fertilizer guide






The genus Coffea, consists of 25 to 40 species in tropical Asia and Africa; It belongs to the Coffeoideae tribe of the Rubiaceae family. They are evergreen bushes that may grow 5 m tall when unpruned and native to Ethiopia. It is one of the best-known plants in the world. The plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world and coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. Coffee is a major export commodity: it is the top agricultural export for numerous countries and green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.

The two main species commercially cultivated are Coffea canephora (predominantly a form known as 'robusta') and Coffea arabica. Arabica berries ripen in six to eight months, while Robusta take nine to eleven months.

Beans from different countries or regions can usually be distinguished by differences in flavor, aroma, body, and acidity. These taste characteristics are dependent not only on the coffee's growing region, but also on genetic subspecies (varietals) and processing. Varietals are generally known by the region in which they are grown, such as Colombian, Java and Kona.

Arabica coffee beans are cultivated mainly in Latin America, Eastern Africa or Asia, while robusta beans are grown in central Africa, throughout southeast Asia, and Brazil.

The economically most important species of coffee is Coffea arabica, which produces approximately 80-90% of world production, C.canephora about 20%.

ClimateC. arabica. The best coffee is produced in areas that are at altitudes of 1200 to 1700 meters, where the annual rainfall is 2000 to 3000 mm and the average annual temperature is 16º to 22º. The crop requires abundant and uniformly distributed rainfall (or irrigation) from early flowering stage to late summer (November - September) to promote the development of fruit. In autumn, however, a period of drought is desirable to induce flowering the following year.

C.canephora. The best Robusta coffee is produced in Tanzania at an elevation of 1200 m with uniform annual rainfall of about 3000 mm, with temperatures ranging from a minimum of 17 ° C to a maximum of 27 ° C in the year. 

SoilDeep soil, well drained, which is neither too light nor too heavy. Volcanic lime soils are ideal.

pH: 4.2-5.1

Nutritional Requirements

Coffee nutritional requirements. Source: Mehlich (1966), Carvajal et al. (1969), Malavolta (1990)
3 years old (kg/ha). Yield: 1,255 kg
3-6 years old (kg/ha). Yield: 3,000 kg Brasil/1,100 kg Kenia






Coffee micronutrients requirements (g/ha/year). Brasil. Yield: 3,000 kg/ha. Source: Malavolta (1990)




Fertigation recommendation

In general, by supplying these quantities of nutrients, the needs of technified coffee plantations with high planting densities (between 7,000 and 10,000 plants/ha) and low level of shading (less than 35%) can be met: 300 kg/ha/year Nitrogen, 50 kg/ha/year P2O5, 260 kg/ha/year K2O, 50 kg/ha/year MgO and 50 kg/ha/year S (Colombia conditions).


Coffee Nitrogen dosages (kg/ha/year). Source: Cenicafé (Colombia), 2012
Level shading (%)Coffee bush/ha
> 7,5005,000-7,500< 5,000
< 35300285255

Coffee P, Mg and S dosages (kg/ha/year). Source: Cenicafé (Colombia), 2012
Level shading (%)Coffee bush/ha
> 7,5005,000-7,500< 5,000
< 35504843

Coffee K dosages (kg/ha/year). Source: Cenicafé (Colombia), 2012
Level shading (%)Coffee bush/ha
> 7,5005,000-7,500< 5,000
< 35260250220

Foliar fertilizers

Foliar fertilization is the fastest and most effective method to supplement and enrich plant nutrition and to correct nutritional deficiencies when needed. This contributes significantly to higher and better quality productions.

Boron, Zinc, Iron and other micronutrients are also applied via foliar. Lima Europe has a wide range of foliar fertilizers and special products for foliar application.

To verify the safe rate under local conditions, it is advisable to spray recommended rate on a few plants. After 3-4 days check the tested plants for scorching symptoms.


Coffee fertilizer program


5 NPK Terra 12-44-12 + 6 CaO + 3 MgO + TE

NPK 24-10-10

NPK 13-7-20+8Ca+2Mg

Grogreen Ca/B: 2-5 kg/ha. In order to correct Ca and Boron deficiency. Ca/B increases flowering and fruit set

Zn E-15: 0.5-1 kg/ha for foliar application. 2-4 kg/ha/year in 2-3 applications

proteKt-K50: 2 l/ha. For a supplement of K at berry development and berry maturity stages

Pro-mino: 2 kg/ha. 3-4 applications per year: Flowering, 15 days after flowering, berry development/maturity and after harvest

Micro: 1 kg/ha. Flowering and 2-3 weeks after flowering