Scientific name: Coffea arabica
Synonyms: Arabian coffee, Coffee shrub of Arabia, Mountain coffee or Arabica coffee
The Coffee tree has become a new firm favourite for house plant collectors due to its ease of adaptability to the indoor environment as well as its stately presence. Appreciated for its naturally shiny leaves and a beautiful dark green hue, the Coffee tree houseplant adds a gentle plant presence to any space. They'll look great in a brightly lit corner, or as a beautiful pop of lush green in your workspace.
Endemic to Ethiopia they are often found growing as an understory shrub, pertaining to their adaptability to the indoors, however, high humidity, relatively cool temperatures and bright light is important to keep these plants happy & healthy.
Toxicity: All parts of the Coffee tree except for the beans are known to be toxic to pets and humans.
- Drooping leaves: This may be due to underwatering. Coffee Plants prefer their soil to stay evenly moist and will droop when dehydrated. However, they will bounce back once given a deep drink. If you find your plant droops regularly and that the soil dries very quickly, either relocate to a slightly less bright position or re-pot into a more moisture-retentive potting medium.
- Yellowing leaves: There are a few factors that can cause yellowing foliage on your Coffee tree, often overwatering is cited as being the main culprit. However, if you find that leaves turn yellow infrequently, this is not a cause for concern as this is the natural lifecycle of most plants, though if yellowing happens on mass consider your watering regime. Coffee Trees like their soil moist to the touch, avoid allowing the soil to become waterlogged and make sure your planter is draining sufficiently.
- Crispy leaf edges or Crisp brown patches: There are often two common causes of crisp leaf edges or brown patches on your Coffee Tree, the first would be low humidity, the best way to raise moisture levels in the air of your home would be regular spritzing or placing your tree on a pebble tray. The Second cause maybe lighting, Coffee Trees are understory plants meaning that in their natural environment they receive dappled sun and too much light can lead to scorched foliage. If you are providing your Coffee Tree with too much light, relocate to a more filtered position.
- Mushy brown leaf patches: This can occur when your Coffee Tree has been overwatered and root rot has set in. Often there will be large brown patches, that can on occasion smell putrid, this is a clear sign of a fungal or bacterial infection. Remove the affected leaf and spray the plant with a good quality fungicide such as Copper soap.
- Pests: Indoors Coffee trees can be subject to infestations of Mealybug, Aphids or Spider Mites. These can be identified either by a white cotton-like substance on the foliage, webbing or leaf discolouration. If any of these symptoms are present, it is best to quarantine your plant and spray it down with a good quality organic pesticide, and to adjust any environmental factors that may be stressing your houseplant.
- Origin: Ethiopia
- Height: Averaging 2 - 4m indoors, can reach upwards of 12m outdoors.
- Light: Prefers bright filtered light best, avoid direct sunlight that will scorch the foliage.
- Water: Keep the potting medium evenly moist to the touch, avoid allowing it to dry out.
- Humidity: Prefers high humidity.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 26°C.
- Soil: A well-draining moisture-retentive potting medium, preferably something acidic, possibly peat-based or high in organic matter.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once every two weeks during Spring through Summer.
- Repotting: Coffee Trees should be repotted yearly in Spring to encourage fresh new growth. Choose a planter that is no more than 5cm larger than its previous one and be sure that it has drainage to avoid waterlogging the soil. If you would like the plant to stay small you can keep it in the same planter and just refresh the potting medium, also trim the roots to maintain your plant at a manageable size.
- Propagation: This is often done using fresh seed from the Coffee Tree, however air layering or cuttings can be taken but these can be less successful in the home environment.
If in stock, shop for a Coffee Tree here