We’ve been growing tea for a number of years now on our ocean side garden and have learned they do quite well here. Judging from the established commercial organic tea plantation down island in Cowichan Valley and the 30+year old plants at VanDusen Botanical Garden, they do more than survive, they thrive. They need moist well draining acidic humus rich soils especially in summer, so amend your soils with good compost before seating. We’ve never protected our plants. Organic. Seed grown by us. Plants are flowering or near flowering size.
- Plant type: broad leaf evergreen shrub
- Hardiness Zones: 7-9
- Height x Width: 2m x 2m
Seat: in general dig a hole at least twice as deep and wide as the pot. Pick out large stones from the soil; sift if necessary; amend with 1/4 cup organic fertilizer such as 4-4-4 (not manure). Cut the pot if encountering difficulty removing the plant from. Keep roots whole enables the plant to grow quicker. Seat so the soil line is roughly the same as in the pot. As always, an important consideration when choosing where to plant is drainage. Any camellia will not thrive in poorly draining soils. Test by digging a hole 30cm deep and fill with water. It should drain in 3 hours. Dig a hole 45cm and fork the bottom and sides to loosen the soil. This is when you add your fertilizer/compost. Leave a shallow mound (acts as a pedestal) at the bottom of the hole. Carefully set the tree inside the hole and spread/tease the roots out as you back fill the hole. Be gentle! Don’t hard pack the soil. Use your foot to step firm (don’t stamp!). Remember roots need oxygen!! When finished mulch well and water. We use fencing to protect from deer and other varmints and give it a chance to grow without set backs.