Growing vegetables has become a reality for many people. If the fruit trees and vegetable garden are not accessible to you, some plants can grow in balcony or even in your living room and you may want to test some exotic plants. Zoom on the tea tree, a shrub that can also be found in our country. Not enough to produce his house tea nevertheless.
The tea plant, exotic garden plant
The plant that produces tea is Camellia Sinensis. Its natural habitat is not really metropolitan France, nor Belgium, Quebec or Switzerland, but rather the tropical and subtropical regions, at altitude. The tea plant is the cousin of the common Camellia, its name simply meaning "Chinese Camellia".
The tea tree will not allow you to produce your own tea
At the nursery, however, it is not so rare to cross the shrub. And if, in the wild, it can reach fifteen meters, it will not usually be the case in our region, if only for a matter of climate.
Precision is also necessary: it takes several kilos of fresh leaves to get a kilo of dried tea, which means that even for the consumption of one person, the production is badly engaged, unless you have a park and decide to dedicate it for this purpose.
Growing the tea plant requires sun
Know that you have three choices to get a tea plant: sprout a seed, cut the shrub or buy a grown shrub.
To germinate a tea tree
To sow the tea plant: you will need to buy seeds (you will see, they have a point on it) and prepare a pot filled with very wet peat. You will sow the seeds one centimeter deep, the point of the seed downwards since it is the root side. It then takes a lot of sun and heat, so a small greenhouse in full sun will be ideal, so as to expose the seedling to a temperature as close as possible to 50 degrees Celsius. Germination lasts at least 20 days, or even weeks.
Where to put the tea tree at home?
If you own a garden
Once grown or bought, planting tea in your garden is the ideal solution, provided you have adequate climatic conditions. The tea plant can withstand the cold and a few days of frost, but it would not withstand the Canadian winter. If ever the winter is harsh, we think to protect the shrub.
When you replant your tea tree in your garden, be aware that the tea tree prefers slightly acid so soil check the soil pH and consider making amendments if the soil is rather alkaline. A mixture of garden soil and heather can be used.
Once the shrub is planted, the Camellia Sinensis loves the sun but not too much: we opt for a half-shade, half-light area. Check the flexibility of the soil and consider watering if necessary. Unsurprisingly, if the temperature is not higher than 15 degrees Celsius, the growth of the shrub will be slowed down.
If you do not have a garden
It's not hopeless. The tea plant will grow perfectly on a balcony, avoiding the southern exposure and the burning sun. If you do not have a garden or balcony, you can grow it indoors, but you will need lots of light, air, natural fertilizer and water.