Anyone here is growing coffee in the US? Do you think it is possible that maybe somehow in the near decade or something, we would be able to grow lots and lots of Arabica coffee in the US (aside from Hawaii)??? About 6 months ago, I purchased 14 baby arabica coffee plants from gurney, and well 6 of them didnt make it : (... the remaining 8, they're growing...slowly...very slowly : )! Drop me a few lines if you got any tips on how I can continue taking good care of them!!! Maybe we could start a growing coffee group too...!!yay!

 

Thanks,

Tommy

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I think growing coffee in many parts of the continental US is not a problem. The issue is if you added the word "Commercially viable". Pretty average coffee is succesfully grown outside of the tight coffee belt that stretches north to south between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. However the opperative word is most of this coffee can not come close to touching quality arabica grown within this belt.

If growing at home coffee really needs a number of climatic things to go right- temperatures between 17-21 celcius, right rainfall, correct sunlight etc. I think key is to make sure you give them good, roomy growing conditions. If they are in pots make sure they are big pots. The coffee root structure generally is wide with a single, long tap root. Also good, rich soils....
Hello, the arabica my company is growing, grows in the shades of trees. Also it's growing at a height of +1200mtrs, that's probably why your's isn't growing well. I don't know if you make coffee, but you can use the pucks as fertilizer, actually any kind of 'used' foods will do. Also don't give it too much water, just make sure the roots stay moist.
I think that the answer to that is that you CAN grow coffee in the continental US, but probably not well. The great thing about the tropics is that the number of daylight hours is relatively consistent -- I'm not sure how fewer hours of daylight affect coffee development. Also, coffee is relatively temperature sensitive -- once you hit an altitude that is optimal for acidity, you're probably in danger of frost many months out of the year. Frost and coffee do not mix.

So I bet you could grow a low altitude coffee in the extreme south of the continental US with dubious success. We have a tree here at our roasting facility -- in Vermont. Indoors it grows, but not very well. Not a lot of foliage, not a lot of production... you get the picture. In fact right now, it being February, it looks pretty sad. This is despite being well cared for and at a consistent temperature of about 75 degrees.
Aloha Everyone,

Coffee, like any plant, has an ideal climatic range where it can flourish. Certainly, you can grow it but at what cost (greenhouses and the stabilizing of their climate costs money and energy)? How many trees would you need to make it worth your while (under the best conditions, I've seen a single 'Typica' tree produce about 5 lbs of green in one season. That was very high though and the average value is likely going to be much lower in most cases).

*Elevation is not the important factor with coffee- temperature is. Quality Arabica can be grown at any elevation (yes, it depends on how "quality" is defined, but definitely 85+ is achievable using SCAA standards)
*Coffee is not a photosensitive plant in terms of growth or flower opening. Shade is not required for coffee production (though there are many places where one may want to use it). However, there is a correlation between light intensity and flower production.
*Food and water can adequately be supplied whether it is grown in pots or the ground. Moreover, coffee can tolerate a wide range of soil types.

If any of you have trees growing indoors that you think aren't growing well, contact me via email (steiman@coffeaconsulting.com). I'm happy to offer some ideas to make them healthier. :-)
These are two websites I just found today. I don't know if either of them will help you. I quite literally just threw some beans into the ground today to see if I could pull anything from them. Hope they give you some help if you still need it.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/growingcoffee/Growing_Coffee_at_Home.html

http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/homegrowing.htm
Makes for a fun novelty, but not much else.

-- Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

Yes indeed, commercial coffee growing in the United States (outside of Hawaii) does indeed take place. Yonah (sleeping bear) Coffee of Georgia grows arabica coffee seed imported from Honduras. We have been growing for several years in specially equiped green houses, but 7 months of the year the plants grow openly under mountain oak trees at 1,680 ft altitude. They are happy and now over 4 feet tall, see "The Grove" at www.yonahcoffee.com.

Yes, just like grape vineyards that came to the North Georgia Mountains twenty years ago, coffee has arrived. PH, watering, humidity, temperature are very much like orchids, but with careful attention, we are making an industry of growing Gerogia Java.

Richard & candelario

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