The Propagation of the Coffee Plant

The Propagation of the Coffee Plant

The long journey of the coffee bean to the coffee plantation

What do most people drink to get the day off to a good start? Right, a cup of coffee. After eating, it successfully prevents falling into the eating coma and in the afternoon it is enjoyed with sweet baked goods. And depending on how it is prepared, it becomes a long drink, with or without alcohol. But what does the coffee drinker know about the reproduction of the coffee plant, the black cherry of which accompanies it every hour?

Coffea – the key to a full-bodied hot drink

Coffea , the coffee plant, belongs to the widespread family of the red family. As a wild plant, the coffee tree is only found in Ethiopia. There, it grows up to 12 meters high and easily reaches an age of over 50 years. In the growing areas in which the coffee bushes are cultivated, the plant is kept rather short and bush-shaped. Their lifespan on the coffee plantations is only about 30 years due to their economic efficiency. In view of the decreasing yields, they are then replaced by young plants.

The most important representatives of Coffea are the Arabica and Robusta varieties. If there are still well over a hundred different types of coffee, they all have one thing in common: they grow in the so-called Coffee Belt. This stretches between 23 degrees north and 25 degrees south latitude and it covers the entire globe. While in the subtropical growing areas, the altitude for perfect cultivation is 400 to 800 meters above sea level. In the tropics, coffee can be grown up to an altitude of 2000 meters. The Arabica bean , with its round taste, is a typical highland coffee.

Propagation of the coffee plant: how?

There are different ways to propagate the coffee plant including the classic sowing or cuttings. But it is also possible to grow a coffee plant as a houseplant.

You might be interested in the following topics

Krups EA 8108 fully automatic coffee machine in the test

Siemens EQ6 300 fully automatic coffee machine in the test

Delonghi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110B fully automatic coffee machine in the test

The classic sowing

One possibility of propagation is the classic sowing. It is also considered to be the simplest form of propagation for coffee plants. When harvesting the coffee beans, care is taken to ensure that only fully ripe fruits are used for further cultivation. The seeds reach their maximum germination capacity around eight weeks after the fruit ripens. Only then are the beans carefully separated from the pulp. The seeds that are still surrounded by the parchment skin must then be well watered. In this water bath, the good seeds separate from the less viable seeds. Beans floating above in the water bath are handcrafted. Only the seeds that perish will have the necessary nutritional content required for a new coffee plant to grow. Seeds that do not have enough nutrients float on the surface can be easily removed.

After the seeds have been selected, the parchment cover is removed from the beans and the seeds are sown in special seed beds. Even if the seeds are only lightly covered with soil, it must be very rich in nutrients. The sowing now comes to the nursery, the nursery for cultivation, and is continued there under the best conditions.

That means: no direct sunlight, but regular and even watering. This has to be guaranteed. After five to six weeks, the seedling sprouts with its first two leaves to the surface.

The time has now come for the vigorous plants to repot each plant in its own container. Only with further careful care, with good fertilization, watering and optimal shade, will they grow into robust plants within the next eight months that can be planted in the plantations.

Propagation by cuttings

In order to propagate coffee plants mutation-free and single-variety, cuttings are a tried and tested option. Desired characteristics can be guaranteed. Branches that are not too strong are cut off from fully grown plants. These are divided into smaller pieces, each piece must have a complete pair of leaves. Then the small twigs are divided lengthways so that each part only has one leaf. The seedlings are now planted in nutrient-rich humus soil. They also spend the first few months in the nursery until roots and leaves have formed anew. Only when the plants are strong and robust enough will they get on the Coffee plantations relocated.

From the nursery to the plantation

The small coffee plant develops quickly in its first year and makes great demands on the nature of the soil. The new planting site must be deep, loose and well ventilated, as well as rich in phosphoric acid, potassium and nitrogen. Only then will their fruits be of high quality. So that the sun does not damage the young plants, they are planted in the shade of large shrubs to protect them. They are usually planted out at the beginning of the rainy season.

The coffee tree bears its first flowers at the age of three to four years. The flowers often sit in clustered clusters in the leaf axes and give off a wonderful scent. However, the flowering time only lasts a few hours. However, if the pre, main and post-flowering periods are taken into account, the entire flowering period in the growing areas is spread over the whole year. It takes almost a year from flowering to ripe fruit. With the coffee bush, for example, it is completely normal for flowers and fruits to be found on the same branch. The flowers sit on the one-year-old wood and the ripe fruits on the two-year-old wood.

Depending on the plantation, between 500 and 2000 coffee trees are planted. Regular pruning gives them their resilient and functional shape. This is the only way to ensure constant production.

The coffee plant as a houseplant

If the conditions are good, the coffee plant as an ornamental plant can delight every flower and coffee lover in your own home.

  • It loves it on the windowsill
  • bright, but only moderately sunny
  • the temperature should be between 20 and 25 degrees 
  • In winter, however, never fall below 10 degrees.
  • The little coffee tree does not love drafts, cold and standing moisture.
  • However, it should never dry out either .

With regular fertilization, a lot of patience and loving encouragement, the small coffee bush will reward you with fragrant flowers. People with the famous “green thumb” are said to have already picked coffee cherries .


It is a long road that requires a lot of dedication and patience so that a new coffee tree or coffee bush can grow out of the small coffee cherry and the coffee plant can multiply. Only with great care, the right climate and the necessary nutrients is a permanent high quality of the coffee secured.