Are you wondering if it is possible to grow coffee hydroponically, or do you want to learn how to grow hydroponic coffee?
Keep reading because, in this article, we will provide you with the answers you’re looking for.
You will learn how to grow hydroponic coffee properly, the suitable conditions, and how to avoid common mistakes.
Growing a hydroponic coffee can be rewarding and challenging at the same time.
However, before starting a coffee production, there are a few points to consider:
- The type of coffee
- The environmental conditions
- The required nutrients.
Here is a briefing on your hydroponic coffee growth. If you have decided to give it a shot, first of all, remove the tiny plant from the soil and wash its roots with warm water.
Next, place the plant in a growing container. Some growers ignore this phase and jump quickly to the next – putting the plant in a net cup.
You can fill the container with decorative rocks and clay pebbles if you feel like it.
In the first few weeks, you will notice some significant growth in the plant.
Using passive hydroponics, you won’t need a water pump. The container is already filled with water.
It is perfect for the decoration of the house. With the hydroponic system, you don’t need to feed it and pay no attention in general.
It will happily grow and shine beautifully, asking for nothing in return.
The plant should be exposed to natural sunlight, but if you have no access or cannot do that, we will discuss all the artificial lighting you can provide your plant with later in the article.
It may take up to 9 months before you will have to add any sort of nutrient solution. But once the time comes whenever you start to notice significant growth, it is extremely important to maintain a healthy life.
However, you may start to cut off half of the root system after that time, and there will be no adverse effects on the plant. You might need to do that only if you notice any of the roots brownings.
Now we will start with the most critical factor, which is essential for coffee proper growth. We will include the hydroponic growth requirements as well as average growth.
What Are The Required Nutrients?
It is essential to provide plants with the ideal soil and nutrient compositions for optimal growth. The soil needs to be well-drained and loamy.
When the plants are young, they usually require exceptional quantities of phosphorous. After the second year of growth, the amounts become balanced and easier to maintain alive.
Once the plants are developed, add at least 1400 pounds each year and a regular mixture of magnesium, iron, and zinc nutrients.
Suitable Environmental Conditions
There are strict environmental conditions in which coffee growth is optimal. They are not necessary for hydroponic growth, but following them will provide the best results. These environmental conditions refer to the people aiming for production more than decoration.
The production will be very low or even not producing if the environmental conditions are not met.
The temperatures must be between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and high humidity is mandatory. A possibility for a misty environment for growth is a huge plus, but not that essential.
For indoor growing, it is crucial to provide the plants with the proper lighting, which we will discuss later in the article, so keep reading.
A good touch on the airflow is also crucial and highly recommended to provide the plants with dry and chilly growing space.
When harvesting, drier conditions are recommended to simplify the process.
The coffee crop can be grown on a variety of different soil types. However, sandy loam, or the “shadow soil,” is the most suitable solution as it is reached on organic matter.
The water balance is a factor that has been considered because it may play a vital role in growing coffee.
The soil deficiencies must be supplemented with the required nutrients before and after planting the coffee until the perfect balance is achieved.
Common Issues in Growing Hydroponic Coffee
If you have been reading from the beginning, you should know the suitable conditions required for hydroponic coffee’s proper growth. However, most of the mistakes are related to the conditions.
Mediterranean climate is not suitable for the coffee plant in general, and if you are located in such an area, you should consider indoor growing. Growth issues can occur if the recommended lightning, moisture, and temperature level conditions are not met.
Not many people grow coffee hydroponically, but the few that have attempted it are mainly struggling when the plant reaches 2 meters high.
Of course, this can occur late in the growing process. Still, eventually, the plant has to be removed from the hydroponic system and placed in a greenhouse or suitable environment accordingly to its height.
Otherwise, the plant will fall because of its weight.
On the other hand, the wind can cause problems even before the plant reaches 2 meters. If your system is exposed to faster airflow than the recommended breeze, it can cause the plant to break and die.
How To Build a Hydroponic System for Coffee Cultivation
You can build a hydroponic coffee growing system even if you are a beginner. You don’t need years of experience to do it rightfully.
Follow these steps to get started:
Empty the container and make a hole about an inch, 6 centimeters from the bottom.
Then it would help if you had a PVC elbow joint or a similar object that can feed it through the outside of the hole. (Do not forget that it has to face down).
Attach another PVC elbow, but this time on the other end, inside the container facing down.
Fill the container about a little more than half, and insert the plant you want to grow, ensuring that the roots are healthy and in the water.
Keep in mind that any container made of plastic will get the job done, so do not waste your time finding the perfect one.
The roof of your container has to have a hole big enough for the plant’s body to go around and the leaves to be left outside.
Irrigation System Preparation
The fastest and most comfortable way to build an irrigation system is to use a half an inch main line attached to your water pump.
Attach the main to the outflow source of the container and place it in a suitable and secure place.
At the end of the main line, stick a screwdriver or ¼ inch poly nail with a barbed coupling on one end. After the feeder line is attached, you can stick the other end into the growing medium.
The next step should be to bore holes into the drainpipe that aligns with the elbow joint you made earlier on the container.
Attach another PVC pipe to the bottom of the elbow and put it through the hole into the drain pipe.
All you have to do now is check for leaks. A system of everyday items can leak, so do not worry. Just seal them, and you are ready to go.
You now have a basic understanding of the hydrophobic growth method of coffee.
You will need to do additional research if you wish to learn how to grow different crops hydroponically, but there is not much to learn.