Thursday, September 20, 2012
My new tea plant
I am again the proud owner of a tea plant, camellia sinensis, thanks to my good friend Angela who has a tea shrub in her garden. She sprouted this one just for me. (Unfortunately, the last one she game me did not survive.) This is actually the plant from which we get our wonderful black, green, oolong, pu-erh and white teas. There are variations of camellia sinensis, but it all comes from the same plant, primarily grown in far eastern countries. As far as I know there are only two tea producers in the United States, the largest in Charleston, S. Carolina and another in Burlington, Wash.
Of course tea plants are grown locally by individuals like Angela, and there is a tea hedge thriving in the gardens at Hills and Dales Estate and Gardens in LaGrange, Georgia. Tea is supposed to grow well in zones 8 and 9 and I am hoping that since we are in 7b that my camellia sinensis will grow well here, too. I intend to give it my best efforts in the hope that I one day have my very own hedge. I can promise that if I do, I will dry my own tea leaves and will do my best to make my own tea. I can't imagine that it will be as good as the Assam tea that I love but it is my long-held wish that I can produce some of my own.
I have a spot in my yard that I have all picked out for my hedge and I hope I will have a nice shrub to plant there in the spring.
Meanwhile, I will be spraying it with water and fertilizing it as recommended, in hopes that I will have success. I do have a camellia sasanqua, close to my front door that is thriving. It is a Yuletide Camellia that blooms every year at Christmas and grows so much that I am always having to give it a trim so it won't cover a window. I hope my camellia sinsensis surpass that one.
We do live in the camellia belt so if I can get it to the stage where I can set it out, that will be a good test of my camellia-growing skills.
I think I will make a cup of my favorite tea while I search out ways to make my camellia grow.