You can grow all four types of Tea from one tea plant. This means that you can harvest many different types of Tea from one bush.
What is a tea plant?
Common tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, are flowering plant that makes Tea. Although the tea bush is a native of Asia, most likely in tropical South China, it can be found all over the globe, mainly in India, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The Camellia Sinensis leaves produce , black, green, and white teas, which are the true four teas. Tisanes are herbal teas such as rooibos or chamomile not made from the common tea plant.
The type of Tea grown from the common tea bush will depend on where the tea plant was grown, how long it is left to dry, or how long they are allowed to oxidize. Black teas and oolongs are made with mature leaves. They are left to oxidize more quickly, while young teas such as White Tea and Green Tea are made using younger leaves. Tea plants can take up to three years before they mature and produce a harvest. However, you can still grow tea plants in your garden. Tea plants are tropical species that thrive in warm climates. They can also grow year-round in warmer regions.
How to plant Tea in 7 steps?
You can make your tea garden in your greenhouse or outside
- Tea seeds You can find tea seeds online and at your local nursery. Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis is the hardiest, but assamica works well if you live somewhere with a tropical climate. To propagate the plant, you can either cut from an existing tea bush or buy a plant that has already sprouted.
- Prepare your soil. Tea thrives in acidic soil that is sandy and acidic. It should have a pH of between 5.5 to 6.5. To make your soil acidic, you can add pine needles and sulphur. The soil should drain well, and the tea plants should be able to spread out by at least three feet.
- Dry your seeds. If you are planting tea from seed, soak them in water for at least 24 hours. Discard any seeds that rise to the top. Drain the seeds after soaking and place them on a towel in direct sunlight. Keep them moistened with a few drops of water every couple of hours. The hull of the seeds should crack after a few days.
- Take care of your seeds. Your germinated seeds should be placed with their eyes facing the surface in a small container or tray with vermiculite or soil. This brown mineral helps to retain moisture. For a few weeks, keep the soil or potting mixture moist but not too wet until your seedlings begin to sprout.
- Grow your Tea. Your tea seedlings will be approximately seven to eight inches tall after the germination process and should have three to four leaves. Transfer them there if you intend to keep them in a pot with at least six inches of depth. Plant them outdoors at least three feet apart. You should have at least six hours of sunshine per day, and your planting site should get both partial sun and partial shade.
- Water your tea plants every day. Tea plants should be watered frequently. They will become rotiful if they are overwatered. You should water your Tea well enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Let your plant grow. Tea from seeds can be a long process. It may take up to three years to grow Tea.
7 Tips to Grow Tea
Tea cultivation requires patience. However, the right care can help ensure that your plant produces a good harvest. Here are some tips for caring for and growing your tea plant
- Keep your plants hydrated. Tea plants thrive in a warm climate. It would help if you planted them in the spring or after the first frost. Your tea plant should be kept at 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Container-grown Tea has the advantage of bringing your pots inside in the event of adverse weather conditions. If you can’t dig your plant up and move it indoors, a large frost could strike your garden before it has matured.
- Use sphagnum moss to grow indoor containers. Tea plants don’t like their roots to be saturated with water. Sphagnum moss is a good option to retain nutrients and moisture in your soil without causing overwatering.
- Mulch your plant. Regularly mulching your plants can keep pests and weeds away from tea plants while also moist soil.
- Prune your tea bush. Pruning tea plants can reduce overcrowding, pest or disease growth and increase the yield and quality of your crop. You should trim your plant to have between four and six main branches. This will help keep the bushy shape of your tea plant. After the first year of regular pruning, light pruning can be used. This is also known as tipping or skiffing.
- Give your tea plants. Tea plants can be hardy, but organic fertilizers such as compost tea and fish emulsion can help keep them thriving.
- Dry your Tea leaves If you intend to store your Tea for a longer time, ensure that all leaves are dried before placing them in an airtight container.
- Keep your tea plants safe from diseases and pests. You can protect your tea plants from pests such as mites, aphids and caterpillars by using homemade pepper sprays, insecticidal soaps or neem oils. You can treat root rot or flower blight by changing your watering practices or applying fungicidal treatments.