The coffee plant or coffea arabica is a shrub or small evergreen tree, originally from the Ethiopian highlands; having a certain commercial value, the cultivation of coffee is however greatly extended, this plant is now widespread in most of the tropical areas, from South America, to India. In nature it can grow up to 7-8 meters, kept in pot its growth is contained around the meter, even if it can grow up to 2 meters. It looks like a leafy shrub, with very dark green glossy leaves, elongated ovals, pointed at the end and with a short petiole. If it finds an optimal environment it can also flower in the house, even if this does not happen easily; after the age of at least six years it can produce red fruits: they are drupes that contain two seeds, which, toasted, are used to prepare the coffee beverage; they usually ripen starting in autumn, but it is easy to find on the same plant buds and fruits at different stages of maturation.
As for the exposure, ours coffea arabica loves very bright locations, even in half-shade, but not in direct sunlight, which, especially if filtered by window panes, can scald the leaves, causing unsightly dull brown spots. He does not particularly like exposure to the wind; keep the plant sheltered whenever possible to allow it to grow optimally. If it is possible it is better to take it outside, for example on a balcony, in the hottest months of the year; to favor its luxuriant growth it would be better to maintain it, both in summer and in winter, at temperatures as close as around 20 ° C.
The soil is the main source of plant support. From here the coffee plant acquires the nutrients it needs to live. There coffea arabica it does not need special soil requirements, it grows well in a normal universal soil, even if it does not particularly like calcareous soils. Being a plant that can grow a lot, it is better to secure a jar of the right size, and support its growth by changing the container every year, possibly at the beginning of spring, before the vegetative restart. This will allow the radical apparatus to develop with simplicity without finding barriers or limitations due to a container or vessel too narrow for the actual needs of the plant.
From March to October, in the spring and summer months, it is advisable to supply the plant with abundant quantities of water, without soaking the soil to avoid the formation of water stagnation and the development of root rot; if you want you can also spray the leaves in the hottest periods, so as to ensure a humid climate; It is good to add universal fertilizer to the water every two weeks to help the plant grow; in the coldest months you can decrease the amount of water administered, and add the fertilizer only once a month as the irrigation needs of the coffee plant decrease considerably with the lowering of temperatures. When the plant is adult this trick will favor the appearance of flowers in spring.
The multiplication of the coffee plant occurs by sowing, at the beginning of spring, in containers filled with a compound of peat and sand; they should be kept moist, in a sheltered place and at a temperature of around 20 ° C, the seedlings are transferred to the pot the following year.
Caffe - Coffea arabica: Pests and diseases
Coffee is a plant that resists most diseases, can sometimes be attacked by cochineal and aphids, but it does not happen very often. In this case, use a specific pesticide product.