How to Grow Coffee Plant in Your Backyard

Coffee is native to Ethiopia and Sudan, however, today it is grown world over. The earliest evidence of modern day like coffee drink (roasted and brewed) dates back to 15th century in Yemen and Southern Arabia (one of the varieties of coffee is called Arabica). Coffee reached Persia and Turkey in the 16th century and then later spread to Europe and America.

Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer. Brazil produces one-third of word coffee production. Green coffee is one of the most traded produce. A lot of developing countries produce coffee and trade with the developed countries.

Why you need to grow your own coffee plant?

For every 100 grams of coffee you consume, you get zero calories, zero gram fat, zero gram cholesterol, zero gram carbohydrate, zero gram sugar, 2 milligram sodium, and 49 milligram potassium provided you are not adding sugar, milk or cream. A 100 gram coffee also contains 40 milligram caffeine. Since coffee contain zero cholesterol and a lot of potassium, it is good for heart. Coffee is also good for brain because of its caffeine content.

If you are drinking a lot of coffee, it might be a good idea to grow your own coffee plant. In about 3-5 years, your coffee plant starts giving fruits. In a single harvesting season, a fully grown coffee plant can give your upto 1.5 pounds of roasted coffee. The coffee plant can continuously bear fruits for 50-60 years. By growing your own coffee, you can save a lot of money on your coffee.

Even though coffee is a very popular drink, a lot of people never think about growing their own coffee plant. One of the reasons why people never think about growing coffee is because they do not know how it is grown. They even don’t believe that it is actually possible to grow your own coffee plant in the garden. Even if you belong to an urban area, you can easily grow coffee in your backyard. The coffee plant is just about 5 meters tall (if unpruned) and it needs just about 5 square meters land, therefore, you can easily grow coffee if you do not have large land.

Choosing the right variety of coffee seeds

Coffea canephora and coffea arabica are two major varieties of commercially grown coffee. Other varieties of coffee that are less popular are coffea liberica, coffea stenophylla, coffea mauritiana, and coffea  racemosa. Coffea canephora and coffea liberica need outcrossing. However, Coffea Arabica is self pollinating. Therefore coffea arabica is more suitable if you want to grow coffee in your backyard.

Each coffee fruit (called coffee cherry) contain seed; therefore, you can easily grow coffee from seeds. In order to grow coffee, you need to buy green coffee cherries (unprocessed, not husked) from a green coffee supplier. Since old coffee cherry has less germination percentage, you must ensure that the coffee cherries are fresh.   

Preparing the soil

The coffee plant grows well in acidic conditions. Therefore, pH level for your soil should measure less than 7 in the pH scale. Coffee also needs penetrable soil rich in manure or humus. Cold climate is more suitable for coffee. However, this does not mean coffee plant can adapt to snowing climate. Coffee plants also cannot withstand direct sunlight. Therefore, you should plant coffee in the shaded area where it gets diffused sunlight.

Planting coffee seeds

You can grow coffee seeds in two ways, one you plant in a nursery and later transplant the seedlings in the garden; two, you directly plant the seeds in the garden. Whatever way you prefer, make sure you soak coffee cherries overnight before planting for faster germination. When you are planting coffee directly in the garden, make sure you plant 5-10 seeds in one hole. Since coffee seeds have low germination, planting 5-10 seeds in one hole will ensure that at least one seed germinates. When the seedlings are at least 5 cm tall, you can keep one healthy seedling and uproot others.

Taking care of coffee plants

A coffee plant needs a lot of watering and very fertile land. Therefore, you have to add fertilizer and water the plant regularly. Make sure you have proper drainage so that water does not get clogged in the roots. Since coffee needs acidic soil, you need to add fertilizer with a lot of iron content.

Frosty weather is bad for coffee plant, therefore, during the winter you will have to sprinkle wood ash over the plant or cover with plastic sheets during the night, especially when the plant is still young. You also have to prune the plant to facilitate lateral branching and higher yield.

Conclusion

It takes 3-5 years for the coffee plant to start bearing fruits. One fully grown coffee tree can give you upto 1.5 pounds roasted coffee. It takes 4000 coffee cherries to give you one pound of roasted coffee.  

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