Tea Plant Seeds

(Camellia Sinensis) Evergreen. Zones 6 - 9

Tea Camellia is an evergreen shrub grown traditionally for caffeinated tea. One tea plant will yield enough delicious tea for a lifetime, as it can produce for over 100 years! 

Tea Camellia will grow well beyond its average 6 feet in a sheltered location out of strong winds, with moist soil and lots of sun. If you want to harvest leaves for tea, prune to 3-4 feet, for ease of harvest and to increase growth of new stems and fresh leaves. 

Leaves are light green with little white hairs when young, and become leathery and a glossy deep green; fragrant 1-2” flowers are yellow-white with 7-8 petals; taproot is massive!

The smallest, young leaves and buds of Camellia Sinensis are used for making Green tea; older leaves are used to make Oolong and black tea, and the buds make White tea! 

The youngest leaves and buds are harvested for tea - they will be light green with short white hairs underneath. There is a special process for preserving the tea - leaves must dry out of the sun and be heated to 500 degrees for 15 minutes to stop oxidation. Then, leaves can be dried in the oven or a dehydrator. Store tea leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot. 

Tea Camellia is native to mainland China South and Southeast Asia, where it was discovered around 2,700 BC. Leaves and flowers are used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Flowers can be pressed to yield tea oil, a sweet salad and cooking oil (not the same as tea tree oil!) 


*** Seeds must be kept refrigerated until you begin the strat process ; ) 

 Cold Hardiness: Zones 6-9 ( if grown outdoors below zone 6, tea plant may suffer damage from Winter frost. Zone 5 and lower,cConsider growing Camellia Sinensis in a container to easily move outside in the Summer, and back indoors during colder period.)

Edible: Leaf, Bud, Flower

Size: Large Shrub 

Growth Rate: Slow 

Nitrogen Fixer: No 

Native Plant: No

Germination: 50-60% ** Naturally low germination

Sun Requirements: Full sun to part shade

Soil Preference: Moist, well drained acidic soil ( Camellia Sinensis is ericaceous aka acid-loving )



- Scarification: soak seeds in hot tap water, let stand in water for 24 hrs. Follow with 60 days cold stratification. For more information on stratification, check out our article "How To Start Your Tree Seeds".

- Seed sowing: Sow seed 3/4" deep in pots or a nursery bed using standard potting soil, tamp the soil. Outdoors, mulch the seed bed, indoors cover containers with plastic. Place container in area of your house that can maintain an even temperature above 20 degrees. For best germination result: use a thermostatically controlled heat mat set between 20-24 degrees, keep evenly moist ( not sodden ), place a plastic cover over your container to retain moisture, that helps to prevent the seeds from drying out. Gently and progressively introduce to light when seedling appears. Germination is naturally slow and erratic and can take weeks to several months.... but the reward is great! ; ) 

*** Seeds must be kept refrigerated until you begin the strat process ; ) 


- Protect young tree seedlings from slugs, cutworms & rodents. Slugs especially can eat primary leaves as soon as they come up, so be vigilant! 


Available direct from Incredible Seeds, a Canadian Heirloom and Heritage Seed Company, offering only the best natural, non-GMO, open pollinated and untreated seeds, located in Mi'kma'ki / Nova Scotia.


  • $9.99

We Also Recommend