Position – Choose a location with partial shade. While tea plants can tolerate full sun, they generally do better with some shade, especially in hotter climates. Plant tea trees in the Spring or Autumn.
Space plants about 1 to 2 metres apart to allow for proper air circulation. Protect them from strong winds, as they can damage the tender leaves.
Size – Tea Trees can grow to a height of 6 metres if planted in the ideal conditions.
Soil Type – Well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (around 6.0 to 6.5) is ideal. Organic matter in the soil is beneficial for tea plants.
Mulch – Mulching around the plant helps retain moisture and suppress weeds. Preferably use pine bark, or wood chips, grass cuttings, compost, old leaves or hay and scatter it around the base of the tree, being careful to stay about 20 centimetres away from the tree trunk.
Watering – Tea plants require consistent moisture. Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
Fertilising – Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring. Avoid over-fertilising, as excessive nitrogen can lead to poor tea quality. One teaspoon every 5 months of our berry fertiliser is the ideal product to use on your fruit trees.
Pruning – Prune tea plants regularly to encourage bushier growth.
Pests and Diseases – Watch for pests such as aphids, mites, and scale insects. Common diseases include root rot and fungal infections; well-draining soil and proper spacing can help prevent these issues.
Harvesting – The first harvest typically occurs when the plant is 3 years old. Harvest the top two leaves and the bud for the best flavor concentration.
The harvested leaves need to undergo processing to become tea. This includes withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying.
Tea plants take time to mature and reach their full potential. Be patient and consistent in your care.