Description – Ever wondered where coffee comes from? Meet Coffea Arabica. This bushy foliage plant adds a level of luxury with its glossy year round foliage, seasonal flowers and a potential crop of fresh coffee. Though native of tropical regions, once mature this handsome houseplant will produce spring flowers and should lead to a small harvest of beans, enough for a cup or two of home-grown coffee.
Sowing – Sow at any time of year at 21-24°C (70-75°F), though best in spring to make most of the light levels. Soak seed for 48 hours prior to sowing. Set seed on the surface of compost and gently firm down. Seal in a polythen bag if no propagator is available. Do not exclude light as this aides germination, which can be erratic but usually takes 42-56. Aim to keep damp but not overly wet.
Growing – When large enough to handle transplant several seedlings per 10cm (4in) pot, filled with multipurpose compost. Position in a warm room away from cold draughts and radiators, aiming for a constant temperature of 16°C (60°F). Coffee plants prefer a bright spot out of direct sunlight. Can also be grown in a warm greenhouse where bean production is likely to be stronger.
Flowers – April to May