Growing Your Own Tea is healthier to consume and will be very rewarding is something that the whole family can enjoy in even the smallest of places. Camellia sinensis or Tea is the ultimate edible!
Only after water, Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. For over 5000 years it has played an unique role in history. It has brought people together and ripped people apart. It has made us feel better, think clearer, and comforted us when we needed it. It affects us all – in body, mind and spirit. It has successfully been grown in regions all across the globe in both large scale plantations and in back yard gardens.
Tea can be grown outdoors in climate zones 7,8,9 and 10. It prefers warm, humid climates with adequate rainfall. In colder climates, of zone 6 and lower, tea can be grown during the dormant season in protected greenhouses, containers or even indoors – and outdoors during flushing season.
Camellia Sinensis prefers well drained soil with organic matter and sufficient nutrients. Soil pH of 5-6 is suitable. For container culture, avoid bagged potting soils with a lot of peat moss. They do not drain well and can suffocate the roots. Supply a mix that is organic, has larger and smaller pieces of natural matter – sticks, barks, chips, etc. Miracle Grow Orchid Soil or Miracle Grow Garden Soil for Shrubs and Trees would be suitable container mixes.
A balanced diet is required for growing Camellia sinensis and organic fertilizers are preferred over synthetic ones.
Water – Humidity
Camellia sinensis prefers a humid environment with adequate moisture to not let the plant roots dry out.
Each year, just before spring flush, prune plants heavily. Remove any dead or diseased limbs. Pruning will encourage new growth and lots of branches for a very bushy plant.
Harvest leaves from soft, fresh, new growth that begins in the spring. Don’t harvest older growth. Harvesting season will be determined by your climate. The warmer your climate, the longer your harvesting season will be. Typically in zone 8-9, the growing season will be from April-May thru September.