Coffea - Coffee plant - Rubiaceae - How to take care and grow your Coffea

Coffea - Coffee plant - Rubiaceae - How to take care and grow your Coffea



There Coffea, a plant native to Ethiopia, but now widespread in all tropical countries, it belongs to the Rubiaceae family and is the very famous coffee plant.






: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons


: Asteris


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: see the paragraph on "Main species"


There Coffea, a plant native to Ethiopia but now widespread in all tropical countries, belongs to family of Rubiaceae and it is the very famous coffee plant.

It's a evergreen plant with shrubby habit with leaves very decorative that rarely exceeds one and a half meters in height, grown in an apartment.

It is equipped with drums quite slender and the leaves are more or less pointed oval, about 15 cm long, shiny with a nice dark green color and with serrated edges. THE flowers they are grouped in clusters and blooms in mid-summer, white, starry and very fragrant even if it is rare for the plant to bloom indoors.

THE fruits they are red berries each containing two seeds that we know as "coffee beans".


There are about 60 species belonging to this genus among which we remember:


There Coffea arabica it is the coffee plant native to Ethiopia where it grows like a shrub reaching even 6 m in height while grown in the apartment it does not exceed one meter in height.

It is an overall very graceful plant with light stems and branches, with oval leaves 15 cm long and of a beautiful glossy green color, wavy on the edges.

The flowers are white and fragrant and are gathered in clusters and appear in midsummer at the attachment of the leaves on the stems.

Speaking from a view of using the plant to get coffee, theCoffea arabica var. Moka it is the most renowned and is grown mainly in Arabia. It is a variety that produces small but very aromatic coffee beans, of a copper green color and a little flat and elongated shape.However, we find other varieties that are used to produce coffee which are: the Tipica variety, the Bourbon and the Maragogype.


There Robust coffee it is native to Zaire and has waxy, dark green and pointed leaves. The flowers are very white and fragrant.

From the point of view of cultivation of the plant to obtain coffee it must be said that its coffee beans are a little smaller than those of Coffea arabica and much richer in caffeine and remain much more aromatic once roasted. . In addition to this it is a plant that gives less cultivation problems than the others and has a very abundant production.


ThereCoffea liberica it is native to the Libera (hence the name) and the Ivory Coast and is characterized by large leaves up to 30 cm long, dark green and shiny.

On an industrial level it can be observed that it produces very large coffee beans although of lower quality than Arabica and Robusta.

Generally this plant is used as rootstock or as a cross plant with the most valuable species trying to exploit its characteristic of being particularly resistant to diseases.


There coffea excelsa cultivated mainly for industrial purposes, it is a plant from which a very pleasant and aromatic coffee is obtained, very similar to that of Arabica.

Other slightly less valuable species are:



The coffee plant is not difficult to grow indoors. Love the light but not the direct sun which would burn the leaves.

Temperatures must never drop below 15 ° C. The best would be a temperature around 18 ° C. It bears high temperatures even 30 ° C but in this case be careful to move it to a less illuminated area.

To clean the leaves, use a damp cloth or take the classic "shower". Never use foliar polishes that clog the stomata of the plant preventing breathing.


There Coffea it needs regular and abundant watering without exceeding, and taking care to avoid water stagnation.

It is a plant that loves humidity so take care to spray the plant regularly, especially during the hottest months.


The plant is repotted in late spring. Good fertile soil is used.

When choosing the pot, don't choose it too big but just bigger than the previous one (2 cm is fine) as its roots like to remain compressed and not have too much space available.


The fertilization of theCoffea varies with the age and condition of the plant: in young plants the quantity of fertilizer must be very low, once a month during the spring / summer season and using half the doses indicated in the package. To adult and well developed plants once a week always in the same doses.

A tip: when you go to buy a fertilizer, do not take the first one that comes your way, read the composition on the back of the package and prefer the fertilizers that in addition to the main elements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) contain also the so-called microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs it) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), ilboro (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.


The coffee plant blooms during the summer, producing small white flowers, mostly fragrant, although in the apartment it is very rare for this to happen.


If your coffea has become too big or you want to thin it out, when you repot you can also prune the plant by removing excess fronds.

Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.


The multiplication occurs by cutting or by seed.

When choosing the technique to adopt, it is necessary to keep in mind that multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, when genetic variability takes over, you are not sure that you will have plants that are the same as the mother plants, so if you want to obtain a very specific if you are sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by cuttings.


At the beginning of summer, take cuttings about 10-15 cm long and with a bud at the apex from the most vigorous branches and from healthy plants.

It is recommended to cut with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of the fabrics, taking care that the tool used for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting fabrics.

After removing the lower leaves, the cut part is immersed in a rhizogenic powder to facilitate rooting.

Subsequently, the cuttings are arranged in a compound formed by a part of peat and a coarse sand. Holes are made with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings and they are arranged as shown in the photo. Then take care to gently compact the soil.

The box or pot is covered with a transparent plastic sheet (or a bag with a hood) and is placed in the shade and at a temperature of around 18 ° C, taking care to keep the soil always slightly moist (always water without wetting the rooting plants with water at room temperature). Every day the plastic is removed to control the humidity of the soil and to eliminate condensation from the plastic.

Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root. At that point he removes the plastic and places the pot in a brighter area, at the same temperature and expects the tales to strengthen.

Once they have grown sufficiently large and have produced vigorous new shoots, they transplant into the vasoo in the final soil.


It is done in March by distributing the seeds evenly in parallel rows using a peat-based soil for seeds. The seeds should be buried to a depth of 1-1.5 cm.

It would be a good idea, to prevent any attacks of fungi, to administer with the irrigation water also a broad spectrum fungicide, in the doses indicated in the package.

The tray containing the seeds should be kept in the shade, at a very high temperature, around 27-30 ° C and constantly humid (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.

The tray should be covered with a transparent plastic sheet that will guarantee a good temperature and avoid too rapid drying of the soil.

Once the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic sheet and increase the amount of light (never direct sun) and also reduce the temperature.Among all the seedlings born, there will certainly be those less vigorous than others. Identify and eliminate them in this way you will guarantee more space for the most robust plants.When they have become large enough to be handled, transplant them into the final pot as indicated for adult plants and treat them as such.


The leaves become opaque

If yours Coffea present this symptom means that there have been very sudden changes in temperature.
Remedies: place the plant in a more suitable position.

The leaves wither and fall

This symptom indicates excessive irrigation.
Remedies: let the soil dry for a few days after which remove the plant from the pot and place some shards or pebbles on the bottom in order to favor a better and faster draining of irrigation water for the future.

Brown spots on the underside of the leaves

Brown spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal: brown cochineal or mealy cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended that you make use of a magnifying glass and observe yourself. Compare them with the photo shown, they are characteristics, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.

Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or if the plant is large, you can wash it with water and neutral soap by rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant must be rinsed very well to remove all the soap.

Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown

If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations crumple, they take on an almost powdery appearance and fall off. Observing carefully you can also notice some thin cobwebs especially on the underside of the leaves. With this symptomatology we are very probably in the presence of an attack of red spider, a mite.

Remedies: increase the frequency of nebulizations to the foliage as low humidity favors their proliferation, and possibly, only in the case of strong infestations, use a specific insecticide. If the plant is not particularly large, you can also try cleaning the leaves to mechanically eliminate the parasite using a wet and soapy cotton ball. After that the plant must be rinsed very well to remove all the soap.


There Coffea, in addition to being a delightful plant that can be grown easily in our apartments, it is the much more famous coffee plant. Of all the species of this genus only four are appreciated and used to obtain the coffee that we all enjoy in the morning as soon as we get up and are: theCoffea arabica, the Robust coffee, the Coffea liberica and the Coffea excelsa.

Video: Growing Arabica Coffee from Coffee Beans. How to Plant Coffee