melaleuca alternifolia- anywhere in SE Texas?

texaskelley(9a)October 13, 2011

Hi all!

It's been a while; things imploded at the in-laws and I have been without a computer for a while. But the good news in all the madness: DH and I found a house for rent in Katy and we're moving in two weeks! It is adorable and has a backyard full of EMPTY flower beds that I have designs on :).

Which leads me to my question: does anyone know where to get a melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) in my area? Or online for that matter...

Thanks!

AOK

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merrybookwyrm

This isn't the melaleuca that is so invasive and allergenic in Florida, is it? Don't know anything about melaleuca alternifolia, just know that the word 'melaleuca' causes shivers of horror down my spine after all my sil's woes with the non-native that is loose in Florida.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:42AM
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texaskelley(9a)

I don't know if alternifolia is invasive in some areas. I know some variants are. I'm planning on growing it potted to control its size, since they get quite large. Off to do more research!

AOK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:35AM
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texaskelley(9a)

For those wondering (because I was):

Melaleuca alternifolia is the variant used to make tea tree oil.

Melaleuca quinquenervia was planted in Florida and Hawaii to help drain low-lying swamp areas and is now aggressively invasive.

They are both from the family Myrtaceae.

AOK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:48AM
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bfff_tx(z8b TX)

I remember seeing Tea Teas at Home Depot late spring, so you may have to wait till next year.
Cheers

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:55PM
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texaskelley(9a)

Thanks! I'm surprised HD has them at all, with as much trouble as I'm having locating one. I will definitely check it out.

AOK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 4:37PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Kelly,

I have one Melaleuca alternifolia growing in my yard! It has been there for about 5 years now, and it is not at all invasive. I have it growing under a huge Canary Date Palm so it gets protected in the winter.

If I remember correctly I might have picked mine up at Buchanan's Native Plants in the Houston Heights. But I can't remember what I did yesterday let alone 5 years ago. And since it is a medicinal herb you can always contact Cindy at The Herb Cottage and ask her if she has it or can get it for you. She is often at the Katy Farmer's Market and the Houston Farmer's Market, so she might be the one to contact.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:12AM
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texaskelley(9a)

Thanks so much for the tips and places to check out near the new homestead.

I'm glad M. alternifolia does well for you down here. I can't wait to get my hand on one!

AOK

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:59AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

You are welcome!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:05PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks for the interesting link on Melaleuca alternifolia!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:18PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

You are welcome roselee!

I use tea tree oil for lots of ailments. It is a great medicinal herb!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:51PM
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texaskelley(9a)

Do you distilled it from your own plant? If you do, what is your setup? I know steam-distillation can be complicated...

I use tea tree oil for tons of things, and would love to eventually learn how to make my own. Although, I still need to get one first :)

AOK

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:59PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

No I have it because it is pretty. I buy the tea tree oil from Whole Foods. My friend Cindy Meredith with the Herb Cottage has been distilling herbs. You might want to talk to her about it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:26AM
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texaskelley(9a)

I really just want one because they look neat, but if I could find someone who knows the one and outs of steam distillation, it might be a neat thing to learn. But definitely not something I want to experiment with on my own; no kitchen explosions for me!

AOK

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 3:02PM
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herbiecott(8b)

Hi everyone- I just registered for this forum because of the discussion on Tea Tree. And, to thank Linda in Rockport for mentioning me.

As for distillation, it's not dangerous with the right equipment. I have a little steam distiller that fits on a table top and makes about 1 liter or so of hydrosol. I do not separate the oil out because it would be such a small amount of oil. Hydrosols are useful for all sorts of things: skin care, hair care, wounds, aromatherapy.. lavender hydrosol makes a lovely ironing water... if you iron any clothes, that is!

Texaskelly- if you've never been to the Farmers' Market in Katy at La Centerra on Saturday mornings, it's a nice place to spend an hour or so. Lots of veggies, baked goods, olive oil, honey, eggs, handmade soaps, etc.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 9:40AM
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texaskelley(9a)

Herbiecott:

I am absolutely planning on going the first Saturday I have after I move. I LOVE a good farmer's market, and have only heard good things about the one in Katy. Hopefully I'll see you there!

AOK

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 1:02PM
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alameda/zone 8

You might try Antique Rose Emporium or Blue Moon Gardens. They have interesting and unusual things.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Becky Klein-McCreary

My tea tree melaleuca was purchased at Lowes in Phoenix.....a nursery in the area grows them. They are native to Australia. I planted mine a month ago and it has been doing well, except now the lower leaves (needles) are drying.....is this common or am I doing something wrong? I live south of Tucson and planted it in a sandy soil and I water it often. Do they take much water and should I have enhanced the soil when I planted it? Thanks for any suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:51PM
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debwilliams

I think you can get them at Home Depot garden center or at Lowes. Some local nurseries carry then as well. Or if you want to grab one in florida, they are trying to get rid of the Melaleuca trees in the everglades.

Here is a link that might be useful: Melaleuca

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 3:06PM
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beachplant(9b)

all melaleuca trees will eventually become invasive. Especially in our climate. Bradford pears were touted as a great landscape plant and not invasive and look what a disaster they are.
I would look for something native myself. There are a lot of trees here that are hosts for butterflies/larvae or produce fuit/nuts, like pecans, oranges, persimmon, jackfruit, starfruit etc. Eucalyptus does well here and has not proven to be invasive. Hackberry are host to both butterlies and larvae and provide food and shelter for migrating and native birds. Some of those of course, are not native, but do well in our climate.
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 8:35AM
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