Gardening

Grow your own tea plant!

La Camelia ( Camellia sinensis ) is a perennial shrub which is obtained one of the beverage most consumed worldwide: the tea . This plant is native to South Asia, it can reach 6 meters high, its leaves are shiny and have a dark green tone and in autumn and winter it produces yellow and white flowers with an excellent aroma.

Its leaves are obtained the white tea , green tea , black tea , red tea , depending on the degree of oxidation of the leaves

Growing needs of the tea plant

If you want to start the plants with the seeds , you must soak them 24 hours before preparing the seedlings. Then have a little patience, because they can take between 1 and 3 months to germinate. Once the seedlings are about 25 cm high, you can transplant them to their final site, leaving a space of 1 square meter between other plants.

If you reproduce the plant through cuttings , you must put it in water with some lentils and choose a cutting that has some bud because they will facilitate the appearance of roots. When these appear, we can transplant it.

Although this shrub ideally prefers humid climates , it is very resistant to cold climates, so it can be grown outdoors, both directly in the ground and in sufficiently large pots.

It can grow in semi-shade and in the sun, although in the latter case not for many hours at high temperatures, so if you live in hot climates it will be better to have it in semi-shade.

The contribution of organic matter should be done at least twice a year to facilitate the growth of the shrub.

It develops best in soils with slightly acidic pH (between 4.5 and 7) and that are aerated, without compacting, so that its roots can develop correctly (they can reach 6 meters if they have space).

Tea plants help fix nitrogen in the soil, enriching it and benefiting other plants.

It needs to have the soil always moist (not flooded) and during high temperatures it requires extra contributions of water. The soil must be well drained to prevent the roots from rotting. Maintaining a routine with watering is important so that this shrub does not dry out.

The padding is an interesting factor that we can incorporate. It will help to keep the humidity and we will save water.

If you want to reproduce this shrub, you can do it both by cuttings and seeds, which begin to be produced when the plant has passed 2 years of age.

As we have already seen, this shrub can reach great height. So that it is manageable and we can harvest the leaves well, we can do it after 3 years, leaving it with a height of one and a half meters. Later with an annual pruning it will be enough to maintain it.

Tea Harvest

The shoots begin to be harvested to prepare the Tea from the age of 5. They can be harvested at any time of the year and from each shoot can grow 3 to 5 leaves. We will always choose the newest, light green stems that are last.

If the harvest is done in the morning, the leaves will be richer in polyphenols ( antioxidants ).

We can take advantage of the leaves of the branches when we do the pruning and those that are already adult we incorporate them into the compost pile.

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