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Growing Tea Plants

Growing Tea Plants

Korean Tea Plant


A tender evergreen shrub native to southeast Asia with fragrant flowers and aromatic leaves. Hardy in zones 7 to 9. Plants can reach 8 to 10 feet tall, but respond well to pruning to keep them compact. Can be grown in containers and wintered indoors in cold climates. Young leaves are dried and used to brew tea. Plant outdoors only after all danger of frost has passed and night temperatures are at least 40 F. 


For full sun to part shade. Prefers some shade in hot climates. Best in fertile, moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Grow in large containers in cold climates and bring plants indoors before temperatures fall to 40 degrees. When grown in pots, use a well-drained mix that does not include moisture retaining granules. When plants need repotting, increase the pot diameter only a few inches and plant with the roots at the same level.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use low rates of Miracid Pro-Select 30-10-10 (51199) or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Perennials used to make herbal teas like Lemon Balm (02425), Mint Chocolate (12265), and Spearmint (02445) can be used to flavor tea made from Tea Plant.

Complimentary Products

A moderate feeder that benefits from fertilizing in spring when new leaves begin growing and again in early summer. Stevia or Sweetleaf can be used as a calorie-free natural sweetener for tea.

Product Recommendations

Safer Insecticidal Soap (50424) can be used to treat scale or mealy bug problems.

Tea Plant Facts

Usually not significantly bothered by pests or diseases. Scale, mealy bugs, canker, and leaf spot sometimes affect plants. Root rot can occur if plants are grown in wet or poorly-drained soils. Tea Plant has been grown for at least 3,000 years, and green tea is recognized as having healthy antioxidant properties.

Growing Tips