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Coffee Plant Flower [Harvest and Care Tips]

Coffee Plant Flower blossoms are a part of the flowering journey of Coffee Trees to produce berries and beans. These flowers not only progress the plant’s lifecycle but have several parallel benefits.

A Coffee Tree produces white flowers with an aroma resembling a mix of citrus and jasmine blooms. They grow in clusters on stems from late winter to late spring, nearly 3-4 years after planting. The flowers are harvested to produce hot beverages or left on the plant to transform into berries.

Coffee blooms don’t stay on the plant for long, but you can stay put for immediate harvest. So, hold yourself to the article to learn about Coffee Flowers, their growth, and harvesting methods!

Do Coffee Plants Have Flowers?

The Coffee Plant, or Coffea species, is a flowering shrub or small tropical tree native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa. 

These tropical plants are highly picky and require a specific set of temperatures, light, soil and humidity to grow, bloom, and bear berries.

Coffee Trees produce flowers on the flowering nodes that grow in clusters along the plant’s stem. The nodes bear flowering buds that produce 4-20 blooms, depending on the species.
Image represents flower clusters of Coffee Plant
The Coffee Plant produces white and aromatic flowers on the flowering nodes present on the stem.

Moreover, the climate is crucial for blooming as Coffee farmers wait for the spring rain that initiates the blooming process in Coffee Trees. 

Nevertheless, routine watering is necessary even after the rain to keep Coffee Trees blooming for 2-3 months later in the season.

Coffee Flowers symbolically represent sweetness, purity, and “helping hands in times of need,” according to a 500-year-old legend.

Overview of Coffee Plant Flower

Do you know Coffee Trees can outlive humans but show the most productive blooming during their 7-20 years of initial growth?

This means you can enjoy their aromatic blooms and a daily cup of freshly ground Coffee for several years.

Farmers wait for the berries to set the seeds, but without flowers, there won’t be any berries or beans.

Coffee Flowers may be more obscure than berries or seeds, but they still own many astonishing features.

Flowering SeasonLate Winter to Late Spring (Between Late February and May)
FlowerColor: White

Shape: Star-Shaped

Inflorescence: Condensed Axillary Cyme

Aroma: Mix of Citrus and Jasmine
Flowering Pattern4-20 Flowers in Clusters on the Flowering Nodes Present Along the Stem's Length
Flowering Span2-3 Months
PollinationSelf or Cross Pollination (Depending on the Species)
ToxicityToxic to Pets and Humans due to Caffeine

How Does Coffee Plant Flower?

A Coffee Plant will usually flower after 3-4 years of planting from the seeds.

However, it has to undergo several changes before flowering.

These changes mainly occur in the stem with flowering nodes and are called “Growth Stages” or “Phases.”

1. Green Cluster or Bud Stage

Green buds pop up along the stem nodes a few weeks after the first rain of spring.

The rain may come late or early depending on the regional climate, but it usually should occur between late winter and the beginning of early spring.

Hence, these buds mark the beginning of the flowering stage.

Image represents green flower buds of Coffee Plant
Green flower buds appear at the nodes present on the stem that slowly extend and enter the next stage.

2. White Cluster or Flowering Stage

The green buds eventually turn white and elongate, reaching the “Candle Stage.”

The buds are present in clusters around the flowering nodes of the stem, and each cluster has 4-20 ready-to-flower buds.

Soon, the white petals on the buds become prominent, longer, and ready to furl, but only open after 2-3 weeks.

3. Anthesis (Full Flowering)

Anthesis is the opening of the flowering bud to reveal full blooms.

However, the flowering in Coffee Plants becomes brightest only after 4 weeks, indicated by the strong scent. 

Similarly, flowering occurs for 2-3 months, but a flower only stays for 1-3 days on the plant and is ready to pollinate.

Image represents ripe Coffee Berries
Coffee Berries grow in clusters after the flower clusters undergo pollination.

Normally, social bees help to pollinate the flowers, which are lured by the scent. 

Following pollination, the flowers wilt, turn brown and drop off from the plant leaving behind a small green pinhead.

The pollination differs from species to species. Coffea arabica can self-pollinate, but Coffee robusta and Coffea canephora will require cross-pollinate with the help of wind.

4. Fruiting and Seed Setting

The tiny pinhead is an immature fruit that later turns oval and dark green as it enlarges.

Hence, after 6-8 months, clusters of red and ripe berries with 1-2 seeds or beans replace the flowers.

What to do with Coffee Plant Flowers?

Coffee Plant Flowers are showy but short-lived.

Before they fall, they wilt, and their petals turn brown or rusty, indicating they are spent.

To harvest them, you can place a thin linen cloth below the plant for 1-3 days during the flowering season. You can also pick the flowers by hand, but ensure not to hinder the fruiting process.

When the flowers fall, collect, and dry them to prepare a powder.

This powder can be packed in tea bags to produce Coffee Flower tea.

Image represents the dried flowers of Coffee Plant
Dried Coffee Flowers can be picked directly from the plant or collected from the ground after they fall from the plant.

But, this is a crude process, and commercial Coffee Flower tea is purified but is hard to find and expensive.

Although the Coffee Plant Flowers are healthy, they still pack toxins in raw form, which is harmful to humans and pets.

Coffee Flowers have simulatory health benefits with antioxidant properties, with certain chemicals having potential medical uses.

So, if you want to start your day with warm Coffee Flower tea, here’s a recipe.

  • Take 2-3 grams of dried Coffee Flower in a teapot with 220 ml of water.
  • Steep for 2 minutes at a temperature of 80°C.
  • Serve the tea hot or after cooling it with ice cubes on a hot summer day.

How to Boost Coffee Flower Production?

Treat your Coffee Plant as a houseplant by providing optimal care, weather, and maintenance for rich flowers.

Likewise, failing to provide adequate care will prevent uniform blossoms each year or flowers altogether.

Image illustrates the basic requirements for Coffee Plant to Flower
The 4 basic needs of Coffee Plants for flowering are warm temperature, feeble watering, humid air, and well-draining, acidic soil.

So, follow these tips to make the blooms last longer in the Coffee Plant.

  • Offer 4-6 hours of bright but indirect sunlight daily.
  • Provide shade to the plants during summer spells.
  • Maintain a temperature between 70-80°F and avoid letting the temperature go below 65°F at night.
  • Use frost blankets to protect the plants in winter.
  • Water every 1-2 weeks in spring and summer when topsoil (25% of the total potting mix) becomes dry.
Image represents rootbound condition of Coffee Plant
Coffee Plants have extensive root systems that can break the pots, rendering the plant rootbound.
  • Confer an acidic (pH 5-6.5), percolating soil with sphagnum moss and organic perlite in an equal ratio.
  • Apply high-nitrogen liquid fertilizers every 2 weeks in spring and summer.
  • Prune every 1-2 years to remove any suckers, dead or decaying leaves, thin bottom branches and top foliage to keep the plant bushier.
  • Repot every 2-3 years in spring when the roots poke out from the drainage holes.

FAQs About Coffee Plant Flowers

Does Coffee Plant Flower have Caffeine?

The nectar from the Coffee Flower has almost the same amount of caffeine as that of freshly brewed Coffee beans.

Do All Coffee Species have the Same Blooms?

All the species of Coffee Plants have the same type of blooms (white and star-shaped), but the amount of caffeine differs between the species.

Additionally, the pollination process also differs among the species.

What do Coffee Flowers Smell Like?

Coffee Flowers have a mixed aroma resembling citrus and jasmine. 

This is because Coffee Flowers have aromatic essential oils and are a frequent ingredient in beauty products.

From Editorial Team

Protect Coffee Flowers from Mealybugs!

The sap of Coffee Flowers attracts mealybugs, which they drink and leave behind a sticky substance that can lure ants.

To deter the pests, cast them away manually or use mineral oil sprays (1 ml in 1 liter of water).

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