Camellia sinensis is also known as the tea plant. They often flower in autumn and winter, producing beautiful blooms of white flowers when most other plants are dormant.
Native to Japan, Korea and China, the tea plant camellia sinensis has long been used for herbal remedies and, as their leaves were picked during flowering seasons, dried out and added to hot water or other herbs to treat various different conditions and inconveniences. This process is still used today as millions enjoy tea daily, in whatever variety.
This plant typically grows to about 10-15 ft tall and will. Take some pruning or trimming.
Planting Camellia Sinensis
Make sure to choose the right time to plant your camellia sinensis, as it can be delicate to cold weather and even susceptible to frostbite. The best time to plant this camellia is between April and August but be sure not to plant it too early or too late depending on the temperatures of the time.
Recently, many parts of the world have experienced colder spring periods with many parts of the world covered in snow during what should be the beginning of the warmer seasons. If your area has experienced these weather changes, wait until the cold period is over and there is no chance of cold weather striking and killing your tea plant before it’s had time to grow.
Growing Camellia Sinensis
Camellia sinensis is reasonably easy to grow. Here are some things to remember to maximize your tea plant’s growth.
The camellia sinensis can also easily be grown in a pot or the garden, depending on its size and your preference.
This plant is suitable for any garden type and thrives in most conditions. It can fit nicely in woodland gardens, cottage gardens or city gardens. It can be used as wall borders or large hedges to separate different garden parts.
This plant is typically planted in a hedge format; if you are keen to structure your camellia sinensis as a hedge, the sapling should be spaced somewhere between 1.5 and 3 feet apart.
However, if you want to grow the camellia sinensis as a standalone plant, consider planting them with 5 ft spacings.
This plant is native to mountainous regions, which offer a mixture of strong sun and heavy rain. Even if you live in drier or colder areas, try to find a place that offers full sun and shade throughout the day.
Many owners like to grow camellia sinensis next to a wall, as it can be delicate to harsh winter weather. The wall protects it from getting damaged during the colder months. This tea plant will also not appreciate much exposure to strong sun. The harsh sunlight and heat can damage the flower buds, especially after colder weather or frosts.
The soil must be kept moist during drier seasons; if not, the plant will dry out, and buds will drop. The soil used should be well-draining.
If you have acidic soil in your garden, this is also warmly welcome to the camellia sinensis, although not necessary.
While the plant is still young, it will need watering about two or three times weekly during the warm growing season (late spring–summer). Younger saplings need much more water than established tea plants. When watering your young tea plant, make sure all roots are soaked.
Once you’ve had your plant for a few years,, you can cut back on this watering schedule. Ensure to water regularly during drier periods, but do not overwater. This can lead to waterlogging, root rot, and moldy soil.
Fertilizers should be used during the spring and summer months. Your camellia sinensis may also appreciate adding mulch annually to the base of the plant. Mulch should be bark or leaf-based and can help protect the roots and maintain the plant’s ambient temperature.
Propagation by seed is likely the most successful method of propagating the camellia sinensis. Simply take samples, soak them, and sow them when you notice they’ve ripened.
If you’re more concerned with the aesthetic, ornamental elements of the camellia sinensis, then leaving the plants to their own devices may be the best option. You won’t need to intervene as much if you do not want to use the tea leaves. Leaving the plant, and allowing it to bloom by itself, will usually produce the best results.
If you want to make tea, harvest the shrub when the first bud emerges. This indicates that the leaves’ energy generates a richer tea flavor.
There are some potential problems in growing Tea Plant.
Look for aphids, scale insects, vine weevils, and camellia petal blight. These can all have major impacts on the health of your camellia sinensis.
If you have a pest problem, depending on what pest has arrived, a simple and gently rubbing alcohol can be used to wipe the leaves and stems to get rid of any unwelcome visitors.
This plant is also susceptible to canker, camellia mottle leaf virus, leaf gall, and root rot. Most of these are fungal diseases; common symptoms include yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, wilting, blotches, or marks appearing on the leaves and surrounding branches.
Fungicides can combat these problems, and reducing the water you provide can also help. Fungal growth is frequently a side effect of overwatering.
There are so many benefits that come with growing the camellia sinensis. Growing your own tea can be a brilliant project that can help you learn and aid your mental health, but if you succeed in the area, you can consider selling your tea leaves to bigger businesses or starting up your own business yourself. This can be a neat little money-maker for you; make sure to follow any legalities and do your own research.
Elyssa Goins is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mom of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has been published in a Scientific Journal, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.