Coffee Plant Care Guide

By: Lively Root
December 23, 2022
Coffee Plant Care Guide
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Though it would take years to actually harvest your morning cup of Joe from your new coffee plant, its bright green leaves and hearty demeanor make this indoor version a beautiful addition to any collection. Do beware- all parts of the coffee plant are toxic to pets and humans, except of course that delicious mature fruit- the coffee bean.



The coffee plant enjoys regular watering. Underwatering results in drooping leaves. If you see this symptom, give your plant a drink and it will perk right up. Its soil should be moist, but make sure its roots don’t sit in water.


Light and humidity

Coffee plants enjoy bright, indirect sunlight. Keep this plant in brightly lit conditions to help them thrive and grow fast. A sunny window is a perfect location. Coffee plants enjoy a humid environment, so consider a humidity tray or humidifier to keep them thriving. Keep the humidity level at 50% or higher. If the edges brown, keep a humidifier around them and mist regularly. It also prefers temperatures above 65. Take care to keep steer clear of drafty locations and consistently cold temperatures. Heat accelerates the shrub's growth, but the fruits need to ripen at a slower pace. In its native land, they thrive on the mountains in very humid environments where fog and rain are abundant.


Soil and fertilizer

Coffee plants enjoy a soil that is rich and peat-based. Excellent drainage is helpful. Avoid soils that are limey, and if your plant is not thriving consider adding some extra peat or similar organic matter (ideal pH is 6-6.5). Fertilize biweekly during their growing period with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Slow down fertilizing during the fall and winter months while the plant is in their dormant phase.


Cleaning and pruning

Keep the coffee plant pruned to your preferred size. If you discover mealybugs, aphids or mites on your plant, use the least toxic form of pest control first before pursuing heavier chemicals, but do treat quickly to prevent spread to other plants.


Propagating a coffee plant is usually done by seed from an existing plant or a fresh seed. You also can propagate through division - Take green stem cuttings from the tips of the parent plant. Cut with sterile scissors taking a 8-10 inch cutting. Dip in rooting hormone and place them in moist potting soil. Cover with a clear plastic bag to retain moisture and humidity while it roots. Keep the cuttings in bright, indirect light. After four weeks, check the rooting of the baby cutting by pulling gently on the leaf. If they are snug, then roots are forming. Keep them covered until new shoots appear. Remove the clear bag at this point and keep evenly moist and humidity levels high while they mature.


When receiving the Coffee Plant, do not repot immediately but wait at least 6-12 months or if the roots are beginning to get crowded and growing through the drainage holes. Repot in the spring, using a 2 inches bigger pot to keep the roots drier. (Too big of a planter could cause the soil to dry slower.) Place a piece of screening at the bottom of the container over the drainage hole to secure the soil and allow to drain. Use a well-draining indoor potting mix with perlite to help with drainage. Water your plant in the old pot before transferring over and let them sit an hour. Add rich potting soil to the bottom to elevate the root ball. Lift the plant and release the roots against the existing planter. Use a clean knife or garden trowel to wedge between the pot and the soil to loosen. Inspect the root ball. Notice if there are any dead or rotting roots and trim off with sterile pruners. If the plant is rootbound, cut through the roots to alleviate continued encircling. Ensure the plant is sitting about 1 inch below the edge of the pot to avoid water spillage. Add more soil and backfill around the sides by tamping down. Fill up to the soil line but not over. Water thoroughly, leaving the soil damp but not soggy. If settling occurs, add more soil. Water well to dampen the soil and let drain. 

Repeat yearly!


If your coffee plant develops leaf drop it is possibly from overwatering or sunburn. Make sure to keep the roots moist but not soaked to prevent root rot. If root rot does occur, repotting is the way to prevent further damage.