Coffea plant, commonly called coffee, is famous for its beans but is also an exceptionally handsome house plant. Indoors this tropical shrub will top out at about 4 feet (1.2m) tall.
Coffa’s glossy, oval, dark green leaves are distinctly ribbed; the leaves look as if they have been polished. Funnel-shaped white flowers are followed by red berries–the beans from which you can make coffee.
Coffea has woody stems that bear glossy green, pointed leaves that are 3 to 6 inches (7.6-15cm) long and 2 inches (5cm) wide. Fragrant, white star-shaped flowers bloom in summer.
Coffea rarely produces beans on plants grown indoors.
Get to Know Coffea
- Plant type: Tropical evergreen shrub
- Growing Zones and range: Zones 10-11
- Hardiness: Tender; keep the temperature between 70° and 75°F (21°-24°C)
- Height and width: Grow to 12 feet (3.6m) in the tropics, indoor plants will not grow to half that height
- Foliage: Glossy, oval, dark green leaves are distinctly ribbed, grow to 4 inches (10cm) long and 2 inches wide
- Flowers: Clusters of fragrant, funnel-shaped, white flowers that are followed by small berries; flowers and berries appear at the base of leaves
- Bloom time: Summer
- Uses: Tropical shrub, houseplant
- Common name: Coffee Plant
- Botanical name: Coffea arabica
- Family: Rubiaceae
- Origin: Tropical Africa
Where to Plant Coffea
- Coffea plant prefers bright, filtered sunlight, not direct sun.
- Coffea plant needs humidity; grow plants on a humidity tray or mist several times a week.
How to Water and Feed Coffea
- Keep the soil moist (like a squeezed sponge) but not soggy; reduce water during autumn and winter rest period allowing the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings
- Apply a complete fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer, withhold fertilizer applications during autumn and winter.
Coffea Plant Care
- If you are trying to keep the coffee plant a particular size, pinch out the growing tips regularly during the spring and summer growing period.
- Coffea will drop leaves if temperatures drop below 55°F/13°C.
- Cut plants back in spring to keep them small and to encourage compact growth.
Growing Coffea as a Houseplant
- Give Coffea direct light year round, high humidity, and an average to warm temperature.
- Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
- Fertilize Coffea regularly from spring through fall.
Coffea Pests and Diseases
- Coffea can attract aphids, mealybugs, scales, and whiteflies but are generally disease-free.
Coffea Plant Propagation
- Start new Coffea plants from stem cuttings or from seed; new plants will not flower or fruit for about four years.
Coffea Varieties to Grow
- Coffea arabica grows well indoors; this is the same plant that produces high-quality coffee beans.
- C.a. ‘Nana’ fowers and fruits earlier.