How Long Do Coffee Plants Take To Grow?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on March 16th, 2023

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, enjoyed by millions daily. However, few people know how to grow and harvest coffee beans.

Unlike many other crops, coffee plants take considerable time to mature before they are ready for harvest. This article will explore the stages of coffee plant growth and the average time it takes to reach maturity.

coffee plant

Are you interested in how long coffee plants take to grow? Take a moment to read through. 

How long do coffee plants take to grow?

Generally, a coffee plant takes 3 to 5 years to bear fruit, with optimal yields achieved after 5 to 7 years of growth. During the first year, coffee plants focus on developing a strong root system, which is crucial for their long-term health and productivity. In the second year, the plants begin to grow branches and leaves, and by the third year, they typically reach a height of 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet).

Once the coffee plants reach maturity, they will typically continue to produce fruit for up to 25 years, with some varieties producing even longer. Farmers use various cultivation techniques throughout this time to ensure the plants remain healthy and productive, including pruning, fertilization, and pest control.

Overall, the time required for coffee plants to grow and develop is significant, and it requires a great deal of patience and attention to detail from coffee farmers. However, the result is a high-quality coffee product millions of people enjoy worldwide, making it all worth the effort.

How long does it take for seedlings to develop?

The seedlings must be kept in a warm and humid environment at the early stages of seedling development. Research shows that after about fifty days, the seeds should germinate, releasing their fleshy outer coat and revealing the embryonic root and first leaves.

Coffee trees can bear fruit under ideal conditions for harvest as early as three to four years from initial sprouting, with some taking up to thirty-six months. However, once the seedlings are well-managed and healthy, they take about two years to produce cherries. 

As the roots grow deeper and the leaves wider, the seedlings need to be transplanted into individual pots or containers to give the seedlings more room to grow. It is important to note that you cannot grow coffee plants from store-bought beans; those have been treated and roasted and will not sprout.

Types of coffee plants and their growth characteristics

Among the different varieties of coffee plants, four are the most commonly grown and cultivated. These are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa coffee. Each species has unique growth characteristics, making them ideal for specific environments and preferences. 

Arabica coffee

Arabica coffee is perhaps the most popular and widely consumed, accounting for about 60% of the world’s coffee production. It grows best in high altitudes, around 3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level.

Arabica coffee plants are sensitive to temperature changes and require a cool, subtropical climate with moderate rainfall to thrive. They produce high-quality coffee beans with a mild, sweet, and aromatic flavor profile characterized by chocolate, fruit, and floral notes.

Robusta coffee

As the name suggests, Robusta coffee is known for its robust flavor profile. It is a hardy and disease-resistant coffee plant that can grow from sea to 3,000 feet in low altitudes. Robusta coffee plants require a warm and humid environment with plenty of rainfall. The beans produced by this variety are often used in blends because they have a bold, bitter, and earthy taste, with hints of nuts and chocolate.

Liberica coffee

Liberica coffee is a lesser-known variety native to West and Central Africa. It is highly tolerant of pests and diseases and can grow in various climatic conditions, from low to high altitudes. Liberica coffee plants are larger than Arabica and Robusta counterparts, with large leaves and cherries.

The beans produced by this variety have a unique and exotic flavor profile, with hints of woody and floral notes and a distinct smoky and nutty taste.

Excelsa coffee

Excelsa coffee is another lesser-known variety that is typically grown in Southeast Asia. It is closely related to Liberica coffee, and the two are often referred to as the “minor” coffee varieties. Excelsa coffee plants can grow in various altitudes, from low to high, and require warm and humid climates with ample rainfall.

The beans produced by this variety have a unique and complex flavor profile, with notes of tart and fruity and a spicy and woody finish.

In summary, the different types of coffee plants have unique growth characteristics that make them ideal for specific environments and preferences. Arabica coffee is the most popular and widely consumed variety, with a mild and sweet flavor profile, while Robusta coffee is known for its bold and bitter taste.

Liberica coffee is highly tolerant of pests and diseases and has an exotic and distinct flavor profile. Excelsa coffee is a lesser-known variety with a complex and unique flavor profile typically grown in Southeast Asia.

What are the requirements for growing coffee?

Growing coffee plants can be a rewarding experience, but various requirements must be met to grow good coffee.

Climate requirements

Coffee plants require specific conditions to thrive, and the climate is one of the most important aspects. As a tropical plant, coffee requires heat, humidity, and plentiful rainfall. Studies have shown that coffee plants are best grown as house plants or in a greenhouse, and their ideal temperature and humidity should be kept between 21°C and 27°C. 

The time it takes for the fruit to mature varies with the variety and the climate; for Arabica, it is about seven months, and for Robusta, it can take up to eleven months. While coffee can be grown in many climates, it thrives best when mimicking its natural conditions on a tropical, mid-elevation mountainside. This environment provides plenty of heat, humidity, and ample rainfall.

Soil requirements

Choosing the right soil type ensures the best growth possible for your coffee plants. Research has shown that coffee plants need a well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a 5.5 to 6.5. However, coffee plants prefer acidic soil, so if your plant is more alkaline, you must adjust the pH levels with soil amendments.

 Plant your coffee plants in rich, peat-based potting soil with excellent drainage. This type of soil will help ensure that the tree will have proper airflow and that excess water does not linger in the roots, which can lead to root rot. 


Coffee plants need plenty of sunlight to grow properly. Insufficient sunlight or overshading can delay plant growth. Conversely, the proper amount of sunlight can improve coffee plant growth.

Water requirements

When planting coffee trees, it’s important to consider their water requirements. Coffee plants need regular and consistent watering to thrive. The water needed depends on the climate and soil conditions, but it should be enough to keep the soil damp but not soggy.

 In areas with high humidity, like tropical climates, the plants should be watered more often but with less water than in drier climates. 

Pruning and fertilizing

Agricultural research has shown that pruning and fertilizing are important in maintaining healthy coffee plants. Pruning helps to keep the plants looking tidy and encourages new growth, while fertilizing provides essential nutrients and minerals to the soil. Remove any dead branches or leaves that cross over each other to prune. 

Once you’ve finished pruning, you can fertilize with a quality fertilizer appropriate for your soil type. Remember that coffee plants require more nutrients than other plants, so using a fertilizer that meets these needs is important. 

Pest management

Coffee plants can be susceptible to various pests, including coffee berry borers, leaf rust, and pests commonly found in coffee farms. Proper pest management is critical to maintaining healthy coffee plant growth.

In summary, various factors can affect coffee plants’ growth, speeding up or delaying their growth. Coffee plant growers must consider these factors to ensure optimal crop production.


In recent years, significant advances have been made in our understanding of coffee plant growth and development. However, much is still to learn, especially as climate change and other environmental factors impact coffee production worldwide.

Therefore, the future of coffee plant growth and development research is promising. Researchers will continue to explore the genetic and epigenetic basis of coffee plant growth and development and the impact of environmental factors such as temperature, water availability, and soil nutrients on yields and quality.

New technologies like genomic editing and precision agriculture may also improve coffee production and sustainability. For example, scientists could use these technologies to develop coffee plants better adapted to changing environmental conditions or more resistant to pests and diseases.

Ultimately, a better understanding of coffee plant growth and development will be crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the coffee industry and supporting the livelihoods of millions worldwide who depend on coffee or if you want to grow your coffee plant.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.