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camellia sinensis from seed  RSS feed

 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I've got a bunch of tea seeds. We are having autumn/winter now and it gets down to 5 under freezing -5C. I found conflicting information on the net when to plant. Is autumn planting right for camellia sinensis or do I wait until spring? My guts tell me that it needs a bit of chill but I don't know.
 
John Danks
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Location: Port Angeles, WA (USDA Zone 8b, AHS Zone 2/3)
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This was the best guide I found when looking at grow tea myself: https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/nph-9.pdf

It doesn't mention anything specifically about planting times though. Since they are talking about commercial production where consistency is important they use cuttings to propagate rather than direct sowing seeds. I'd start the seeds inside, cull any weak plants and be ready to plant them out at the start of your rainy season so they'll get plenty of moisture. Starting them inside also gives you better control over conditions since germination can take a while. I tried starting seeds inside years ago and saw about 75% germination rate. None of the plants survived outdoors, but I wasn't as experienced with growies back then so it was probably my mistakes that did them in. Good luck!
 
Erwin Decoene
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Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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I hope to follow this. Our climate is not suited but perhaps we will have a spot for it in our rebuild house.

On the issue of culling weak or excess seedlings - perhaps there is a way to check the quality of the tea in young plants ?
 
Rodd Ramon
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Location: Zone 9A
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This has a pretty good explanation of starting the seeds. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/germinate-camellia-sinensis-seeds-65358.html
I've had poor germination rates from seeds my wife purchased, but all reading we've done says germination can take a month or two.
 
Dawna Janda
Posts: 13
Location: Tampa area, Florida - zone 9a
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I've sprouted many a tea seed in the summer here in Florida.  I've soaked them for 24 hours, planted them and let them do their thing.  I've had some pop up in a couple of weeks and I've had some take up to a couple of months.  The germination rate on the ones I've purchased (from a variety of sellers all over the world) has been very erratic.  From seed the plants grow nicely and much faster than the rooted cuttings that I've purchased. 

I read somewhere that most of the seeds really don't have viable embryos in them, so don't be disappointed if you don't have great results the first couple/three times you try to grow them.  Keep trying!
 
John Danks
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Location: Port Angeles, WA (USDA Zone 8b, AHS Zone 2/3)
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Rodd Ramon wrote:This has a pretty good explanation of starting the seeds. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/germinate-camellia-sinensis-seeds-65358.html
I've had poor germination rates from seeds my wife purchased, but all reading we've done says germination can take a month or two.


That's a good guide and basically what I did with mine. Germination can definitely take a while, I think mine took about a month to sprout.

Keep in mind that when they talk about planting out in Autumn that it's because the rainy season starts then in California. Your climate may vary so plan accordingly.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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That does mean that they don't need cold to germinate. I am trying some overwinter anyway and will start some inside. I soak in water and vinegar. i had good results with the vinegar with other seeds.
 
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