How to propagate coffee plants – Manila newsletter
Coffee has become a staple drink in people’s lives because it gives them the energy they need to get things done for the day. The variety of flavors and aromas from different types of coffee also satisfies coffee lovers and foodies all over the world.
But coffee is more than just a drink. As the second most consumed drink in the world after water, coffee is a profitable industry for many.
Over 100,000 people in the Philippines depend on coffee for their livelihoods. The current demand for coffee beans in the country now stands at 64,000 metric tons valued at 2.5 billion pesos per year.
There are four varieties of coffee recognized in the world because they are consumed as drinks. These are arabica, robusta, liberica (also known as kapeng barako) and excelsa.
Arabica coffee, aka kapeng Tagalog
When growing Arabica coffee beans, they should be planted in an area between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level, as they produce better tasting beans when grown at elevations higher.
His factory can produce beans weighing 500 to 1,000 kilograms. But aside from its high yield, Arabica coffee is known for its aromatic flavor.
Café Robusta, aka kapeng manipis
Compared to arabica, the robusta coffee variety can be grown from zero to 1000 meters above sea level. It also brings in more than the latter by 200 kilograms.
Almost everyone has tasted the flavor of the robusta coffee variety, as it is typically used in instant coffee. It also got its nickname because its grains are finer than other varieties.
Café Excelsa, aka kapeng makapal
Also known as kapeng makapal, due to the large size of its beans, excelsa is a variety of coffee that can grow at sea level up to 600 meters above and has a yield of 1,000 kilograms.
Propagation of coffee plants by seeds
There are two ways to propagate coffee. The first is sexual propagation which uses the seeds as the source of the new coffee plant.
Using this method, farmers first harvest the coffee cherries from high-yielding coffee trees that are free of disease and pests. 750 grams should be enough to plant one hectare, but there should be a 50 percent allowance for ungerminated seeds, poor sowing, and replanting.
Once they have collected enough seeds, farmers will start selecting seeds that are subject to floatation, which will help determine which seeds are suitable for planting.
To begin with, the pulp of cherries will be removed by hand or via pulping machine before they are soaked in water for 24 hours to quickly remove mucilage or gelatinous solution from plant roots, seeds.
After 24 hours, wash the seeds and discard the floats. Air dry those that have not been floated in a well ventilated room for at least four days. Once dried, keep it in a dry parchment and keep it in a cool place until ready to plant.
Before planting the seeds, make a germination bed that is one meter wide and 15 centimeters high from ground level. Once done, they can begin to sow the seeds in shallow rows.
Germination begins 25 days after sowing. Some ways to help the seeds germinate are to mulch the seedbed with rice straw and water it regularly.
When they reach the butterfly stage or when the seedlings germinate two leaves, transplant the coffee seedlings into poly bags measuring six by eight inches.
Multiplication of coffee plants by cuttings
The other way to propagate coffee plants is asexual propagation where new plants will sprout from cuttings derived from a healthy mother plant.
First, harvest the vertical shoots of the mother plant, then dip them in a fungicide to remove any pests or diseases that were not initially detected during the breeding process.
Within three to four months of planting the cuttings in a soil medium, farmers must constantly prick the seedlings that emerge. This means separating the plants that are growing together and transferring them to their pots or plots.
Once the seedlings have established a good root system, they can be transplanted into a poly bag and placed in a nursery to harden. Hardening means exposing them to their growing environment and allowing plants to adapt so that they can grow healthy and resistant to pests and diseases.
People have different views on coffee. For some, it’s a drink that can boost anyone’s energy at any time of the day. For others, it is a popular drink that comes in different flavors, temperatures and forms. And finally, coffee is also a good source of income as there continues to be a high demand for coffee both locally and internationally.
Click here to read part 2, which focuses on the proper maintenance of coffee trees through proper fertilization and management of common pests and diseases.
Watch the full AgriTalk webinar here.
Learn more about farming and gardening at agriculture.com.ph.
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