[University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture]
I was excited to learn about the Tea Bush, called Camellia Sinensis. All tea that we drink–black, green, oolong, etc.–is made from this bush. By growing it in your yard, you can make your own tea.
The Tea Bush is originally from Asia and closely related to the Camellia, as you can probably tell by the name. And like the Camellia, it is a pretty bush with fragrant white flowers and waxy green leaves. It takes well to pruning, can be grown as a hedge, and can get 10-15 feet tall. Best of all, this plant works in light shade, so it is a good way to add an edible plant to a shady spot.
I haven’t grown a Tea Bush yet, but I plan to put at least one in the backyard. According to the Sunset Western Garden Book, the plant can be grown in Zones 4-9, 12, 14-24. I would assume that if you can grow a Camellia, you can grow a Tea Bush.
You can purchase a tea seedling from One Green World for $20. They say the plant is 8-10 feet high and is cold hardy to 0°F.
Let’s grow our own tea.