To grow a coffee plant or not to grow a coffee plant?

piscesfish(6)March 13, 2012

Hi all,

My friend bought me coffee seeds for Christmas. They are "guaranteed to grow" and give suggestions for germination, but say very little about the climate they grow well in. By looking at the major coffee growing regions of the world, I surmise that these plants like hot, humid, shady areas. I think they are also water hogs (what with growing in rainforests and all). So the question becomes, should I try to grow this? I live in Guthrie. I have thick red clay and my garden is in full sun. I also doubt if you get a coffee crop the first year you plant these guys. I might move by next summer and I'll be totally bummed if I leave my mature coffee plant behind. But I also don't want the seeds to become infertile by waiting on me to decide to plant them or not. So what do you guys think I should do?

Kelly

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Kelly,

Why not start seeds and grow them in a container this year? You can bring it inside before cold weather threatens and take it with you when you move. I am pretty sure coffee plants are zone 10. I saw one in the Logee's Greenhouse catalog the other day and thought it would be cool to grow one, but then came to my senses and decided I wouldn't want one more plant that I had to overwinter inside.

I've linked the coffee plant page from Logee's because it tells you a tiny bit about the temps and conditions the coffee plants need.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Coffee Plant

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:18PM
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seedmama(7)

I like to do things just for the experience. I say go for it!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:39PM
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slowpoke_gardener

I would say "Go For It", in a container. They are Gifts, the person who gave them to you would be happy you tried.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:12AM
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miraje(7a)

It might be fun for the experience, but I don't know how much coffee you'd actually get from it. I think the beans are only harvested once a year, and it would take several plants to get a decent harvest. The coffee plantation we toured in Hawaii had the plants out in fields in full sun, so I don't think they need shade.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:43AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Go for it. If not for anything else but a conversation piece. I grow many citrus and other tropicals just for the fun of it. Sure it takes a bit more work taking care of them in winter but when someone comes over and sees a ripe citrus they go WOW didnt know you could grow those here.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:00PM
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macmex

They certainly wouldn't survive outdoors through one of our winters. I have my doubts about them surviving our summers. Generally coffee grows between 3,000 and 4,000 feet elevation, in equatorial regions. It can survive direct sun, but the quality of the bean is adversely affected by direct exposure to the sun, while growing. Hence, the best coffee comes from places which are shrouded, much of the year, in clouds and fog. I used to live near coffee country, in the Mexican state of Puebla. Whenever we went downhill far enough to get into that climate we were always struck with the humidity.

The plants are quite attractive, with their shiny, dark green leaves. The fruit actually tastes good too! Coffee is made from the seed. At best, a four foot tall coffee "tree" would probably yield only enough coffee for a pot or two of coffee.

In Mexico, impatiens (flowers)are often found, growing amidst the coffee trees.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:54PM
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piscesfish(6)

That's really cool, George. I didn't know they grew impatients with the coffee plants. I think I'm going to grow it in a container. You're all right. It was a gift and I'd hate for the seeds to become not viable while I try and decide if I want to plant them or not. I know it will only yield about a pound of beans per plant, but I still think it would be neat to drink my own coffee someday. I've gotten very good at roasting green coffee beans.

Kelly

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:55AM
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