Anyone growing tea (Camellia sinensis )?

m5allenNovember 28, 2012

From what I have read, it seems that tea will grow here in FL. I love green tea and was thinking about growing it myself.

Does anyone grow it? Any tips?

I have called a few local nurseries and can't seem to find a place to buy it in the Tampa Bay area.

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jason83(Zone 8b/9a (North Florida))

I've been trying to find a source for it for a while. Many other types of Camellia seem to do quite well here in North Florida among other parts, so I see no reason why sinensis wouldn't do just fine. You can get seeds on eBay for very little money. There's someone making a fortune selling little seedlings of the plant, of which I'm sure they started from seed, so there's hope that it's certainly achievable for cheap :)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:05AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Territorial Seed co. sells plants, but it looks like they're out of stock right now.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Territorial Seed

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Camellia Forest Nursery sells several varieties of tea. They range in price from 12 to 25 dollars.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:47AM
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Interesting fact about green tea versus black. The green tea leaves are first steamed to destroy enzymes in the leaves, so that they stay green rather than ferment and turn brown or black. It's just like blanching green beans before freezing. I guess you can just add boiling water to the fresh leaves, but this is not the same as traditional green tea which is steamed and then dried under controlled conditions.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 4:52PM
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I just bought 5 Camellia sinensis seeds on eBay for $3.00 plus $1.79 Shipping from a person in Jax. Thanks for making me aware that it grows well here in Florida.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:10PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

I have plenty of one gallon tea plants in stock at a reasonable price. I am in Riverview,Fl

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:48PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

I have plenty of one gallon tea plants at a reasonable price; I am in Riverview, Fl

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:50PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Why would they want to kill the enzymes?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:38AM
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The enzymes in the tea leaves promote oxidation of the leaves after they are picked from the tea plant. Just as dying tree leaves turn from green to gold, red and brown in the Fall, so wilting tea leaves start to go brown and black under warm humid conditions. This is a form of natural oxidative decay, a bit like apple flesh turning brown after it is cut. Therefore the enzymes have to be knocked out by steam in order to stop this "fermentation" and retain the green color of the leaves as they are dried. This is also done to things like green beans by blanching before freezing...otherwise the enzymes can cause the beans to turn black and leathery.
This fermentation is allowed to occur naturally when black tea is made, because the leaves are not steamed and the enzymes are intact. The fermentation process increases the body, astringency and complexity of the flavor but also removes some of the anti-oxidant components of the tea.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:47AM
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beachlily z9a

In Fall 2011 my husband and I went to Charleston, SC. One of the things we did there was to go out to the Charleston Tea Plantation. It's the only tea plantation in the country. The tour was great! At the processing plant they went into great detail on how tea is dried and the processes it goes through to create the final product. Very interesting and a lot more complicated than I ever thought. Can you do this at home? Not really sure but you might google the process.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:22AM
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