A picture of a Tea

Tea

Camellia sinensis

Also known as

Chai, Tea Plant, Tea Shrub , Tee (Afr.), China tea

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

9a

USDA zone

-7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

17m

Max

5m

2m

Min

3m

3 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Tea Overview

Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. The tree is usually trimmed to below 2 m when cultivated for its leaves, but naturally grows to 17 m. It has a strong taproot.

Common problems with Tea

Problem free

Tea Companion Plants

Rhododendrons and Azaleas have similar growing requirements to Camelia sinensis, they will grow well together.

How to harvest Tea

The young, light green leaves are preferably harvested for tea production; they have short white hairs on the underside. Older leaves are deeper green. Different leaf ages produce differing tea qualities, since their chemical compositions are different. Usually, the tip (bud) and the first two to three leaves are harvested for processing. This hand picking is repeated every one to two weeks.

How to propagate Tea

Seed

Germination time is 1-3 months.

Cuttings

Take semi ripe cuttings that have one leaf node. Dust the bottom 5 cm of the cutting with a rooting hormone. Shake off the excess hormone. Stick the cutting into planting medium at an angle, so the leaf with the bud is in contact with the top of the medium. Keep the area around the cutting humid. Place the propagation tray on a heat mat and set the cutting in a bright location. Use a misting bottle to keep the soil moist but not soggy for the next 8 weeks. Allow the cutting to remain in the tray until you see new growth.

Special features of Tea

Attracts useful insects

Bees are attracted tot he flowers.

Hedge plant

Camellia sinensis can be pruned into a beautiful hedge.

Other uses of Tea

Culinary

Edible

Leaves and leaf buds are used to produce dried tea leaves.