Coffee Tree a Good Fit For Gritty Mix?

JessicasgrowincitrusNovember 14, 2011

Has anyone had success growing a coffee tree/plant in Al's Gritty Mix?

I picked up a little one at Trader Joe's last week but it did not have any instructional tags on it. From what I have researched, it requires similar care and drainage to my Meyer Lemon.

I was wondering if anyone had grown these and had success, or has pointers to share?



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Hi Jessica...

I got this coffee tree in a pot with several other seedlings that were all about 6 inches tall in spring 2009. I repotted into gritty mix, have kept it on my sun porch in dappled shade in the summer, fertilized with foliage pro 9-3-6, and overwintered in my basement under lights. It's now triple the size (18 inches tall) and branching out nicely. I'd say from my experience that coffee arabica LOVE the gritty mix.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Dan, not only are you right, but what a beautiful tree you have! Looks like someone has benefitted from these forums other than me! Great work.

Jessica, how have you been? How's the citrus doing? If you are doing good with them, I'll bet your coffee tree will thrive!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I have yet to find a plant that doesn't thrive in a more open, gritty medium. Well... except for my Ledebouria, which seems to prefer a little more organic material with the ability to maintain moisture for slightly longer at the root zone. But other than that one plant, everything else I'm growing is thrilled to have the aeration, drainage, and the structure of a medium such as the gritty mix or the 511.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 4:39AM
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Thank you, Mike.

I really have learned a lot from these forums. There's so much great information here that I could have never figured out on my own.

Jodik, I agree. Every plant I've put into the gritty mix has thrived.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 5:35PM
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And it's just not what we can figure out on our own... it's actually that the generally circulated information about container growing is so riddled with fallacy and misinformation that it's difficult to sort through it all and figure out what's valid and what's not. The gardening industry does nothing to dispel misinformation or old wive's tales, which is par for the course when profit is more important than consumer happiness and success.

I realize we live in an age of convenience, but that's really no excuse for the industry to only offer products aimed at convenience. Not every grower needs or wants to take the shortcuts. Some of us want to know how it works, and why we do the things we do.

The internet is a vast library... but we have to know what we're looking for because anyone can upload anything, whether truth or not... and since so much of the truth is written in more scientific terms than most average growers are able to decipher, so they can put it into practice, it's nice when someone like tapla (Al) comes along and does the hard work for us!

Al has taken the time and effort to break down all the scientific information and basic physics of growing in containers, and written it in layman's terms so anyone can easily grasp the concepts of what really happens under the soil surface, and what plants really need to maintain healthy roots.

I will be forever grateful to Al for his generosity in sharing such fantastic, and factual, growing information! He has helped me become a much more successful gardener!

If I had learned the real basics decades ago, I'd be so much further ahead. But very little vetted information is part of the general knowledge passed around.

Most folks are under the impression that gardening is gardening... when the truth is, there are massive differences between growing in containers and growing in the ground. Therefore, different approaches work better for each type of growing.

And a lot of people think you need a green thumb to grow nice healthy plants. But the truth is... a green thumb is just applied knowledge. There's no luck to it. You just have to learn a few basics.

Anyway... in most areas of life, I've learned never to take anything I hear or read at face value. It's always wise to research, to think logically and independently, using a good deal of common sense and taking it all with a huge grain of salt!

Happy Growing!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:17AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well said, Jodi!
I completely agree!


    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Hello All! Good to hear from all of you again!

@ Dan- Thanks for the photo! So inspirational! My tree is more like a little bush right now. Almost like there were 10 beans started in the pot. If it does well after the transplant and over winter I will prune him a bit more into a tree. I have Foliage Pro for my Meyer, so I am glad to hear they will both be using the same fertilizer, that makes things so much easier!

Unfortunately I don't have any growing lights, so I hope that is not the clincher.

@ Mike- My little lemon is doing well. I have just the one lemon right on the very tippy-top of the tree, (whip is a more accurate description) so it has not gotten any taller since last spring when the lemons set in. Once I harvest my lemon I will have to prune it so that it can/will branch. I think this will just be my mini specimen. (only about 18-20" tall). I hope to pick up a few more plants next year. They seem to do just fine in my window. The conditions are not perfect, but they are still alive and growing bit by bit so I'll take it!

@ Jodi- Exactly -- I completely agree!

Looking forward to doing the transplant this weekend.

Wish me luck! Thanks again Everyone!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:11AM
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You don't need luck, Jessica... you need knowledge! And you have that! Plus, you have a great support group in the people here, at GW! You'll do just fine! :-)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 7:06PM
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As soon as I saw you say "Wish me luck", what Jodik said is exactly what I thought!

Not only that, WELL SAID JODI! You certainly have a way with expressing how I feel at times better than I ever could. Right on!

Jesica: May I interest you into Ponderosa Lemon Trees? lol
Now that you are getting the hang of it, wait until you start looking at all kinds of unique flowering and tropical plants! It just keeps getting better. Next thing you will be trying to figure out ways to expose your plants to more sun. Maybe skylights,four seasons porch, extra windows, artificial lights, or a mini greenhouse?lol


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:10AM
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Thanks, Mike! Writing is something I've always enjoyed... and if I can combine that with gardening, which I also enjoy, and someone can gain something positive from it that helps them in their growing endeavors... what more could I ask for?! :-)

Mike is right... there's a whole world of wonderful tropical plants and trees just waiting to be explored! I'm afraid that if I get too involved in looking at plants, I won't have any room left, at all! I'll fall in love with too many plant types and start collecting the various varieties... and before you know it, it'll get totally out of hand!

I'm already out of control when it comes to tender bulbs!

It is fun, though... and very rewarding!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:42AM
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Kalie(9 - Jacksonville, Florida)

Hi. I am reviving this thread in the hopes that you guys still have your coffee plants and might be able to post updated photos! I have several small plants right now that I am about to transplant into gritty mix.

Also, about how often does a coffee plant need foliage pro?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 5:35PM
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