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Topic: coffee plant preferred soil (3 msgs / 153 lines)
1) From: Benjamin VerHage
I have two Kona plants, one about 6" tall, the other 18" or so. I noticed my large plant is starting to get black tips on the newer leaves...ever so slightly. I assume that means I'm over watering, but if anything I probably underwater because I'm worried about watering too much. The only other thing I can think of is the soil it holding too much water. I know I need soil that drains well, but I wasn't sure what kind of soil that is. I got some Miracle Gro - Cactus, Palm and Citrus soil which is supposed to be fast draining.
Anyone have any soil or watering tips?
Ben
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2) From: Bruce Garley
Leaves yellow and/or fall off from overwatering. No black tips.
Black tips can mean salt accumulation at the end of the transpiration
stream. Meaning, fertilizer is taken up as salts by the roots and moved
along with water to the rest of the plant. Too much and it will build up in
the tissue and start to kill the leaves. Typically the symptom is necrosis
from the tip back. Soil acidity makes a big difference in how much a plant
will be affected.
Coffee plants are heavy feeders. Grow in bright, but indirect light, maybe
40% shade. Unlike cactus mixes, a soil with a bit more organic matter, or
peat is probably better. Organic matter actually buffers the salt content of
potting mix. The open, well drained mix is great. Water just before the
plant starts to wilt, or when the soil has dried down about an inch. Do not
overpot, size the plant to the pot. A pot too big for the plant hangs onto
too much water, too long. Too small a pot dries out too fast.
Tip: Thirty years ago I was growing coffee totally indoors in a pot in
Minnesota and could not get the blossoms to open well. Finally got it to
fruit decently by putting the plant in the shower once in a while. Seemed
like the flower buds benefited from periodic leaching. Probably some water
soluble inhibitor was removed.
A good commercial potting soil is well drained with a fair amount of humus.
Something like an African Violet soil with up to a third perlite or
vermiculite added for drainage.
Bruce

3) From: Benjamin VerHage
Thanks for the info, Bruce.
I haven't used any fertilizer as of yet. Do you think the soil that I purchased is the culprit? I assume it came with some sort of stuff already in there.
I'll try changing soil and see what happens. 
Ben
----- Original Message ----
From: Bruce Garley 
To: homeroast
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:40:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] coffee plant preferred soil
Leaves yellow and/or fall off from overwatering. No black tips.
Black tips can mean salt accumulation at the end of the transpiration
stream. Meaning, fertilizer is taken up as salts by the roots and moved
along with water to the rest of the plant. Too much and it will build up in
the tissue and start to kill the leaves. Typically the symptom is necrosis
from the tip back. Soil acidity makes a big difference in how much a plant
will be affected.
Coffee plants are heavy feeders. Grow in bright, but indirect light, maybe
40% shade. Unlike cactus mixes, a soil with a bit more organic matter, or
peat is probably better. Organic matter actually buffers the salt content of
potting mix. The open, well drained mix is great. Water just before the
plant starts to wilt, or when the soil has dried down about an inch. Do not
overpot, size the plant to the pot. A pot too big for the plant hangs onto
too much water, too long. Too small a pot dries out too fast.
Tip: Thirty years ago I was growing coffee totally indoors in a pot in
Minnesota and could not get the blossoms to open well. Finally got it to
fruit decently by putting the plant in the shower once in a while. Seemed
like the flower buds benefited from periodic leaching. Probably some water
soluble inhibitor was removed.
A good commercial potting soil is well drained with a fair amount of humus.
Something like an African Violet soil with up to a third perlite or
vermiculite added for drainage.
Bruce


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