Friday, April 21, 2006

Grow Your Own Tea Plants

Back in December I wrote about my experiment with growing a tea plant. It was not a whopping success. Nor was it even a moderate or slight success.

To recap, I attempted to grow tea plants from seed, starting them indoors in little ceramic containers. About a month later I finally gave it up and pitched everything - ungerminated seeds and dirt and, well, I kept the containers. So much for my green thumb. Though I still have a few seeds and I haven't completely given up hope yet.

What caused me to revisit all these traumatic memories was a Web site I ran across the other day - It's run by a Florida family - the Behnckes - who speculate that it might be the only tea nursery in the United States.

If you're going to dabble in growing your own tea and your thumb's anywhere near as brown as mine you might want to let the Behnckes give you a leg up on the process. Just a thought.

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Katie said...

The only diffence between what you did and what I did, I took the coffee cans out of the greenhouse, meaning to recycle the potting soil. Seems that it takes about 3 months for a tea seed to germinate, and mine did, cuz they were still sitting behind the greenhouse. :)
I ordered 10 seeds, and two of ten came up, but thats ok, cuz I believe I can root cuttings of them now.

Michael in Maine said...

William, I went to the site and they are out of tea plants and I could not find anything about "How to Grow from Seeds."

I have six seeds and I suspect, from my past experience with growning plants from seeds, these need to be "scarified" with a file or gently cracked, allowing their dry outer casing to let moisture in. So, I'm going to try it. Then soak the scarified seeds overnight in warm water (just like fixing dried beans!). Tomorrow, I'll plant them in moist seed-starting material under a grow light. I'll let you all know how if fare.

Michael in Maine