Growing Tea At Home
If you're into the whole gardening thing, or you have a green thumb and happen to really like tea as well, you might want to think about growing tea at home. Yes, you read it correctly - growing tea at home.
This is not as difficult as you might think it is. Before tea comes to you in those little tea bags in the grocery store, it started life out as two leaves and a bud on a tea plant - the Camellia Sinensis plant to be exact. Growing tea at home is as easy as going down to your local plant nursery (or internet seed store) buying your tea seeds and planting them.
Well, alright, growing tea does take a little more effort than that, but if you look after your little tea plant and don't have a black thumb (as opposed to a green thumb), then you have a good chance of growing tea right in your home. You won't need to go to the foot hills of the Himalayas or to the tea fields near Mount Fuji, or any other such exotic location to see a genuine growing tea plant.
However, if you're thinking of reaping the benefits of growing tea immediately and enjoying a good cup of tea - be it Black tea, Green tea, White tea, or Oolong tea - you will be doomed for disappointment as it will take at least three years before your slow growing tea plant is ready to be harvested.
And even after that you won't just be able to pluck the tea leaves off the shrub and pour yourself a good tea. The tea leaves need to be processed and prepared first in order for you to be able to consume it. There is definitely more to growing tea if you also want to utilize your tea plant for consumption.
Of the four teas mentioned earlier (Green, Black, White and Oolong), White tea is the one with the least amount of processing, whilst Black tea needs the most amount.
However, if you are still interested in growing tea in your home, even if it is for ornamental purposes, you can try it out by following the instructions below.
Before growing tea you should first know that the Camellia Sinensis plant does not take well to truly cold weather. Since this is the case, you will either want to have it in a greenhouse if you do not live in a tea-growing friendly area, or you will want to plant it in a pot which you can move indoors during the winter months.
Growing Tea - What you need
- » Tea seeds - readily available from your local plant nursery if you live in a reasonably well populated area, or also available through internet seed stores.
- » A pot or container - to house your growing tea shrub
- » A sandy soil that drains well - it should also be slightly on the acidic side (ask someone at the plant nursery or a gardening center if you're not too sure of exactly what type of soil this is)
- » Sphagnum moss - to mix in with the soil. If you are going to grow tea in a container this is important.
- » Water - on a daily basis of course!
Growing Tea - The basic steps
Prepare your soil by mixing the Sphagnum moss and soil together well. You will need the Sphagnum moss if you are going to grow the tea in a container. Make sure to give the soil a good aerating after you put it in the pot, then add your tea seeds to the soil. Keep it in partial shade whenever possible as otherwise the bush tends to mature more slowly.
Give it plenty of water - although in the beginning you might not want to overburden the seeds with too much water. Growing tea shrubs do like water, but you won't want to drown your tea seeds before they even have a chance to sprout some leaves.
That's it really, as you can see growing tea at home is really quite simple to do. In most cases the growing part is accomplished by the tea plant itself - you just need to give it a helping hand over the course of time.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, consultation and services of a qualified Medical Practitioner. All information presented is in summary form and intended only for informational purposes. Always seek immediate medical attention for any illness you may have and never disregard the advice from qualified Medical Practitioners as something you have read on this site (or related sites) could be misinterpreted.