There’s something absolutely fulfilling when it comes to growing your own coffee at home. Growing coffee not only means having a special supply of coffee (which your hands have cultivated), it is also a nice addition to the indoor environment of your house. Besides the invigorating aroma it provides, you can also achieve several health benefits by growing coffee indoors.
It is definitely possible to grow coffee at home, and it can have a positive impact on your daily life. Read on to know how you can cultivate and maintain a coffee plant indoors.
STEP 1: Procure Coffee Seedlings
There are two ways to start growing coffee – one is through seeds, and the other is through potted plants. It may take many years to grow coffee from seeds (really starting from scratch). If you purchase a potted plant, you can start harvesting coffee beans in around three to four years, which is perhaps the fastest way to produce coffee cherries.
- If you are going to pick coffee cherries from a growing coffee plant – Make sure that the coffee cherries come from high-yielding trees with no signs of disease. Pulp the cherry by hand and wash it with water. Ferment the cherries in a small container until the pulp naturally falls off. Wash the coffee beans again with fresh water. You should discard any coffee bean which floats on water during washing. Dry the coffee beans on a mesh screen or newspaper in dry and open air away from direct sunlight.
- Growing from green coffee beans – You can also purchase green coffee beans from a supplier. Make sure that the beans come from a recent harvest or latest shipment.
Fresh seeds will germinate in 2 ½ months while older seeds may take as long as 6 months.
Once the coffee seeds germinate, make 1.25 cm deep holes in loam soil which contain rich, organic matter (manure, compost, or bone meal). Place the seeds flat side down in the holes and sprinkle soil over them. Remember not to press down the soil firmly. To help preserve moisture, cover the soil with a ½-inch layer of mulched grass. Remove the mulched grass once the seeds have fully germinated. Water the seedlings every day, just enough to keep the soil moist.
STEP 2: Growing the Coffee Seedlings
Coffee grows best when you replicate its natural environment. Position your plants in a windowed room which allow four to five hours of sunlight every day. Take note that the room should give space for a coffee plant to grow up to 10 feet. You may also opt for artificial lighting, which is known to do well with coffee plants.
Make sure that the temperature stays between 60 to 80 degrees and would not dip below 45 degrees during cold evenings. If you do live in a warmer climate, you can grow coffee outdoors, but cold nights might destroy your plant. Temperature regulation, which you can do indoors, is your best option.
STEP 3: Maintaining Your Coffee Plant
To bring out the best in your coffee plant, water it daily to keep the soil moist. Make sure that the plant is well-drained because too much water can kill the plant.
Fertilize your plant every two weeks from the months of March to October. You can just fertilize the plant once every month from November to February. Use a water-soluble fertilizer which ensures a high-yielding plant with excellent quality beans.
STEP 4: Harvesting Your Coffee Beans
Green berries will start to appear at around 2 months after fertilizing the plant. The green berries will turn red after 7 to 9 months. Take note that not all berries will change color at the same period, so be cautious while picking.
You can then pulp the seeds and start the roasting process for your very own homemade coffee! Stay tuned for our next set of articles on roasting and crafting your own homemade coffee at home.