How Does Coffee Grow?

How Does Coffee Grow

Coffee, whose homeland is Ethiopia, can be grown in many regions (Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya) when good conditions are provided. You can start reading our article immediately to learn the growing conditions of coffee grown with Arabica and Robusta plant varieties. Curious growing information about coffee is here for you!

How Does Coffee Grow?

Coffee tree (Coffea) is the general name of the plant species from which coffee beans are obtained. This plant species belongs to the Rubiaceae family and grows especially in tropical climates. The fruits of the coffee plant contain coffee beans, which are used to produce coffee after roasting. Coffee plants form the basis for the production of coffee, an important commercial crop worldwide. Coffee is a popular beverage that is widely consumed and contains caffeine.

Coffee plants, which generally have white flowers, are suitable for growing in regions between 25 North and 30 South of the equator. While the temperature in these regions varies between 18–24°C , conditions with abundant rainfall support the development of the coffee tree. While the tree grows healthily in these regions where frost is not seen, it is a fact that sudden temperature fluctuations can damage the tree.

Climate and Soil Requirements of Coffee

The coffee plant grows easily in tropical climates that require high humidity and moderate temperatures. It requires temperatures between 15 and 24 °C to grow efficiently. It also requires 1500 to 2500 mm of annual rainfall .

The coffee plant prefers to grow in acidic soil. It can grow best when the soil pH is between 6 and 6.5 . These conditions are generally met by a tropical climate .

Temperate soils closer to the sea are suitable for the Robusta coffee plant. The coffee plant, whose climate and soil requirements are met, can grow over the years and reach an average length of 15 meters . Coffee trees grow better in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It is important that the soil is rich in humus and nutrients.

Seedling Selection and Planting

When choosing the varieties of coffee trees used in production, you should consider the climate and soil conditions of the region. Additionally, planting trees in the appropriate season for planting, usually spring or autumn, gives the best results. Planting spacing of coffee trees may vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Generally, planting can be done at intervals of up to 1.5 to 3 meters .

Irrigation

Coffee plants require a regular and consistent watering regime. Since there is regular rainfall in the tropical climate, it requires water during the growing period. It will be important for the plant’s soil to remain constantly moist. However, you should avoid overwatering. You can ensure good drainage to prevent puddles on the soil . Depending on climatic conditions, watering 1 or 2 times a week is recommended.

Coffee Tree Care

Coffee trees need maintenance such as regular watering, fertilization and control of pests. It is also important to provide enough space for trees to grow in the shade.

Harvest

Coffee trees usually begin to bear fruit within 3-5 years . When the fruits are ripe (usually red or yellow in color), they are picked by hand or machine. The fruits are separated into seeds and these beans are used to produce coffee after roasting.

Protection

Coffee trees can be susceptible to diseases and pests. Therefore, it should be checked regularly and necessary precautions should be taken.

How and When to Plant Coffee?

The coffee plant is a plant that is generally propagated by seeds. Seeds undergo fermentation for a while before germination. This process helps dissolve the seed coat and helps germination. Fermented seeds are buried in the soil and planting begins. Since germination usually takes 2 to 3 months, planting should be done at the most appropriate time.

Other tropical plants may also be included in the planting area. The leaves and roots of the coffee tree must be protected with the help of other plants. High temperature can damage the coffee tree.

Planting coffee plants in spring or summer will be the best choice for the plant. After properly preparing the area where you will plant, you can start planting. To do this, loosen the soil and do not forget to add organic matter. Before planting the seedlings, you need to water them to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Because saplings hold on better in moist soil. It is also important for its subsequent development that you plant the saplings at intervals of 2 to 3 meters .

When Does the Coffee Plant Bear Fruit?

The coffee plant begins to bloom when suitable conditions are provided. Depending on the growing conditions and variety, plants may bloom at different times. Generally, the coffee plant can bloom in 3 to 5 years . However, in some varieties this period may take longer or shorter. Climate and maintenance affect the duration.

Coffee usually shows its flowers in spring and summer. The flowers are small, white or almost white in color, and appear on the branches of the plant. The flowers open in the form of small inflorescences. The coffee flower can also emit a pleasant, light scent.

After the coffee flowers bloom, buds called coffee cherries appear. The color of these buds changes over time to green, pink, purple and black . The color determines the type of coffee. Coffee beans harvested early have a unique flavour.

When to Harvest Coffee Plants?

Coffee berries can be harvested when ripe after the flowering period. When the fruits turn red, they are usually ready to be harvested. The fruits are carefully collected and the seeds are removed. The beans are then roasted and transferred to factories for coffee consumption.

It takes 6 months for Arabica coffee beans to be harvested . Since not all fruits ripen at the same time, depending on light and nutrition, ripe fruits are collected from the branches. If all fruits are picked at the same time, seed quality may vary. Ripening fruits should be checked frequently. Because ripe coffee fruits may start to rot after 2 weeks.

Where Does the Coffee Tree Grow?

Coffee plants are found in regions of the world known as the “Coffee Belt” . It generally grows efficiently in tropical climates between 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South.

For example, Brazil is known as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. Particularly the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná are pioneers in coffee cultivation. Located in the coffee belt , Colombia is famous for its high-quality Arabica coffee production. Ethiopia is considered the homeland of coffee. Here the coffee plant has the opportunity to grow naturally.

The area around Sumatra is where the world-famous Mandheling and Gayo coffees grow. Central and South American countries located in the coffee belt are among the important regions for coffee production. These regions have suitable climate and soil for the coffee tree.

How Long Does It Take for a Coffee Tree to Grow?

When coffee is grown from seed, it takes an average of 3 years for the plant to grow . After 3 years, the coffee plant blooms and begins to mature over time. To get fruitful fruit from a coffee plant planted for the first time, you need to wait 5 years. The coffee tree that adapts to its soil and is cared for continues to bear fruit for almost 25 years.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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