  It likes a warm location, but afternoon sun in a window will most likely burn its leaves, so expose it to morning sun or evening sun instead. Remember, it grows under the canopy of the forest in its nature. 

Keep it fertilized, but use only a weak solution each time you water.  Remember to mimic its natural habitat.  Many nutrients wash away on the side of a mountain.  

Whitefly and mealybug like this plant, so always be watching for those pests.