It is not generally known that the coffee tree makes an excellent houseplant. It is evergreen and may grow to a height of 6ft/1.8m, although there is a compact form, Cojfea arabica ‘Nana,’ that remains considerably smaller.
From its third or fourth year it may even bear flowers and fruit. The uncooked beans can, however, be poisonous, and they must be properly roasted before they can be made into coffee; this important process is best carried out by a professional.
The plant has shiny, dark green elliptical leaves with wavy edges; they can be as much as 6in/15cm in length and about 2in/5cm wide.
The fragrant, star-shaped white flowers are followed by green fruits lA\n! 13mm long, which change to bright red and then to almost black as they ripen. The two seeds within the fruits contain caffeine.
ORIGIN Tropical Africa; Arabia.
HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m in a pot.
POTTING MIX Soil-based with added coarse sand; good drainage is essential.
REPOTTING Move into a pot one or two sizes larger each spring.
PROPAGATION Cuttings, taken in summer, do not root easily, but fresh seed can be sown in spring with reasonable success.
KEEPING PLANTS If necessary, prune the plant in spring to control its size and shape.
Arabica Coffee A Rubiaceae ARABIAN Coffee PLANT CARE
- Bright light away from direct sunlight.
- Normal room temperature of 65o-70°F/18o-21°C, but the plant can stand slightly cooler temperatures in the dormant period between mid fall and late winter.
- Young plants up to 2 years old, with tender growth, prefer slightly warmer conditions.
- Water generously in summer, preferably with tepid water and from below; give only enough water in the rest period to prevent the soil from drying out completely.
- Apply a weak solution of lime-free fertilizer each week during spring and summer.