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From its humble roots in China that spans way back 22,000 years ago, green tea (Camellia Sinensis) has become one of the most popular drinks in the world today. The aromatic scent exuded by tea leaves, along with its own distinct taste, has made it an all-time favorite.
While it was first used as a medicinal drink by the ancient Chinese to soothe their tired bodies and improve circulation, tea has become the world’s most popular recreational drink today (even beating coffee!)
As the weather gets colder, the idea of warming your body up by drinking tea starts to become much more enticing. Tea has a lot of benefits – from medicinal to smoothening dry skin, and even soothing tired muscles – and it is definitely something that you can grow in your own garden too!
Normally growing in warmer tropical climates, some tea plants can also be grown on the warmer parts of the United States. If you are living in the colder part of the world, you can also grow them inside a greenhouse (if you have one installed inside your home). If you are looking for some information and ideas on how to grow your own tea garden, this article will teach you all about it.
All About Green Tea Plant (Camellia Sinensis)
Camellia Sinensis is a plant that is native to Asia – and it is where fresh tea leaves are harvested from. The tea plant can reach up to 17 meters tall in the wild, but tea farmers prune it constantly in order to facilitate easier harvesting. Normally, cultivated plants stand somewhere around 1 to 2 meters tall.
The tea plant produces beautiful white flowers that make a spectacle when it blooms. This makes the tea plant a practical choice to grow in your garden – they not only taste good, but they look good as well!
If you are not in a tropical climate, you can still grow them as a houseplant. If you are serious about growing tea in your home, here are some tips to remember on how to grow your own green tea garden.
3 Tips To Remember On How To Grow Your Own Tea Garden
1. Plan Your Planting Season Properly And Choose The Right Seeds To Plant
The Camellia Sinensis is a plant that is native to tropical climate – it is not fond of the cold, to say the least. With that being said, you need to plan properly when and where to plant your seeds. If you want them to survive and produce your tea, planning your planting season is essential.
If you are planning to plant your seeds outdoors, the optimal season to plant it is definitely at the end of the winter season. From the start of Spring up to the end of Fall, your tea plant will be able to grow enough to bloom and produce tea leaves that you can enjoy during the colder months.
On the other hand, if you have a greenhouse installed in your house then you can pretty much grow your tea plant all-year-round. You can also grow it indoors as a house plant if you don’t have a greenhouse, but you will need to take it out from time-to-time during the Summer to make sure it gets enough sunlight to grow.
Bright, indirect light that is around 70 ℉ is recommended if you plan to grow them indoors. After the buds appear, you can reduce the temperature a bit to 50 ℉ in order for the plant to bloom.
Aside from planning your planting season, choosing the right seeds to grow is also important. If you are not living in a tropical climate, you would normally like to choose a hardy strain that will still grow in more difficult conditions. Consulting your local gardening shop is important for this information on “hardy” tea plant strains.
2. Choose Your Pots And Water Properly
If you are inexperienced or you don’t know how to grow your own tea garden because you are just starting out, choosing your pots properly can make or break your gardening efforts. Why? Because Camellia Sinensis is a plant that is sensitive to water levels – and having too much can actually harm them.
For starters, tea plants do not enjoy too much water. They do not tolerate a water-logged soil, which is why you need to have a pot that has plenty of drainage holes at its bottom. Allow at least 2 to 3 inches of the top soil to dry first before you water them again.
The reasoning for this is stated above – tea plants do not enjoy being drenched with too much water and might even die when watered too much. Let the soil drain properly and make sure the pot is not sitting in water before watering it again.
3. Fertilize and Prune Leaves Consistently
During its active growing time, make sure that you fertilize your tea plant properly. If you plant them at the start of Spring, the growing season usually sits around Spring to Fall. Try to dilute the fertilizer to at least half the manufacturer’s suggestion because tea plants do not need too much to grow.
Furthermore, pruning your tea plant constantly is a must. Remove any dead, sickly, or damaged stems to the base of the shrub in order to promote newer, healthier stem growth. This ensures that any sick or dead part of your plant does not spread further.
Additionally, harvesting tea leaves should be done only when the leaves are already mature. When harvesting leaves, not all should be picked. Rather, choose only a few top, young juicy leaves along with a bit of the portion of the stem from which they have grown. This is called the “flush” – and this is where the basis of your tea production comes from.
Growing Camellia Sinensis is such a rewarding task. Not only do they look nice when they start to bloom, but they also produce tea leaves that you can dry up for your homemade tea drink. Whether you plan to grow them outdoors or indoors, choosing the right time to plant them and planning what strain to plant are both equally important.
Hopefully, this article has given you enough information on how to plant your own tea garden. Nothing beats the smell of warm tea on a cold winter day – so start planting your own Camellia Sinensis today!