Alphabetical Plant Listing

Camellia sinensis (Tea Plant)

Tea Plant, Tee Tree, Camellia thea, Camellia sinensis thea, Thea sinensis


Camellia sinensis (Tea Plant) is a slow-growing, large, upright evergreen shrub with leathery, lance-shaped, toothed, glossy dark green leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm). Fragrant, white flowers, 1.5 in. across (4 cm), adorned with many golden-yellow stamens appear in fall to early winter. The flowers attract bees and it is mildly resistant to damage by deer. Grown for its excellent foliage and pretty fall flowers, Camellia sinensis is probably the most widely grown Camellia in the world traditionally used for caffeinated teas. They are harvested as the leaves emerge beginning early spring and processed in different ways to create unique flavors. Smaller young leaves and leaf buds are used for making green tea, the older larger leaves for oolong and black tea, and the buds for white tea. Where winter hardy, this flowering evergreen camellia makes an excellent addition to shady areas of the landscape.

  • Grows up to 10-15 ft. tall (300-450 cm) and 6-10 ft. wide (180-300 cm). This evergreen shrub takes well to pruning and can be trimmed as a hedge.
  • Performs best in part shade in consistently moist, acidic, organically rich, well-drained soils. Provide a site sheltered from cold, dry winds as buds and flowers may be damaged by cold winds. Protect from early morning sun and from direct hot summer afternoon sun. 
  • Plant shallowly, and mulch with bark or leaf mould.
  • Fertilize in mid-spring and early summer.
  • Perfect for woodland gardens, city gardens, cottage gardens, wall-side borders or as screen and hedge. Perfect as a specimen plant or in small groups.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids, scale insects and vine weevil or camellia petal blight.
  • Requires little pruning. Removal of damaged, dead, or diseased branches is best done after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed, soak seed prior to sowing, sow when ripe under glass. Can also be propagated via hardwood and semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Camellia sinensis is native to China.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Camellias
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Camellias
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden

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