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Camellia sinensis

tea plant

A slow-growing, tender, large, upright evergreen shrub, with dark-green, lance-shaped, toothed leaves. It has fragrant, white, single flowers with many golden-yellow stamens in autumn and winter. If you drink tea, black, or green, this is the plant it comes from. Commercially grown plants are pruned to a height of 1.2m, to facilitate picking.

Other common names
tea tree
Synonyms
Camellia thea
Camellia sinensis thea
see moreThea sinensis

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn White Green
Winter White Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Theaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Camellia are evergreen shrubs with simple, ovate, glossy, leathery leaves and showy flowers with solitary or clustered flowers early in the year

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

How to grow

Cultivation

Choose a shady, sheltered site with acid soil that is fertile, moist, but well-drained. Plant shallowly, and mulch with bark or leaf mould. Buds and flowers should be protected from cold dry winds. Don't allow to dry out. Fertilise mid-spring and early summer.

Propagation

Propagate by seed, soak seed prior to sowing, sow when ripe under glass. Can also be propogated via hardwood and semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Requires little pruning. Removal of damaged, dead, or diseased branches is best done after flowering.

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, scale insects and vine weevil

Diseases

May be susceptible to other Camellia diseases, such as Camellia petal blight

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