Anyone who puts a small coffee plant on the windowsill would like to accompany it for years as it grows, to care for it as well as possible away from the tropics. To top it all off, white flowers and red cherries should follow after a few years. If you get brown leaves instead, you will be disappointed. How does the green return so that everything is not in vain?

Brown leaves, more than just annoying

If the evergreen coffee bush has brown leaves, it is not just a disruption of the beautiful appearance. If the abundance of brown leaves is large or if they occur outside of winter dormancy, the alarm bells should sound.

  • brown leaves are a serious sign
  • the life of the exotic plant could soon end entirely
  • are an invitation to act immediately

Growing a coffee plant from small to large is a game of patience, because it allows itself a lot of leisurely time to grow and lignify its shoots. It therefore makes much more sense to save the affected plant than to start over with a new little plant.

Possible causes of the tanning

In order for your own “coffee plantation” to grow green and flourish on the windowsill as intended, it needs the right “medicine” to prevent brown leaves. But first the correct cause has to be found, because there are a few to choose from:

  • Sunburn from direct light
  • light mangle
  • not enough water
  • too much water
  • low humidity
  • Oversaturation of nutrients
  • cold drafts
  • Pest infestation

The sun has burned the leaves

Coffea, as the shrub is called botanically, is used to a lot of sun in its homeland of origin. Even in this country, nothing speaks against a portion of bright midday sun. However, the coffee plant has to slowly get used to it. A sudden change of location, in which it faces the direct sun unprepared, quickly gives it brown leaf spots and, over time, completely brown leaves.

Young coffee plants generally feel more comfortable in a bright place that is protected from direct sunlight.

Solution: new, shadier location
Check the current location to see whether it is generally consistent.

  • get used to the sun gradually in spring
  • Avoid temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius

In our latitudes, west and east windows are ideal for coffee plants.

Lack of light in winter

A coffee plant thirsts for a lot of light from January to December. But even the brightest location in the house cannot give it the amount of light it needs in winter. But light is the food of the leaves. If there is a lack of light, no green can be formed for all leaves. As a result, some of them turn brown.

Tip: A thick layer of dust on the leaves also impairs photosynthesis, which is why they should be wiped off regularly or showered with lime-free water. Do not place it next to the window until it has dried, otherwise there is a risk of burns.

Solution: Ensure
more brightness You can achieve more brightness for your coffee tree as follows:

  • by a lighter location
  • using a plant lamp

Buying a plant lamp costs money, but it reliably solves the lighting problem and can also be used for many more years.

Tip:  Even in summer, make sure that your coffee bush is not in a dark corner of the room. Then he will also suffer from lack of light and brown leaves.

Too much water, a danger to the roots too

Another danger lurks in winter, and it’s in the watering can: water! Of course, an evergreen coffee bush also needs regular water in winter, but much less than on warm days of the year. In the low-light winter time it grows very slowly or rests completely.

If you do not adjust the watering amount to the changed situation, you will soon be overwatering your coffee plant. It is also possible that the moisture makes the soil moldy, which makes the problem even worse.

Solution: Take a pause in watering
As soon as the substrate has dried, only moderate amounts of water should be added to it in the future.

  • always pour as needed
  • depending on the weather

Not enough water

If the leaves of the coffee bush are drooping, the likely cause is a lack of water. If this is not remedied, brown leaves will soon follow. In summer, the risk of dehydration is higher due to evaporation and the high demand. But the problem can also arise in winter if, for example, you forget to water the plant or if it is in a very warm place.

Solution: refilling
But here you should proceed with a sense of proportion, because waterlogging can arise and in turn become a problem.

  • Pour in portions immediately
  • only as much as the earth can absorb
  • Increase the frequency and amount of watering in the future, thereby avoiding dry soil

Low humidity

In summer the sun ensures dry air, in winter it is the heating.

  • coffea arabica likes 60% humidity
  • Robusta coffea sogar 100%

The coffee plant absorbs moisture through its leaves. If the humidity drops below 30%, this is a critical value for the leafy green.

Solution: spray regularly

  • Spray twice a day on dry days
  • use soft water
  • rainwater is also suitable

Oversaturation of nutrients

Brown-colored shoot tips could be a sign of over-fertilization of the coffee plant. This happens in particular if fertilizer is still administered during the winter rest period, although the plant hardly needs any nutrients. The roots of the shrub can also be damaged by overfertilization, which affects the supply of the plant.

Solution: Stop fertilizing for the time being.
Give the plant new, unused soil. When repotting, watch out for damaged roots, which you can remove with sharp scissors. In addition, take a long break from fertilization every year, from October to April of the following year.

Cold drafts and wind are harmful

A coffee bush perched on a windowsill or in a passageway can regularly get cold drafts. This can also cause brown leaves. In summer, the coffee bush outdoors can be left unprotected from the winds.

Solution: new, protected location
The discolored leaves will soon fall off and new ones will only take a short period of time to get used to it.

Pest infestation by spider mites

Dry and warm air is an invitation to spider mites that they gladly follow. They suck up the life sap of the coffea unnoticed, first turning their leaves yellow and then brown. In winter, the danger is particularly high when the heating air is dry and is further increased by incorrect maintenance.

Solution: Fight spider mites immediately

  • Shower off the plant
  • spray with soapy water
  • Repotting with soil exchange
  • Isolate the plant
  • use other pesticides if necessary
  • beneficial predatory mites can also help

In the future, check your coffee plants regularly for pests so that you can react in good time.

What happens to brown leaves?

Brown leaves fall off the bush on their own at some point. Then they should be collected and disposed of as soon as possible. If you are bothered by the sight of it, you can cut it off with sharp scissors.

A coffee plant with green leaves is the norm, while brown leaves are cause for concern. The causes of the brown discoloration are manifold but they can all be resolved. The only requirement is: act quickly! And never forget: The coffee bush is a tropical plant that requires special living conditions. Then brown leaves stay away.

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