A coffee tree
This is a wonderful plant (Coffea) - a small evergreen tree or large bush. The leaves of the coffee tree are leathery, dark green. They are similar to jasmine flowers, but larger. Fruits are red or black and blue the size of a cherry, somewhat elongated.
About 50 species of wild plants in tropical Africa, Madagascar and the Mascaren Islands belong to the genus of coffee. Cultural forms of coffee are grown in tropical regions of America, Africa and Asia. Among lovers of indoor decorative gardening, mostly Arabian coffee grows; Liberian and Brazilian are less common.
Coffee tree propagated by seeds and vegetatively (cuttings). People often ask the question: is it possible to grow coffee from green beans that are sold in the store. No you can not. They are unable to sprout. Coffee tree seeds generally lose their germination very quickly.
Experiments show that plants obtained by cuttings develop better and faster in comparison with specimens grown from grains. For rooting, we use apical branches with two pairs of oppositely arranged leaves. The lower cut on the handle is made oblique, 2 cm below the first pair of leaves. The composition of the substrate is as follows: 2 parts of river sand and 1 part of sheet land.
For better root formation, the lower ends of the cuttings are kept for 5-8 hours in a heteroauxin solution (a quarter tablet per 200 g of water) before planting. Before planting, we dust the bottom cut with wood ash to avoid possible rotting of the cuttings. Gently with two fingers we introduce the stalk into the substrate to the first pair of leaves and cover with a glass jar. After a month, a callus forms in the ground on a cut of the cuttings, and after another month and a half, roots appear.
The agricultural technology for growing a coffee tree is similar to the agricultural technology of citrus plants grown indoors. The rooted cuttings are planted in a pot with a diameter of 9-12 cm. At the bottom, put the shard with the convex side up and pour a layer of 1-1.5 cm of large river sand. The composition of the nutrient substrate: 2 parts of greenhouse land, 1 part of turf and 1 part of washed river sand. It is useful to add wood ash to the soil (preferably hardwood ash). This prevents a lack of potassium.
It is not necessary to dig the stalk deeply so that the root neck does not rot and the seedlings do not die. As the roots of the plant are wrapped around an earthen lump, we transplant it into a large bowl, increasing its diameter by 2-3 cm. We practically do not change the composition of the earth, we just add horn shavings to the soil mixture. It improves flowering and fruiting.
The process of wooding the trunk and branches of the coffee tree is peculiar. First, brown spots, frankly, unpleasant in appearance, appear on the young green stem of the seedling. If such spots form on a citrus plant, consider that it dies. In coffee, these spots, soon combining, brighten, a light-beige bark typical of a coffee tree appears.
Young plants under three years old are transplanted annually, and adults - after 2-3 years. The size of dishes for old trees is increased each time by 5-6 cm. Large plants are conveniently grown in wooden (from spruce boards) tubs, which have the shape of an inverted truncated prism. We burn the pots inside with a blowtorch so that the wood in this case does not decompose longer.
The coffee tree does not have a pronounced resting period, therefore, for the plant to grow, bloom and bear fruit all year round, it must be constantly fed every 10 days: 1.10 and on the 20th, giving 5 g of nitrogen, 7 g of phosphorus, 1 g of potassium and 7 g of trace elements per 1 liter of water, respectively. As nitrogen fertilizer, we use chicken manure, which is bred in water and kept until it is completely fermented. When there is no pungent odor and gas bubbles do not stand out (which means that all organic matter has decomposed), the solution is ready for use. Dilute it three times with water. It should be remembered that chicken manure is the strongest nitrogen-organic fertilizer, and you need to use it carefully.
As a phosphate top dressing, we take a solution of superphosphate. Pour superphosphate granules into the settled water and stir, warming the solution (for better dissolution) to a temperature of 50 ° C.
Good potassium top dressing can be obtained from the ash extract. To do this, straw ash (containing up to 46% potassium) must be mixed in slightly warm water. After daily sedimentation, the potassium solution is ready for use.
A coffee tree, like any plant, needs other elements (calcium, boron, manganese, iron, etc.). To this end, it is good to take Riga type B fertilizer mixture. We prepare it in the same way as superphosphate.
Many people think that since the coffee tree comes from the tropics, it needs the scorching rays of the sun all year round. Actually this is not true. Even in the homeland on plantations around one coffee tree, four shading plants of another species are planted. In our geographical area, coffee should be kept indoors at windows facing south or southeast. Any sun peeking in them in the summer will not adversely affect the development of the plant. It is more difficult to provide sufficient illumination on cloudy and dark days, in autumn and winter. To do this, we highlight the plants from November 1 to March 1 with a fluorescent lamp.
In winter and autumn, we keep the plant at a sufficiently high temperature (18-22. We water at this time as the soil dries up. All year round, you can use ordinary tap water, previously settled for a day.
In summer, no heat is scary for the coffee tree.. However, it is necessary to ventilate the room more often with a conventional desktop fan and double the watering of the plant.
The coffee tree does not need to form a crown. Initially, the seedling grows only up. In the second year of life, he wakes up lateral axillary buds, and skeletal branches begin to grow. In structure, the coffee tree resembles a spruce: a straight vertical trunk and horizontal branches located on it. When long side shoots appear, they are cut off so that the crown becomes thicker and more buds are formed.
Many lovers complain - the leaves turn brown. This is typical for indoor keeping with low humidity in the autumn-winter period. However, this is not a disease. And if you put the plant in a wide shallow pan with water, a more favorable microclimate will be created.
In the third year of life, green "antennae" appear in the axils of the leaves. They can sometimes be confused with growth shoots. A little time will pass, and the tips of these antennae will turn white. These are the buds. They are formed in the sinuses in whole bundles (from 3-4 to 10-15).
After about a month, the buds open. The life of the coffee flower is short: after 1-2 days, it already fades. From below, the peduncle begins to thicken and turns into the ovary of the future fetus.
In the room, even in winter, flowers appear every now and then. In a home garden, coffee beans ripen in about the same time as lemons and tangerines (6-8 months). Initially, the fruits are green, closer to spring (towards the end of February) they begin to acquire a whitish hue, then they turn red. So, the ripening time is approaching. In our three-year-old tree, 70–90 fruits ripen, that is 140–180 grains. They can be used to make a well-known tonic.
We clear the grains from the peel uniting them and dry them in the oven at a temperature of 70–80 and then 10 days on paper. Fry grains in a pan, like chestnuts or sunflower seeds. When frying, they acquire a brown color. The further coffee preparation process is known. However, brewing its own coffee beans after grinding, it should be borne in mind that the caffeine content in the obtained beans is 3-4 times higher than that purchased. People with a heart condition should not drink such coffee.
I want to say that growing a coffee tree only for the sake of fruit is an thankless task. But for nature lovers, an alien from the far tropics will deliver many exciting minutes and help to better understand the life of plants.