Fertilizing Arabica Coffee
Name: Beatrice R.
I have a arabica coffee plant and would like to know
what is the proper fertilizer to use (10-10-10 or ?) and what is
schedule for fertilizing the plant.
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
So nice that you have an arabica coffee plant...if it is well cared
it can be quite ornamental.
To fertilize it depends upon many conditions, first of all where
it stands, climate, temperature, humidity...where do you live?
If you keep it inside you must know that the temperature must
be between 17 and 23 degrees C.
The humidity must be around 1600-1800 mm of rain (water) per
Since you have already the plant I imagine it is quite inside these
conditions. Now for your question one must have a chemical analysis
of the soil. I will give you the average chemicals the soil must
have, so you must take out what is already in:
Obs: the measures are for a huge plantation, so for just one plant
it is a lot less.
You can do the calculus, considering that in a normal plantation,
the plants are seeded with 1 meter between them side by side.
So for 1 hectare the plants need in the fertilizer (minus the
amount that is already in the ground):
200 kg of Nitrogen ( in compounds)
100 kg of K2O
30 kg of P2O5
40 kg of B2O3
P ( mg/dm3) 12-30
K (mg/100g 1.5-3.0
Cu mg/dm3) 0.2
Mn ( mg/dm3) 0- 1.5
Zn (mg/dm3) 0.6-1.2)
Ca 1.9-1.4 ( as CaCO3, or CaO)
Mg 0.31- 0.36 as MgSO4 or MgO)
The soil treatment must be done once a year, after the plant
is grown up. If you are going to seed, or plant the small one,
just put it on the hole before seeding once and again when the
plant begins to grow.
I do no know if all these formulas will help you. They are measures
for big plantations not for just one plant, but the proportion holds.
Also, beeing not an American, I cannot give you a brand
name of a fertilizer. And as I told before, everything will depend
upon other conditions. I cannot give you a warranty.Take these
numbers as a rough idea, althrough they were given by a good
and reliable agricultural department of my country (Brazil).
Go by the safe side, and try less than the minimum recommended
values. Good sense and love work wonders...I sincerely hope
you will have a nice plant for years.
But... if nobody gives you a better answer, write back to NEWTON,
giving all the facts, and I will try to look for a more accurate
And thanks for asking NEWTON! Tell your friends about it!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
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Update: June 2012