Green tea seeds - Camellia sinensis

popi_gwMarch 4, 2006

I have some seeds from the Camellia sinensis plant. They are rather hard seeds - should I soak them in water for a while before sowing ?

Is says "slow to germinate" how slow is that, any ideas?

Thanks for all help.


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Here's what I have on it. If you have any luck with it, care to share a seed or two?

Soak seed in warm water for 24 hours before sowing, or gently rub a hole through the seed coat with sandstone or sand paper. The seed coat is fragile, so take care not to crush the seed during the process. The seeds are about the size and shape of hazelnuts. Hollow seeds and low germination percentages are common occurrences. Seeds remain viable for one year. Plant 1cm deep in warm soil and keep moist until germination. Typical germination period is 6 to 8 weeks Plant requires 4-12 years to bear seed. At first, seedlings should be shaded. Seedlings 6-12 months old may be outplanted with a ball of earth, while much older seedlings can be planted bare-rooted. Cuttings from the stem, taken 10cm from the ground from winter through to summer, can be inserted in the soil at an angle so that the subtending leaf rests on the medium. Rooting is slow, and bottom heat is recommended. Needs full sun to part shade. They prefer a well drained, soil rich in organic matter, pH 4.5- 5.5. The root hairs are very fine, so the plant cannot be allowed to dry out completely. Increase watering when the plant is actively growing and when the plant is in bloom. Fertilise every 2-3 weeks in spring through to autumn, use a fertiliser for acid loving plants diluted to half the strength recommended on the label. Prune directly after flowering. Repot every 2-4 years in late winter or early spring. Plant is frost hardy to Â6C. Once established, mulch heavily.

Harvesting: Terminal sprouts with 2-3 leaves are usually hand-plucked, usually every 7-15 days, depending on the development of the tender shoots. Leaves that are slow in development always make a better flavoured product. Green, Oolong and black (ÂnormalÂ) tea are all made from the leaves of the same plant. Green tea leaves are allowed to wither in hot air then pan-fried to halt the oxidation (fermentation) processes. The leaves of Oolong tea are wilted in sunlight, bruised and allowed to partially oxidise, until reddening of the leaf edges occurs. Black teas leaves are fermented in cool, humid rooms, until the entire leaf is darkened. Freshly picked leaves are spread very thinly and evenly on trays and placed in the sun until the leaves become very flaccid, requiring 13 hours or more, depending on heat and humidity. Other types of black teas are made by withering the leaves, rolling them into a ball and allowing to ferment in a damp place for 3-6 hours, at which time the ball turns a yellowish copper color, with an agreeable fruity one. If this stage goes too far, the leaves become sour and unfit for tea. After fermenting, the ball is broken up and the leaves spread out on trays and dried in oven until leaves are brittle and have slight odor of tea.. As soon as harvested, leaves are steamed or heated to dry the natural sap and prevent oxidation to produce green tea. Still soft and pliable after the initial treatment, the...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 6:16AM
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Hello Daisy duckworth

Thanks for your abundant information, it is most useful. What is the source of this information ? If it is your memory I most impressed !

I obtained the seeds from a seed company, that had a tray of seeds in my local organic food shop. There are only 4 seeds in the packet....but I am happy to go and look for another packet and send it to you if you would like.

Maybe you could purchase the same from your local organic food shop.

I can give you the website, if you want to send me an email. Cant quite remember it at this point!

I am going to get soaking now. Its probably better to propagate this plant from cuttings. But I'll see how the seeds fair.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 5:02PM
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Hate to admit it, but it's not my memory, it's the memory on my computer that holds all the information! I've been researching herbs for donkey's years, and - well, it just 'growed like Topsy' when I started putting it all together!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 1:40AM
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So, when is your book coming out!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 3:17AM
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When I find my generous millionaire lover, or when I win the Lottery - whichever comes first!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:09AM
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    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 12:28AM
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Just yesterday I bought some very nice (and healthy) tea plants from a mail order company. "One Green World" has a website. The price seemed reasonable for the size and quality of the plants. I bought two 4" potted ones that were well rooted and with base caliper of approx. 1/4 inch and 18 inches tall. I also bought two 1 gallon size that were very well rooted, well branched and 24 inches tall. One of the one gallon plants is budded for blooming this year. I picked them up at the nursery in Molalla, OR. They were $59.00 and change. I don't know what they would have charged me for shipping.
I am very new at this tea thing and relatively ignorant. I was under the assumption that there was just one tea plant and that there are not different varieties. The ones I purchased however are labelled "Sochi".
I am interested in gleaning info from individuals growing (and curing) tea in the Portland area.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 12:40AM
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