This plant has a strong fragrance
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Tea Tree Oil Overview
Melaleuca alternifolia is a tree species in the Myrtaceae family. It is well-known in the aromatherapy industry for its amazing all-purpose essential oils. This tree can flourish in many South African gardens with varying soil types. The highly aromatic leaves and willowy look-a-like growth habit, make this elegant tree species a must have in the garden.
Common problems with Tea Tree Oil
This tree suffers from very little pests but can fall under fungal attack if an abundance of water is given and sits for long periods of time around the roots (water must be able to drain off or into the soil.).
How to harvest Tea Tree Oil
Harvest the flowers for use in floral arrangements soon after the flower opens. Harvest fresh new branches to be used immediately or dried and used later.
How to propagate Tea Tree Oil
Sow the extremely small seeds in a deep seed tray at a depth of 1-2 mm, space them 10 to 20 cm apart. Germination takes about 3 weeks so be patient. Thin out seedlings that are too close together.
Special features of Tea Tree Oil
Nectar drinking sunbirds are attracted to this species.
Attracts useful insects
Beneficial bees are attracted to the flowers.
Repels harmful insects
Due to the high essential oils within the leaves, make this plant unpalatable to many insects pests.
This plant originated from marsh areas of Australia but can withstand long periods without water.
Other uses of Tea Tree Oil
The extracted oils are used in aromatherapy, used in the treatment of many minor insect bites, wounds. It contains antibacterial, antifungal and anticeptic properties which make it a must have in any first-aid medikit.
This species grows well in a wide range of soils and climates. It prefers well-drained but moist soils and to be grown in full sun