Tea camellia (Camellia sinensis)
Full sun to light shade. Protect from winter winds. Zones 6-8.
Prefers acidic (pH 4.5-6.5) well drained garden soil.
Tea camellia makes a pretty evergreen bush from 3-6’ tall and wide, though they can grow much larger if left unpruned.
Hedges, specimen plants, foundation plantings and shrub borders. Tea camellia is a beautiful evergreen shrub with shiny dark green leaves with 1” fragrant white or pink flowers in November and December.
Leaves. This is the tea of commerce and can produce green, white, or black tea depending on how it is processed. We generally pick the tender tips and most recent 3 or 4 leaves when they have fully developed and just dry them at room temperature out of the sun. This is technically white tea and makes a delightful aromatic cup of tea this way. Tea contains many medicinal compounds besides caffeine and is loaded with anti-oxidant and cancer fighting compounds.
Seedlings from Chuck’s collection of winter hardy plants.