The source of commercially grown coffee, this is a tropical understory shrub in the wild growing 10-15' tall. In cultivation it is often pruned to a height of 6' for easier harvesting. The handsome leaves vary in color depending on their maturity, emerging yellow, changing to clear green, then finally maturing to a dark glossy green with an attractive texture. The white flowers bloom in summer in dense clusters along the stems and emit a light, jasmine-like fragrance. The fruit ripens in the fall, with a sweet pulp surrounding the coffee bean. Fruit should be harvested when bright red and each fruit contains two beans. The fruit do not all ripen at one time and you should only harvest the fruit when they are ripe and red. Robusta coffee has beans with a higher caffeine content than arabica coffee, resulting in a more bitter taste, but has the advantage of having a much greater yield per shrub than arabica.
Coffee plants are usually grown under shade but may be grown in full sun if given proper care. In South Florida it is best to opt for a protected area in partial shade. Enrich soil with compost and manure prior to planting, and mulch new shrubs with an organic mulch to reduce weeds. Protection must be provided from strong winds; watering at least once a week in dry weather is advisable.
A granular iron chelate fertilizer like 8-3-9 or similar formulation should be applied to coffee shrubs in June and August. The granular fertilizer should be spread lightly below the drip line. Iron chelate is expensive, but under South Florida conditions it will make a large difference in performance and yield of the coffee shrub.
THE WILD PAPAYA…
is a nursery and garden center in Palm Beach, Florida. We are your resource for sturdy, healthy tropical flora. We DELIVER LOCALLY and CAREFULLY SHIP within the continental United States.
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We deliver within Palm Beach County, Florida. Delivery fee is $25. Local [PBC] orders over $500 include free ground-level delivery.
We deliver healthy plants. We have no control over our plants once they are delivered. We package our plants with tremendous care. Due to the tropical nature of our plants, extreme temperatures can be fatal.