Giant Tea Bush
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Tea plants are members of the Camellia family and are really outdoor plants, but when they are very young, they make decorative pot plants in a cool/cold room. Tea plants are quite slow growing, but eventually they can reach heights of 2 metres.
While the plant is 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. If you can, keep your plant outside, it will be much happier. Outdoors your plants will do well in pots on a sheltered patio or planted into the garden in a partially shaded spot. Tea plants are hardy but whilst young they should be protected from severe frosts particularly when in a pot.
Keep your Camellia sinensis well-watered, the compost should always feel wet to touch. As your plant grows it can be re-potted 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 sizeable 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.