The story of the special coffee plant
According to tradition, the discoverers of coffee were goatherds from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa. The goats nibbled on the fruits of the Arabica coffee tree and then acted up and jumped around wildly. A shepherd tried the fruit himself and found it inedible. The delicious smell of the roasted coffee fruit only arose after the shepherd spat the fruit into the fire in disgust.
Another tradition says that the shepherds told the monks about the coffee plant and its strange effects on the goats. According to this, it should have been the monks who made the first coffee so that they could pray together all night long.
the different types
There are about 124 species in the genus Coffee (Coffea), the best known of which is:
Coffee plant coffea arabica: This species is economically the most important and very widespread. The plant has 1cm long stalked leaves and can grow up to 8m tall in the wild. Only rarely does it reach a height of 1.5m as a houseplant.
Young plants initially grow as a single stem and only become bushy with age. It only gets interesting when the coffee plant blossoms. Unfortunately, this happens around the age of 5.
The flowers are white and have a very intense scent. The coffee cherries grow from these flowers. Each of them contains 2 coffee beans that can be harvested as soon as the cherry turns red. However, this process can take several months. Usually only this species is offered as a houseplant.
Other well-known species that are not offered as houseplants are:
coffea liberica var. dewevrei
coffea arabica var. maragogype
Find the right coffee plant location
Your coffee plant prefers bright locations or sunny locations. In summer, however, you need to protect them from the direct sun. A place on the windowsill of an east or south window would be ideal.
The coffee plant prefers temperatures between 20 - 25 degrees Celsius. If the outside temperature is above 20°C, you can also put your coffee plant outside. However, the coffee plant does not tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius. Remember to put it back in time, otherwise it may drop its leaves.
The coffee plant is used to high humidity in its homeland. Spray them regularly with lime-free water, this promotes growth and the tips of the leaves do not turn dark.
Tip: You can increase the humidity in your room by placing bowls of water near the plant.
Coffee plant care made easy
It's not that difficult to take care of your coffee plant. It's easy with these simple tips.
Water the coffee plant properly
Your coffee plant needs to be watered regularly. Make sure the root ball doesn't dry out. During the winter months, however, you should reduce watering a bit.
Tip: Only water your coffee plant when the top layer of soil has dried slightly.
Repot the coffee plant, you have to pay attention to this
Spring, like any plant, is the perfect time to repot. During growth, you should plant your plant in a larger container about every 2-3 years.
If you have an old coffee plant, you no longer need to repot it. It is enough if you exchange the top layer of soil for new ones once a year.This is how your coffee plant slowly gets enough nutrients again
You have more plants that need to be repotted? Then just take a look at this article.
The right substrate for your coffee plant
The right substrate is particularly important for the coffee plant. It requires airy and therefore slightly permeable substrate. Under no circumstances should waterlogging form.
At the bottom of the planter there should be a drainage made of gravel or potsherds. You can put a mixture of commercially available houseplant soil and some sand on top. The sand makes the earth more permeable to air.
Do you need to fertilize your coffee plant?
It is sufficient if you fertilize your coffee plant every 4 weeks by adding some liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water. However, you can of course also use slow-release fertilizer.
This is how you overwinter your coffee plant
Coffee plants hibernate between October and March. During this rest period there should be around 15°C. It doesn't matter if it's a little more, but it mustn't be colder.
In winter your coffee plant needs less water. However, the humidity should remain quite high. You should fertilize very little or not at all.
Tip: to prevent mold from getting into your apartment, you can make a perforated plastic hood. This way your plant gets enough moisture.
Grow coffee plant from seed
It is important not to leave the coffee seeds or green coffee lying around for long. The seeds don't germinate for long.
Step 1: If the coffee bean is still in its hard shell, you have to crack it open. You must then carefully remove the silver skin that surrounds the seed.
Step 2: You now have to let the seeds soak in warm water for a few hours. However, to keep the water warm, a thermos bottle is a good idea.
Step 3: Now prepare pots with potting soil. A mixture of commercially available indoor plant soil and sand is ideal. Or you can buy simple potting and pricking soil.
Step 4: Now put a bean in each pot. They are pressed down but not covered with soil.
Step 5: It is now important to place the pots in a warm, humid environment. Coffee seeds germinate best at temperatures between 25 and 30°C. You should keep the soil constantly moist without waterlogging.
Now it's time to wait. It may take up to 2 months for seedlings to emerge.
Grow coffee plant from cuttings
To grow coffee plants from cuttings you need top cuttings. This is the tip section of a shoot, there should still be a few leaves attached. You can now place the cutting directly in a pot with soil.
Optimum temperatures are around 25°C.
Is the coffee plant poisonous?
The coffee plant is non-toxic to children and pets. However, the seeds should not be consumed as they contain the alkaloid caffeine.
Tips if your coffee plant is not doing well
If your coffee plant develops brown leaves or brown spots, you are watering it too often. Reduce the watering a bit. Check that the top layer of soil has dried before you water again.
If you have discovered scale insects on your coffee plant, this is often due to insufficient humidity. Scale insects can cause fungi. So check regularly for infestations. Get a suitable pesticide from a specialist store to get rid of the scale insects.
Or you can look here for a few home remedies.
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