how to grow Camellia Sinensis? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Michael Chin
Chicago, Il
Avatar for chiuonthis35
Question by chiuonthis35
August 6, 2010
hi i just got a Camellia Sinensis (green tea plant)from eBay and i was wondering how do i grow this plat, what kind of fertilizer should i use, and how do i control the pest?
please and thank you for helping me.
-sincerely mike

Answer from NGA
August 6, 2010
Camellia sinensis grows best in gardening zones 7-9 and you are in gardening zone 5 so it will have problems getting through your winter weather. I'd keep the plant in a container and take it indoors in the winter months and back outdoors in the spring and summer months. Camellia appreciates an acidic soil so you'll want to choose a container with lots of drainage holes in the bottom so excess moisture can drain out, and fill it with potting soil into which you've mixed a little peat moss. Plant your camellia in the container so that it will be growing at the same soil level as it was growing before and then water it well to help settle the soil. Set the plant outdoors in a shady spot and water it when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Feed your camellia every 3-4 weeks from April through September with a half strength dilution of liquid fertilizer (I use Miracle Gro or Peter's fertilizer).

When the outdoor temperatures are about 50F you'll want to take your plant indoors. Set it in a bright area (next to a window will be perfect) so it can winter over indoors. Water as needed but don't feed the plant until the spring time. Don't worry too much about insect pests. Camellia is usually pest free.

Enjoy your new plant!

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