How to Grow Coffee Plants in Southern California

You need a coffee plant because they are the most beautiful ornamental plants you can have in your home. The leaves are beautifully glossy and shiny almost making it look artificial. It will make anyone second guess whether the plant is real or fake.

So here's my guide on how to grow coffee in your home (wherever you are) or outside in Southern California.

My guide is quick and easy and only takes 5 steps to get started. You should repeat these 5 steps along the growing process.

We're going to need to go over the following topics to get started...

  1. POT (Your Pot or Growing Container)

  2. SOIL (Your Growing Medium aka Soil)

  3. LIGHT (Your Lighting For The Plant)

  4. WATER (Your Watering Frequency)

  5. FOOD (Your Fertilizing Schedule)


Choose carefully! Not all pots and containers are good for growing plants, especially indoor plants. When choosing a pot consider the following...

  1. Does it have a hole/s at the bottom to allow drainage?

  2. Does it allow airflow?

Do not use pots or containers that don't have drainage (a hole) at the bottom of the pot! Your plants will drown and die. It will look like the plant needs more water when in fact it has too much water.

An overwatered and drowning plant will look droopy and withered with yellow and brown leaves. Some older leaves may begin to feel hard or crispy. Here are a few examples of over overwatered plants. (Reference the two images below on the left)

(Reference Image Below) Heres and example of what not to buy when looking for a pot. I bought this from IKEA for less than 10 dollars but it has no hole at the bottom of the pot. I've lost a few plants in this cursed contained. If you have a drill I recommend drilling a hole at the bottom of the container if you're going to go this route.

Below is an example of the IDEAL set up for your plants both indoor and outdoor. I got these from my local gardening center. Terracotta pot with a saucer and a hole at the bottom for drainage.


When choosing soil try and choose a soil that drains well and has a PH as close to 6-6.5 as possible. Most organic potting soils will work well but AVOID NON ORGANIC POTTING MIXES. Not only are they bad for the environment but they are also bad for your plant and can cause root burn and poor long term plant health.

Heres a little test to see if your soil is allowing adequate drainage and also holding onto enough water for hydration. After you water your plant your soil should feel moist not soggy or wet! Grab a handful of soil and squeeze the soil. If water starts gushing from your hand then it is too wet and hold too much water and may cause root rot. You want your soil to drop a few drops of water after you squeeze it. Anything more than a few drops may do damage to your plants roots.


Coffee grows best in a shady environment. I keep my plants under larger trees or near a well lit window. This is the easiest part of the entire process. Coffee does not like full sunlight! Full sunlight will turn the leaves yellow and they may eventually turn brown and the plant can die If its not established. avoid full sunlight at all costs.