The tea plantWhile you might have all kinds of herbs in your garden you can brew, we are now talking about the real tea plant, Camellia sinensis. All those fancy tea varieties, like black, green, and oolong, actually originate from this plant. You can recognize it from its evergreen appearance and its glossy leaves. During autumn, the plant blooms, sporting some delicate white flowers.
Step 1 – Choose the right soilBefore starting the planting, make sure the soil you choose is suitable for the plant to thrive. It should be ericaceous and free draining, meaning that you can also plant the seeds in pots. In fact, the plant isn’t too picky when it comes to soil. It can grow anywhere that vegetables can grow. In fact, this plant can be more resistant to droughts than most vegetables. Also, choose a sheltered spot where the plant can have access to plenty of sunlight. However, make sure it will still have some shade, as too much sunlight might damage it. Watering it shouldn’t be a problem but, if it’s surrounded by more ‘thirsty’ plant varieties, they might not thrive so well. If you want to plant the tea plant in your garden, you should live in a warmer climate. This way, the tree will be able to survive even during winter. If your climate is a little colder, the only suitable option is pot planting.
Step 2 – Select your tea varietyBefore learning how to grow tea, you first have to decide what kind of tea plant you want. The best choice you can make is to stick with the Chinese variety of tea. This means you should pay attention to the labels when buying the seeds. The Chinese variety is called Camellia sinensis var. sinensis. You can easily mistake it with the Indian variety, Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which is more difficult to grow. If you live in a colder area, you might have more problems with growing the Indian variety, as it can’t really take the cold.
Step 3 – Propagate the seedsUsually, it takes a lot for seed germination to start, so you can use a small trick to speed up the process. Take the seeds you want to plant and sink them in water for 24 or 48 hours. This way, they can absorb plenty of water before the germination, increasing the chances of a successful process. After one or two days, remove the seeds from the water and put them in a tray. Place this tray in a sunny place, and maintain their humidity by constantly spraying the plant with water. Once the seeds can cope with the air temperature, cover them with a small layer of soil. In a few weeks, germination will occur, and the plant will get some small leaves. This is the moment when you can move it into a pot or into the garden. Make sure you keep this soil moist, but don’t overwater it.
Step 4 – Tend the tea plantIn case you have planted the plant in a pot, move it in a bigger one when it reaches around 20 cm. This way, you will allow its roots to spread. Also, drain the pot properly. If this plant is overwatered, its roots may rot. If it’s cold when the plant is still young, you have to be extremely careful with the plant. During the first two winters, it’s better if the plant stays inside or in a greenhouse. However, once it reaches 1 m in height, it should be sturdy enough to face harsher conditions. This applies to colder areas, as warmer climates are not dangerous for the tea plant.
Step 5 – Increase your tea plantationOnce you’ve learned how to grow tea, you are ready to expand your tea production. If your plant has survived its first winter and managed to thrive, you are ready to harvest the tea and grow new plants. During spring, the plant returns to life, as new sprouts arise. You can recognize the newly grown buds by their small fresh leaves. Pluck carefully the buds with their leaves, and then place them into a small tray with water. This will allow it to grow small roots. Harvesting holds many advantages both for the new and the old plant. This method allows a quicker development of new plants, and is healthy for the older ones. Even if you’re not planning to increase your tea plantation, harvesting is still necessary for the trees. By doing it, you let them breathe and get more bushy every year.
Are the Steps to Grow Cranberries at Home Similar to Growing Tea at Home?
Growing cranberries at home is quite different from growing tea at home. While both processes require careful attention, cranberries prefer acidic soil and a wet environment, while tea plants thrive in well-draining soil and partial shade. So, while the steps to grow cranberries at home may be similar to other fruits, they differ significantly from growing tea plants.