Position – Coffee trees thrive in dappled sunlight. If you live in a cooler area that doesn’t get harsh sunlight, then your tree may survive in more regular sunshine. If your plant is inside, then a bright, indirect light is best. Your tree will develop brown leaves (as opposed to its glossy green ones) if it’s receiving too much light.
Size – This tree reaches a size of 1.8 to 4.5 metres tall when it is mature, and it has a similar width.
Soil Type – Coffee trees do best in rich, peaty soil that drains well. It can survive in soil with a pH of anywhere between 4.0 and 7.0, but does particularly well when it has an acidity of 6.0 to 6.6.
Mulch – Because coffee trees do well in moist conditions, organic mulch is fantastic as it retains the moisture in the soil. It also helps to keep the weeds away. Opt for something like straw, grass or compost to add nutrients to the soil too. Just keep your mulch about 20 centimetres away from the trunk of the tree to prevent it from becoming waterlogged and rotting.
Watering – Give your coffee tree a regular, generous watering for the best results. The soil should never become waterlogged, but it should remain evenly moist at all times. Never allow your soil to dry out completely.
Fertilising – Use a weak liquid fertiliser around your coffee tree every-second week during the plant’s growing season (usually over spring and summer). In winter, reduce that down to about once a month.
Pruning – Cut off the top of the coffee tree to keep it to about 2 metres tall. Remove any of the branches at the bottom of the trunk, leaving only the biggest, best branches behind. This lets the tree focus its resources on the branches that produce lots of healthy coffee cherries.
Harvesting – This tree blooms in the spring (September to November). The fruit, which is called the cherry, is ready to be harvested when it becomes a deep, bright red colour. Fruits appear when the tree is 3 to 8 years old. Each cherry produces 2 coffee beans and should be hand-picked.