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Indoor Coffee Plant Care – Your Complete Coffee Care Guide

Indoor Coffee Plant Care

Did you know you can grow a coffee plant indoors? This is a beautiful foliage plant that thrives with bright indirect lighting. We will tell you all you need to know about indoor coffee plant care.

What Is A Coffee Plant?

Coffea is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. Coffea species are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. Coffea – Wikipedia

The most common coffee plant in cultivation is Coffea Arabica and most likely that is the type your coffee plant will be.

Indoor Coffee Plant Care

We will tell you all about indoor coffee plant care. To grow this plant successfully we want to know a bit about how and where it grows.

• Coffee plants are tropical so cold can harm or kill them.

• They are an understory plant in tropical jungles and don’t get direct sun.

• Rainfall is plentiful where they grow, the soil is moist and humidity is high.

So to grow a coffee plant indoors we want them to have warm temperatures, bright indirect light, high humidity, and moist soil.

If you can meet these requirements you should be able to grow a coffee plant indoors. But first, you will need to buy a coffee plant.

To grow a coffee plant you need to buy one. You can not grow a coffee plant from coffee beans. Roasted beans can not germinate. 

Here is a healthy coffee plant in a 6-inch pot available on Amazon:

Hirt's Arabica Coffee Bean Plant - 6" Pot - Grow & Brew Your Own

How To Care For An Indoor Coffee Plant?

Here is a video of my coffee plant. It is about two years old and I keep it in an east window.

Coffee Flowers

Your coffee plant can flower after 3 to 5 years. The flowers are fragrant and smell somewhat like jasmine. According to Google coffee plants are self-pollinating.

Coffee Flowers
Marcelo Corrêa, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Coffee Berries Ripening

It takes about 8 months for coffee beans to ripen. People selling coffee plants often say you can grow your own coffee beans.

I would recommend growing this plant for its foliage and getting your roasted beans from Starbucks.

However, I have heard you can use fresh berries to start more plants.

Coffee Berries Ripening
Jmhullot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Coffee Plant Care Indoors

A coffee plant is a very attractive indoor foliage plant and that’s reason enough to grow it even if you never see a coffee bean.

Here is everything you need to know about coffee plant care indoors:

Coffee Plant Light Requirements

Coffee plants are understory plants in tropical rainforests. They prefer bright indirect light. Sunlight can scorch their leaves.

I keep my coffee plant in an East window so it does get some morning sun. I also turn it every day so no one side gets too much sunlight.

Coffee Plant Temperature And Humidity

Coffee plants are tropical plants and can’t tolerate cold. They grow best at 70-80° Fahrenheit and about 5 degrees cooler at night. 

They like humidity too so if the air in your home is dry consider misting them every day or two.

Coffee Plant Watering

Coffee plants grow in a rainforest so they are used to growing in moist soil. The bigger the plant in relation to pot size the more often it will need to be watered.

I water every other day for a fairly large plant in a 5-gallon pot. Always empty the tray after watering so your plant is not in standing water.

Coffee Plant Soil

You can use any well-draining potting mix for coffee plants but it also should be able to hold some moisture.

My coffee plant is grown in coco coir. It is fast draining yet holds moisture well. It provides better aeration and won’t compact like potting soil.

I recommend using coco coir as your potting mix.

Coffee Plant Repotting

Coffee plants don’t mind being a bit rootbound. Still, it is a fairly large plant that will outgrow its pot.

It probably will need to be repotted once a year into a larger pot. This helps give it access to fresh soil.

As the plant grows it will get wider and taller and too small a pot may tip over.

Coffee Plant Fertilizer

Coffee plants benefit from fertilization. I fertilize my plant about once a month. You want a balanced and complete fertilizer with all the essential trace elements.

It is important that trace minerals are in your fertilizer especially if your plant is flowering or fruiting.

If you do grow in coco coir you will also want to add supplemental calcium and magnesium (CalMag) along with your complete fertilizer.

Coffee Plant Care Brown Leaves

If your coffee plant has brown leaves there can be several different causes.

1. Sunlight can scorch leaves and turn them brown.

2. Underwatering could cause leaves to turn brown and start to fall off.

3. If the humidity is too low which is common indoors during the heating season your leaves may start to turn brown.

Coffee plants do have a tendency to drop some leaves no matter what you do. Often it is lower leaves or inner leaves getting little light.

Usually, these leaves will start to yellow and fall off but won’t turn brown.

Pruning Coffee Plant

You can prune your coffee plant. It might get too tall and need topping. This will make the plant bushier.

You can also cut off the tips of branches that outgrow their space. Just use common sense and don’t overdo it.

Always prune back to a node when you prune unless you are removing an entire branch. You can save prunings to start new plants.

Coffee Plant Propagation

Rooting cuttings is the easiest way to propagate your coffee plant. Select branches about 6 inches long.

Remove all but the top 2 or 3 leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting powder and insert in moist potting soil. Again I find coco coir works best for this.

You will need to cover your pot with a plastic bag if you have a propagation dome use that.

These plants don’t root fast and have been known to take as much as 75 days to root.

During that time you will need to keep the cuttings soil moist and keep humidity high. 

Indoor Coffee Plant Care Final Thoughts

This really is a great houseplant and it has beautiful foliage. It also can get fairly large. Follow our coffee plant indoor tips in this article and your plant will thrive.

If you give your coffee tree the right conditions it is pretty easy to grow. Just remember it needs moist soil, and it enjoys higher humidity.

Feed it once a month and keep it out of direct sunlight and your coffee plant will practically grow itself. Good luck and happy gardening!