How to Grow Your Own Tea!

How to Grow Your Own Tea!

 

Where do Tea Plants Grow?

You can grow your tea outside in the garden, on the porch or in a pot indoors.
The Tea Plant otherwise known as Camellia Sinensis is a small tree that produces leaves and leaf buds that can be used to produce tea.

The Camellia Sinensis species produces the worlds most popular and commercial teas including white, green, black and oolong. The two main varieties are  Camellia sinensis var. sinensis from China, and Camellia sinensis var. assamica from Assam, India.

tea plants for sale
Shop Amazon For Tea Plants and Seeds, Click Image
The tea plant commonly grown in China has a smaller leaf and is better suited to the areas that do have have a cold Winter.  The tea plant variety in India has a larger leaf and is suited to tropical climates with lower elevations.  Contrary to what most of us have always thought about tea plants,  they do thrive in all countries from Florida to the Scottish Highlands!  You can buy your own tea plants on Amazon.

How Do You Grow a Tea Plant?

It is easy to grow and thrives well in a sunny and partly shaded areas.   When the frost hits and the temperature drops move your pot plant to a sheltered area,  this will help avoid root damage.

grow your own tea plants
Starter Tea Plants Click Image for Amazon

If you have decided to grow your tea plants outside – make sure you have the best variety suitable for your climate.  You do not need to use a feed on your plant, just water it well.

You can keep it under control by pruning or you can let it grow naturally. It will be approximately the size of a large shrub or a small tree.  Camellia Sinensis reach maturity and can survive the winter when they are about 1 metre high.

 

10 tips and facts on planting your Camellia Sinensis

  • Plant in partial shade.
  • Do not plant east facing to avoid damage from the morning sun.
  • Plant in humus rich, moist but well drained soil.
  • Use an acidic mulch,  pine needles are a good example. This helps the pH balance of the soil.
  • The best temperature for your tea plants are between 55 and 90 F or 13-32 C.
  • If planting in the ground leave a distance of 1.5 metres between each plant.
  • The tea plant produces beautiful fragrant white flowers in October and November so you know all is going well – keep doing what you are doing!
  • Camellia Sinensis will grow to 2 metres high if left unpruned.
  • Tea Plants respond well to pruning.
  • Water well especially during dry seasons to prevent bud drop.

Harvesting the Tea Plant

Camellia Sinensis tend to be dormant in the Winter months but come Spring the first new growth should be evident.  To encourage further growth gently take off the first green leaves and the bud from each branch.  If you do this on a regular basis it will result in more growth and a bigger bushier tea plant.

When to Harvest

Camellia Sinensis can be harvested often during the main growing season which is Spring to the Summer.  You can try out the different teas, green, black, oolong and white – they all come from the same tea plant but the leaves undergo different processes once harvested.

Which is the best tea for health benefits?

The least processed is white tea,  this is very subtle and might be a little too subtle for some palates.  Green tea is somewhere in between white and black is a stronger flavour but all are  packed with anti-oxidants.  Black tea is the most common particularly here in Britain where just about everyone has at least three cups per day!

 

Carmellia Sinensis interesting fact!  

Tea only comes from the Carmellia Sinensis plant otherwise known as the Tea Plant.  Fruit teas, herbal teas are not really teas but tinctures or brews!

 

How to make green tea leaves from Camellia Sinensis

Take the little green shoots and buds you have plucked from each branch and you have your first harvest to truly make your own cup of tea.

  1. Stop the leaves from drying out by steaming for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Immediately run under the cold tap to cool them down and to keep the green colour.
  3. Roll the leaves with your hands and spread on a container.
  4. Place the container in a preheated oven of 212-230 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn them over so the leaves are evenly dried.
  6. Store the totally dry and crispy leaves in an airtight container.

How to make a cup of green tea.

To brew the tea, put six leaves in a tea bag or directly into a teapot with a strainer.  Make sure your teapot or cup is heated first.  Pour boiling water over the tea and let it steep for a couple of minutes – your tea is now ready to enjoy!

Tea Tip:  Camellia Sinensis produce a beautiful fragrant flower that can be dried and stored with your tea leaves.  Rose and violet dried flowers also can be used to enhance the flavour of your green tea.

homegrown tea book
Shop Here Home Grown Tea Book (Cassie Liveridge)

 

This book is a fantastic resource on how to process all the teas mentioned plus herbal and fruit varieties.  Home grown tea contains step by step guides making it simple to follow.

The book is divided into five sections – leaves, seeds, fruits and flowers and roots. Cassie Liveridge reminds us that we all can have a natural homegrown tea supply no matter the size of our outside space.

Tea plants can be grown in pots on your patio or balcony, even on a wind sill that gets a little sun.  If you do have space outside for growing,  the book has a chapter on outdoor planting advice, it can be done, you can grow your own tea – it doesn’t matter where you live!

 

Is Tea Good For You?

Tea has many benefits and is packed with anti oxidant’s and nutrients.   The antioxidant content in tea is very high and this is what contributes to the many health benefits.

Antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress by fighting cell damage caused by free radicals.

 20 benefits of green tea that has been backed by studies

      1. Contains vitamins and Iron
      2. Anti Oxidant
      3. Stimulates the production of beneficial enzymes
      4. Acts as an aid to concentration
      5. Improves heart health
      6.  Aids weight loss
      7. Decreases Inflammation
      8. Lowers blood pressure
      9. Reduces cholestrol
      10. Improves brain function
      11. May help lower cancer risks
      12. Anti Ageing benefits
      13. Anti bacterial
      14. Improves blood fat levels
      15. Helps to decrease heavy metals damage
      16. EGCG contained in green tea, have been shown to protect brain cells from oxidative stress
      17. May help lower blood sugar
      18. Helps the recovery after exercise
      19. Improves mental and physical performance
      20. Improved dental health.

Is Green Tea Better for you?

There is a lot of talk about green tea benefits but this does not mean it is better than black or white.  They are all packed with beneficial properties in varying amounts.  The end result is they have a similar effect on our health.

All tea contains antioxidants such as catechins and tannins that massively impact our well being.  If you want to reduce caffeine,  green tea has less so would be a good option.

 

Where Do You Buy Tea Plants?

Amazon have a great selection from leading suppliers from seeds to starter plants like this one tea plants

So what is keeping you?  Start feeling the therapeutic benefits of growing, harvesting and drinking your own tea.  Imagine the conversation that will be when you offer your guests a cuppa!

 

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