Grow Your Own Coffee? Yes! But Just For Fun
Getting your coffee delivered is extremely convenient, but what about growing your own? It would take a large number of coffee plants to be able to produce your own coffee, as well as the ideal environment, so that's not exactly practical. But growing a coffee plant or two might be a fun project.
Coffee plants make excellent houseplants. They are easy to grow and are a great conversation starter. You can try growing a plant from green coffee beans from your favorite roaster but it's probably best to buy a coffee plant that has already been started. You can typically find these plants online or at organic grocery stores. They come in a small container with about 5 plants bunched together. Once you get the plant home, you will want to separate the individual plants into their own planters.
Your coffee plants will need indirect but bright sunlight, so placing them next to a window in a bright room like a covered porch would be perfect. Coffee plants love the heat. Keep them in temperatures above 65 degrees F and move them away from drafty areas in the colder months.
As your plants grow, repot them into larger planters. When choosing a planter for your coffee plant, make sure it has good drainage. The soil will need to be able to stay moist but not be wet. Add in some soil modifiers to help with this. Because coffee plants need humidity, try keeping a dish of rocks with water near your plant to help with this.
Because coffee plants can grow to be around six feet tall, be prepared with a large enough container and a spot in your house that can handle this. If you don't have the space but still want to grow a coffee plant, be prepared with the pruning shears. Your coffee plant will also need to be fertilized every couple of months during the warmer seasons.
It takes patience to grow a coffee plant. Three to five years' worth of patience as that is how long it takes before you will see your plant mature enough to flower. You will only see a handful of flowers and, if you are hoping for some coffee cherries, you may have to hand pollinate those flowers.
The sweet-smelling flowers will last about a month before they turn brown and fall off the plant. Each flower will leave behind a small ball called a carpel. These carpels will grow over the next six months into coffee cherries. As they ripen, watch for them to change from green to pink to bright red to dark red then finally to purple. You will want to harvest the cherries when they are dark red.
There won't be enough to brew a cup of coffee, but you might harvest enough to have fun pulping, drying, and pan or oven roasting them.