This article aims to provide you with some simple techniques for how to grow green tea. Green tea is a healthy drink that has been around for centuries. It is believed that green tea was first grown in China or India. Now it is consumed worldwide, especially in East and Southeast Asia.
Green tea is one of the three teas made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds following black and oolong. The process it undergoes is different from that of oolong and black, as it doesn’t undergo any withering or oxidation after harvesting. Growing green tea is not as complicated as it may sound.
Several varieties grow well in most climates, so you have to consider the climate you live in and choose the right variety for your region.
This article will take you through all the steps to growing your green tea for making delicious cups of this refreshing beverage! So, let’s read on to know how to grow green tea.
Grow Your Green Tea
Here’s what you need to know about the green tea plant. The majority of teas we drink are made from a single plant – the Camellia sinensis.
You can make black, green, white, and Oolong tea from its leaves. Unlike oolong, black, and white teas, green tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves has not been withered and oxidized.
So, the difference among these several tea varieties from the same plant lies in the growing conditions, horticultural methods, processing and harvest timing of the Camellia sinensis leave. Growing green tea means you have to grow a Camellia sinensis plant.
Before that, you must know that the Camellia sinensis plant has two subspecies, namely Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis assamica. Learning their difference is necessary before proceeding to the answer of how to grow green tea.
Camellia Sinensis Var. Sinensis
Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis tea shrub is the Chinese variety and is smaller than C assamica. It is more tolerant of colder climates and cultivated through USDA zone 8. You can also grow it indoors or in greenhouses.
Camellia Sinensis Assamica
Camellia sinensis assamica is a tall tea shrub variety of the C Sinensis with larger leaves. It requires low elevation and moisture and is hardy to USDA zone 7 and south.
This variety comes from the Assam region of northern India. It thrives in the tropics but will not thrive in other environments such as higher elevations or areas with lesser humidity.
Select The Right Type
You should select the Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis type if you are growing green tea in your home. However, don’t go for this one if you are not living in colder climates.
On the other hand, Camellia Sinensis assamica is preferred for commercial growth for big and larger leaves. Choose the variety of your choice depending on your region and follow the tips mentioned below to find how to grow green tea.
5 Tips On How To Grow Green Tea
The process of growing green tea plants can be a little tricky and time-consuming, but with the right knowledge, you can grow your green tea plants in your home. Several factors influence the taste, color, and aroma of the tea.
These include variety, climate, harvest, oxidization, and processing. Today, we are going over the steps in growing green tea and providing you with tips that help you have a successful harvest.
Green tea can be grown indoors or outdoors, but it needs plenty of light and water. It can be grown in almost any soil type, but it does best when the soil is not too acidic or alkaline. The best way to grow green tea is by using soil that has a good balance of organic material and nutrients.
1. Choose the Right Location And Potting Mix
The first step is to find a suitable location and potting mix. You must choose a location with enough sunlight (6-8 hours) and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil.
You can also use a container as long as it has enough drainage holes. The best potting mix to grow green tea is 50% compost or peat moss and 50% perlite.
2. Plant Green Tea
There are two ways to plant green tea. You can either do it by planting a seed or by taking a cutting from a mature tea plant. However, seeds can take years to produce enough leaves for harvesting – three years, at the very least. Moreover, you will have to germinate the seeds first by
Planting tea seeds is time-consuming and will take too long, which you may not prefer. We recommend growing a green tea plant from cuttings as this process is comparatively faster.
You can use cuttings from existing tea bushes, dipping them in a plant-rooting hormone and replanting them to make your harvest.
Additionally, you can buy a tea plant already potted and keep it that way, or you can transplant it. Tea growers also transplant bare-root tea seedlings from one area to another when they need more space for growing these plants.
You can purchase the sprouted seedling of a tea plant from a nearby nursery and then replant it.
3. Care for Your Green Tea Plant
Here are the ways to care for your green tea plant:
Tea plants love water, so keep the soil moist. Do not water more often than once a week, leading to root rot and leaf droopiness.
Fertilize with a weak organic fertilizer or compost solution every few weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Do not fertilize during the winter months as this can cause excessive growth and encourage pests and disease.
Prune your tea plant back by one-third once they surpass 2 ft. in height. It is best to prune your green tea plant in the fall.
It takes about 3 years for tea plants to be ready to harvest. The best time to harvest tea is in the spring, once new shoots appear on your plant.
When you see the bright green leaves, gently pluck them from the plant. Continue harvesting leaves as they grow to keep your tea plant bushy and evergreen.
5. Process Green Tea
In the case of black tea, you need to fully oxidize the tea leaves, while oolong tea needs partial oxidization. On the other hand, green tea doesn’t need oxidization. Just pluck the leaves and dry them in a shaded area for a few hours.
After that, steam the leaves for a couple of minutes and then rinse cold water to bring out their natural green color. After that, roll them and spread them and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 230˚F.
Store these dry leaves in an air-dry container. You can add a pinch of these dry leaves in boiling water to make a healthy cup of green tea!
If you’re a green tea lover and looking forward to harvesting your leaves, then this article is for you. These 5 incredible tips will assist you with how to grow green tea.
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