Assam Tea Plant
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Tea plants are members of the Camellia family and this is the unusual variety Camellia sinensis var. assamica that is used to make Assam tea.
Tea plants are quite slow growing, but eventually they can reach heights of 2 metres. This variety is not as cold hardy as the Darjeeling types and although it can be planted out in the south of the UK it will need some frost protection.
If you like you can keep it in a pot on a patio or even indoors. Indoors, keep it as cool as you can and make sure there is plenty of natural light but not direct sunlight. An East or West facing window is ideal. Outdoors your plants will do well in pots in the summer or if you have a sheltered garden can be planted out against a fence or wall to give it a bit more protection.
Keep your Camellia Sinensis well watered, the compost should feel wet to touch at all times. As your plant grows it can be repotted in a larger pot or even in the ground. All Camellia’s like acid soil, so choose compost suitable for rhododendrons and heathers and other acid-loving plants.
Tea plants produce small fragrant flowers in winter and dark glossy leaves year round. Once you have a sizable bush the leaves can be harvested fresh to make green tea or dried to make traditional or ‘brown’ tea. To develop a more ‘bushy’ shape you may wish to pinch out the top few leaves every now and then.
Problem solving – direct sunlight can lead to brown tips to the leaves so try to move your plant into a shadier position and if your plant is indoors then do make sure it is back from the window and any radiators. Remove the flowers as they shrivel to keep the plant tidy and to minimise the risk of mildew.