Camellia sinensis is the common tea plant, native to the southern parts of China, Japan and Korea and from which tea has been produced for thousands of years. In the UK it is sufficiently hardy to be planted outside in most areas - in fact there are now tea plantations in both Cornwall and Scotland!|
It should be treated as any other camellia and grown in moist, acidic soil in sun or (ideally) part shade. The plants benefit from good air circulation - the leaves have a tendency to develop brown edges overwinter, particularly if the humidity is too high, but the new growth will come through unaffected. Small, white, scented, single flowers are produced in the autumn, and in spring the young leaves can be picked and dried for tea.
We grow two slightly different types of Camellia sinensis, one of which, Type A, has a slightly smaller leaf than the other, Type B. Both of these are propagated from cuttings so that the plants are always true to type. We also have some plants of Type B that have been grown from seed, rather than from cuttings, and so they show some natural variation from plant to plant. Please see the article in our Knowledge Base here for more details.