How to grow your own cup of coffee indoors

How to grow your own cup of coffee indoors

About 20 years ago, while on vacation in Nashville, Tennessee, I saw my first coffee plant growing inside a greenhouse. I was fascinated to learn that their red “cherries” grow in bunches and that each cherry contains two seeds, which we call coffee beans.

I was also surprised to learn that coffee can be grown indoors, and with proper care and some patience, will produce beans that can be roasted (or roasted) for brewing, although they will likely only make enough for a cup or two. However, with its beautiful glossy green leaves, fragrant white flowers and bushes, it makes Arabica coffee A beautiful and interesting houseplant.

You won’t have trouble finding it in large nurseries, houseplant catalogs and websites.

Coffee trees grow to approximately 25 feet tall in the wild on home lawns near the equator. As a potted houseplant, it reaches about 6 feet in height, but is often pruned back to a manageable size without ill effects.

Growth conditions

To grow one yourself, plant it in a well-drained spot Potting mix with pH range Between 6.0 and 6.5, such as those modified with algae. Keep the plants slightly moist (but not soggy or completely dry) by watering them well once every week or two, and then not again until the soil is half dry.

Place the pot in a warm room (70 to 80 degrees), away from drafts, in a location that receives bright, indirect light, such as the side of a sunny window.

Provide adequate humidity by misting the plant daily, running a humidifier nearby, or placing the pot on a shallow tray filled with gravel to which you have added water. As the water evaporates, it will produce a humid microclimate around the container.

Feed your plant four times a year with a balanced fertilizer, following package instructions. If you want to prune it, do so during the spring.

The return

Your coffee plant should start blooming when it is 3 to 5 years old. To get the beans, you will have to pollinate the flowers by hand using a cotton swab or small paintbrush to transfer the pollen from one flower to the next. If done correctly, the flowers will give way to the cherries.

Harvest ripe cherries when they turn completely red. Lay them out to dry in a single layer, turning them daily to prevent bottom rot. After a week or two, peel off the dried skin and pith to reveal the grains inside.

Dry roast the beans in a hot skillet or frying pan, stirring constantly, until browned. Let it cool, then grind it up and make yourself a cup of homemade joe.


Jessica Damiano writes award-winning books Dirt Weekly Newsletter And AP’s regular gardening columns. Register here Get weekly gardening tips and tricks delivered to your inbox.


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