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Camellia sinensis

Pronunciation: ca-MEEL-e-a sy-NEN-sis
Family: Theaceae
Common Name: Tea, Tea Plant, Tea Tree
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 53ft (17m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early autumn
  • mid autumn
  • late autumn
Bloom Description: Tea plants (Camellia sinensis) bloom in the autumn with fragrant, nodding cup shaped flowers about 1 in (2. 5 cm) wide. The seven or eight petals are white. In commercial tea plantations the plants are kept pruned to about 4 ft (1. 2 m) tall and flowers are rarely produced
Soil Type: Under glass grow in well drained, acidic potting mix. Outdoors grow in moist, but well drained, humus rich, acidic (pH5.5-6.5) soil. Maintain a mulch 2 to 3 in (5-8cm) deep.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
Pests and Diseases: canker, dieback, viruses, gall, root rot, leaf spot and anthrocnose. Camellia petal blight, bud and spider mites, scale insects, weevils, plant hoppers, aphids, and sooty mold.
Propagation: Root Tea plants (Camellia sinensis) leaf bud or semi ripe cuttings of the current years growth from mid summer to late winter, or graft in late winter. Air layer in late spring. Can also be grown from seed
Native to: western China.
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Source: Floridata - The tender young leaves from tea plants are plucked and variously "fermented" (actually oxidized - no yeast or microbes are involved), then dried to make green, black or oolong teas. Green tea is made from fresh leaves that are steamed and wilted, then dried immediately. Black tea is made from leaves that are wilted and crushed in rollers, then allowed to oxidize for several hours before they are dried. Oolong tea comes from leaves that are only partially oxidized before drying. Black teas are graded by the size of the particles. This is important since larger pieces take longer to brew.

Decaffeinated tea has just as much antioxidant activity as normal tea, and adding milk, lemon juice or sugar does not reduce the antioxidant effects either. Powdered instant teas and bottled iced teas do contain fewer antioxidants than brewed tea, but still more than most individual fruits and vegetables. Many studies have demonstrated that green tea, either consumed internally or applied directly to the body, can protect lab animals against breast, colon, skin, liver, stomach, pancreas and esophagus cancers. It appears that tea can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells while leaving normal cells unscathed. Green teas have been studied the most, but black and oolong teas may be just as effective. To get the most benefit, steep tea bags for a full five minutes in boiled water.

Care: Tea plants need plenty of moisture. They do best in rather humid climates. Seedlings and young tea plants should be shaded; mature plants produce best in full sun. Tea plants need plenty of moisture. They do best in rather humid climates.

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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