The combination yielded a drink that compelled him to research the tree further, uncovering both medicinal and palatable properties. Uses: Containers, landscape & garden plants, screens, hedges, foundation plants Although there are many varieties of Camellia sinensis, the large leaf tea is the most common. Fertilize the plants with a diluted liquid fertilizer to prevent burning the roots. Root rot can occur in soils characterized by wet clay. The moniker "camellia" conjures up something feminine, floral, and beautiful. This plant is considered more tropical than its Chinese variety, growing larger and producing bigger leaves (due to a climate with plenty of rain and warm temperatures). Wash them away with a blast of water. The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges and are similar in both shape and size to a bay leaf.. It is commonly grown on mountain slopes, producing a sweeter, gentler taste indicative to both green tea and white tea. The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges and are similar in both shape and size to a bay leaf. Growing the tea plant in containers allows gardeners in Northern growing zones to enjoy the Camellia sinensis. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. In the United States, tea is grown in Hawaii, the subtropical region of the Southeast, and in the cool, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest. Take seeds from ripe capsules after blooming. Choose a 12-inch end of a healthy branch, and rough up the bark with a knife. The emperor at the time was boiling water in his garden when a leaf from the overhanging camellia sinensis tree drifted into his pot. The flowers of the tea plant camellia (Camellia sinensis) are white with yellow stamens and bloom earlier than Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) shrubs, which may bloom in winter or early spring. Lindsey Goodwin is a food writer and tea consultant with more than 12 years of experience exploring tea production and culture. Green tea, the mildest variety, does not undergo oxidation at all and is pan-fried in processing to prevent oxidation from occurring. Native Introduced Native and Introduced. During plucking—the tea industry's term for harvesting—look for young leaves at the top of the plant, particularly those with tips, or small, partially formed leaves. Traditionally the new leaves would be picked by hand, however commercial production means mechanical harvesting. Black tea, called "red tea" in China, is the strongest-tasting variety due to its oxidation time in processing. Tea plants are not drought tolerant, but nor do they like boggy conditions. Harvesting camellia sinensis must be done by hand, as only the top leaves should be plucked. Remove dead or weak branches from the plant's interior to help air and sunlight reach the plant. Store dried leaves in an airtight jar. Depending on how you dry and cure the leaves you'll get black, green or white tea. Cover the exposed bark with a handful of damp sphagnum moss, held in place with plastic wrap. A sheltered spot in an elevated spot in the landscape is even more important where tea plants push the boundaries of their growing zone, for it's very disappointing to lose a mature tea plant due to one unusually harsh winter. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Gardeners … By using The Spruce, you accept our, Aubrieta (False Rock Cress) Plant Profile. Many tea gardens and plantations keep camellia sinensis as a shrub, but if you don't prune it, it may grow into a small tree. Today, the Camellia sinensis plant is grown and cultivated across the world for its health benefits. This camellia is also grown ornamentally for its excellent foliage and small but attractive fall flowers. Considered hardy to Zone 8, tea plant can be cultivated in backyards in this zone or in a pot in greenhouses in cooler climates.. In the spring, pluck the outermost two leaves from branch tips, along with the leaf buds. Camellias rival other perennials like peonies for longevity when properly cared for. Generally, the plants are kept from blooming to divert their energy to the valuable leaves. Roots should form by fall, at which time you can cut off the new plant and install it in the garden. Camellia sinensis (or tea plant) is used to make most traditional caffeinated teas, including black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. The flowers of the tea plant camellia (Camellia sinensis) are white with yellow stamens and bloom earlier than Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) shrubs, which may bloom in winter or early spring. Processed leaves from Camellia sinensis and its many cultivars yield the tea leaves of commerce. This plant originated near the southwest region of China as an evergreen forest shrub. Camellia canker is a fungal disease that is a problem in the humid Southeast. This plant originated near the southwest region of China as an evergreen forest shrub. Plant in moist sandy loam. Tea plant thrives in well-drained, sandy soil and shouldn't be harvested until it reaches three years old. Give adequate spacing to these plants to encourage air circulation in humid areas. Camellia sinensis (or tea plant) is used to make most traditional caffeinated teas, including black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. Prune to promote air circulation, remove diseased plant parts, and spray fungicide if necessary to preserve the plant. A flush of just two or three leaves is known as a "golden flush." As the story goes, tea plant was first stumbled upon by accident in 2737 B.C.E. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Germination can take from one to three months. The Plants Database includes the following 2 subspecies of Camellia sinensis . The tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is a perennial evergreen woody plant (2n = 2x = 30) that originated in southwest China.The plant was first cultivated over 2,000 years ago (Xia et al., 2017; Wei et al., 2018).Tea is one of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks worldwide, reflecting its economic and cultural importance, as well as health benefits. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Make sure the container has a good drainage hole, and don't set the container on a dish that traps water. On rare occasions, the twigs and flowers of the plant are also used. Soak seed overnight to enhance germination. View gallery. Introduction. Most commercial cultivation occurs in Asia (China to Burma and Sri Lanka). There are two varieties of this plant that each yield different types of teas, with specific characteristics that define each one. High-quality soil is part of the requirement for longevity with a tea plant. Camellia Species, Green Tea Shrub, Tea Plant Camellia sinensis. Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) Genus: Camellia (kuh-MEE-lee-a) Species: sinensis (sy-NEN-sis) » View all varieties of Camellias.