Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Camellia sinensis is a beautiful and popular evergreen shrub that is drought tolerant, cold hardy and easy to grow— This plant is quite literally everybody’s cup of tea. The secrets of the tea plant were guarded for centuries by the Chinese who prized it as an economic crop, now it’s a worldwide household staple. The leaves of Camellia sinensis are used as the base plant for most teas we consume: Green, black, oolong, white tea, and more. Camellia tea is made using leaves and flower buds which are the main parts of the plant, but even the twigs can contribute to a unique Camellia brew. 

Camellia sinensis is native to East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and southeast Asia, where it is cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates. Left undisturbed, your green tea plant can grow to an impressive 10 ft. However, most people choose to maintain them as smaller shrubs for easy harvesting at 5 ft or less. The fragrant flowers of camellia have a likeness to roses, and will bloom towards the late fall and early winter when the peak of other plants seems to have passed. Harvest the leaves of Camellia sinensis often, depending on your desired use.

Plant Type
Evergreen Shrub, Small Tree

Harvest Season
Leaves: Year-round
Flowers: Spring

Mature Size
Up to 15 ft.tall and wide
Green tea plants are is typically (and easily!) pruned and maintained at smaller sizes (4-5 ft.) for ease of harvesting.

Soil & Moisture
Moist, rich, well-draining soil.

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade
Grown in shadier areas in warmer climates.

Self-Fertile
Yes

Growth Rate
Medium

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 7-11; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation
Small Pot Size: Grown from seed. Ready for bountiful harvests within 1 year.
Medium Pot Size: Grown from seed. Ready for bountiful harvests within 6 months - 1 year.
Large Pot Size: Ready to harvest now, bountiful harvests within 6 mons - 1 year.

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Dig Deeper

Green Tea is prized for its medicinal uses, with its natural Caffeine, Theobromine, and Xanthine content.

Regular consumption of green tea can improve gut health, regulate nerves, protect against disease, and help cure infections in the digestion tract.

Externally, Green Tea leaves be made into a poultice that may heal bug bites and soothe sunburn.