This wee plant is the result of an experiment involving Horticulture/Education/Volunteers.
(this is NOT a photo by D. Boxer!)
Earlier last year (about June) we gathered some of the berries from the coffee tree that is used by Education when they do the "Where does your food come from" day with schoolgroups. The intention was to attempt to get the seeds (aka coffee beans!) to grow. Various methods were tried, with one being successful.
This is what we did:
Separated the beans and carefully removed the mushy bits.
Put them all in water (tap water!) in a glass jam jar with a lid, and left on a South facing kitchen windowsill for about 7 days. Apparently this starts some sort of fermentation process on the outside of the seeds which is necessary for germination.
Drained off water after about 7 days, then without touching the seeds with fingers put them on a triple layer of kitchen roll paper, then placed a triple layer on top and dampened. (apparently the experts use stuff such as felt)
Put the package into a tin (appropriately an old coffee tin!) with slices of cork etc at the base to avoid the wet paper touching the tin and causing rust.
Placed on east facing windowsill (only because that was the only suitable place!) with lid on tin.
Checked weekly to ensure package was still damp and moistened as necessary.
After about 3 months, we unwrapped the package and noted that one of the seeds had developed about a centimetre of root, two of the others had about 1 millimetre of "bud".
Carefully put the rooted seed in a 5 inch pot. with a mix of seedling potting material and home made garden compost
Moistened the soil, placed pot in a polythene bag, than back onto windowsill.
Replaced the other seeds in coffee tin and checked weekly but no further signs of growth so threw them out.
After a further 3 weeks a seed leaf appeared which we positively identified as coffee.
Moved pot to a safe area in the hot greenhouse.
It has now survived several months, and is being well looked after.
The secrets seem to be soaking for several days, warmth moisture and darkness for at least 3 months, warmth, moisture and light when potted for at least a month until seed leaves appear, then lots of TLC. The plant hates sudden temperature change and positively loathes the cold. We have seen the parent plant wilt when it has been exposed to a cold wind for only a few moments.