Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Cristina
Tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world and while people often buy their own leaves, you can grow them. Growing tea leaves indoors is a great option if you are an avid tea drinker. With time, patience, and the right steps you can successfully grow tea at home.
There are many different delicious varieties of tea. Fortunately, the four main types of tea are all grown from the same plant. While growing tea leaves is a long, labor-intensive process, the end result of having your own tea is well worth the work.
What Plant Do Tea Leaves Come From?
The common tea plant, known as Camellia Sinensis, is a species of flowering plant that grows leaves that are used for tea. The tea bush is native to Asia and is commonly cultivated throughout the world, most commonly in India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Kenya.
The Camellia Sinensis plant produces leaves for oolong tea, black tea, green tea, and white tea. These are considered to be the four true teas. The types of tea are determined by where and how the tea plant grows when the leaves were harvested, as well as how long the leaves of the tea plant are left to dry or oxidize.
Can You Grow Tea At Home?
The answer is yes but your tea plant will need the right conditions and you will need patience and time. It can take up to three years for a tea plant to mature and produce a harvest.
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Growing Tea Leaves Indoors
Knowing how to grow tea leaves is a great skill to learn if you are a tea lover. It does require time, skill, and patience, so it is not typically a plant beginner gardeners will grow.
You need to make sure you provide your tea plant with the right conditions so it can successfully grow. You will need plenty of space as it grows as a large shrub or small tree.
Prepare The Seed Tray
Prepare a seed tray or container with well-draining, sandy, and acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. After adding the soil to your seed tray or container, you will want to use a spray bottle to moisten the soil.
Soak And Dry The Seeds – Growing Tea Leaves Indoors
After you prepare the growing medium, you will want to soak your seeds. Soak them in a bowl of water for 14 to 48 hours. After soaking, discard any seeds floating at the top.
Drain your seeds and lay them out on a towel in the sunlight. Keep the seeds moist by spraying them every few hours. When the hull of the seeds cracks, which usually takes one to two days, the seeds are ready to be planted.
Plant the Seeds
Plant your seeds about an inch down in the prepared seed tray or container. Cover the top with soil and mist with a spray bottle.
Water Regularly And Place In A Sunny, Warm Location
Place the seed tray or container in a warm, sunny spot until they sprout. They should get at least six hours of sunlight a day, so you may want to use an LED grow light to ensure they get plenty of light.
Using a heating pad can be beneficial to ensure that your tea plants are warm enough as they sprout. Be sure to keep the soil moist for the tea plants as well.
Camellia Sinensis – 4 Inch Container – Large & Beautiful Live Tea Plant
Once your tea plant is several inches tall you can transplant it into a container. The container should be at least two times the size of the current root ball with good drainage. You will need to repot your tea plant yearly while it is still growing.
Caring For A Tea Plant
Caring for a tea plant takes time and effort until it is ready to harvest. The right tea plant growing conditions are important in order for your tea plant to thrive.
Tea plants should be watered about every two to three days. The soil should be kept moist but soggy as that can harm the tea plant.
Light – Growing Tea Leaves Indoors
Tea plants should get at least six hours of sun a day. If you don’t have an area of your home where you can put your tea plant where it can get six hours of sunlight then you should use a grow light.
Tea plants thrive in sandy, acidic soil that is well-draining. Adding sphagnum moss to your indoor tea plant can be beneficial to help it maintain moisture and nutrients.
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Temperature And Humidity
Tea plants grow best in warm temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Farenheit. If your home gets cooler than that, you may want to invest in a heating pad for your tea plant. Tea plants love humidity so it can be beneficial to use a humidifier near one.
Fertilizer – Growing Tea Leaves Indoors
Tea plants can benefit from the use of organic fertilizer. Compost tea and fish emulsion are both great options for your tea plant.
Harvesting Your Tea Plant
After about three years, your tea plant will be ready to harvest. You can use small garden shears to trim off the leaves of the tea plant.
Depending on what type of tea you are planning to make will contribute to when you harvest the leaves and how you prepare them. Tea leaves can be used fresh or dried, depending on your preference.
Growing Tea Leaves Indoors: Everything You Should Do
Growing a tea plant does take time and work, however, you can successfully grow one indoors. It is important that you provide the right soil, nutrients, water, and light in order for your tea plant to thrive.
When growing the common tea plant, known as Camellia Sinensis, you can get four types of tea. The types of tea are black, white, green, and oolong. However, it is important to note that it can take up to three years for your tea plant to mature and produce leaves for harvest.
Do you have any questions regarding growing tea leaves indoors? If so, please ask your tea plant growing questions in the comments.