The physiological maturity of the seed is reached approximately in 220 days after flower opening.
The following figure shows the growing stages of the coffee crop until it becomes productive.
Growing stages of coffee crop.
: Flowering and fructification.
: Fruit development. In this stage the plant passes through two critical periods: a critical period of moisture requirement, and a N availability.
: Grain filling. The coffee fruit development takes an average of 34 weeks after fertilization. In this period a high dry matter accumulation is produced, and then the plant requires a great quantity of available nutrients, in addition of an adequate water supply and a good phytosanitary control.
In addition, it is important to consider that coffee, as many fruit trees, presents an overlap of events occurring simultaneously which strongly affect the present year or the next year production. Example, in the grain filling and maturity periods, the tree is also in the floral induction and branch growing periods. Therefore, the plant is required to focus its products toward these stages, creating a competition for resources. This situation, often results in high productions in the present year and very low in the following year.
: Uniform maturity. For obtaining a good quality coffee, it is important to obtain a uniform maturity, particularly if the harvest is mechanized.