Growing Coffee

susan2010(6 Massachusetts)July 29, 2011

I just got a very pretty coffee plant. It needs to be potted. Anyone have experience with coffee plants with some advice? (I did search the forum but didn't find anything useful.)

I plan to use gritty mix - is that appropriate for coffee? Any adjustments I should make? I'm told it needs "bright shade" to grow, but I'm unclear about the fertilizing routine. I bought this on the spur of a weak moment, so any advice would be appreciated. I'm totally clueless. FWIW, I'm doing okay with my tea plant and various citrus ... so I'm not a total brown thumb.

Thanks a bunch!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You can bare-root and repot the (healthy) plant into the gritty mix now if you keep it in shade and protected from the wind after repotting ..... and yes, the gritty mix goes well with coffee. ;-)

After the plant reestablishes, you'll find it wants ALL the sun you can give it. These are equatorial plants that don't grow in the understory, so there should be no concern about putting them in full sun in a zone 6 setting.

Fertilize as you would any other plant - nothing special about them in that regard. I'd suggest Foliage-Pro 9-3-6, but if that's a 'no go', Miracle-Gro (MG) 12-4-8 liquid or either MG or Peters 24-8-16 are excellent choices and offer the ability to keep fertility levels at their lowest levels possible w/o nutritional deficiencies.

Good luck - have fun!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:05PM
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I prefer to fertilize on a maintenance schedule, meaning a lower dose every time I water. I use FR 9-3-6 these days, which I too would say you outta use. Get it off if you can't get it locally, as it is worth every penny. If you do use MG, don't forget to add the gypsum to the gritty mix, and don't forget to add epsom salt to your fertilizer water.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 9:54PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Thanks! I transplanted it yesterday and it seems to be adjusting well. I'm going to keep it inside, in my bright but not sunny kitchen where I can keep a good eye on it, for now. I have FP on hand.

One question, in my reading on-line, I read that it prefers a slightly acid soil. Should I treat it like my tea (camellia) and citrus plants? They get a tiny bit of vinegar in their water.

This is going to be fun!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Hi Susan from my own state.

My sisters does very good, a very rich green with using vinegar in her water solution. It shouldn't do any harm at all and if anything, benefit most if not all your plants if the tap water is at a high pH level like hers and mine are.

Gotta love our weather right?

I got my FP from Worms Way near Worcester. Love the stuff! Yahoo, fun is right. Wait until you see how well your plant responds to the gritty mix if you follow Al's suggestions carefully! Enjoy


    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:19AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Thanks, Mike. It's been a good summer here after a rough spring. My tomatoes and peppers are much happier now. Thanks for the vinegar recommendation. I've only used it for the acid lovers. I'll expand the use and see how my plants respond.

I buy FP (and everything else, really) on-line. It's pretty expensive, with shipping, but I live in Boston and don't have a car, and I figure what I save without the car expense, makes it about a wash in the long run.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 10:03AM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

I got a arabica plant not so long ago and it's sat happily in my window. With full on afternoon sun and it's not wilted once. I give it a dose of a weakish 8-8-8 fert most days and that seems to be fine for it. It does need a bigger pots so I am considering shredded uncomposted fir tree chips, perlite, vermiculite and some peaty compost in equal amounts. Does that sound ok?


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:02AM
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