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Name: Beatrice R.
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001 

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.

possibly helpful

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.

Hi Beatrice!

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 year.

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)
as     %
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 answer.

And thanks for asking NEWTON! Tell your friends about it!

(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)

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