March 10, 2013

growing tea indoors

2013.03_tea plant
Julie got me a tea plant for my birthday! I've wanted to try growing tea for a long time.

Here's the key points to remember when growing tea indoors (I think):
  • Camellia sinensis var. sinensis is more cold-hardy than var. assamica
  • acidic, well draining potting mix
  • half-day or partial sun
  • prefer a humid environment (misting or pebble tray)
  • prefer a cool winter temperature (35ºF – 60ºF) –the cold encourages bud formation
(Sources: ehow and camforest)
Julie ordered the plant from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The "Small Leaf Tea" variety is their most cold-hardy offering (Zone 6b). The plant shipped with enough soil to fill the pot, so that is taken care of. We put sheet moss on top of the soil to help retain moisture

It will be challenging to provide adequate humidity since we live in a dry climate, but we will mist it regularly and put the pot above a pebble tray with water to try to provide localized higher humidity.

It will be tricky finding a spot indoors that isn't too warm, since all of our windows that get good light have baseboard radiators below them.

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