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Zone 6 Hardy Camelias (black/green teas)

 
Amedean Messan
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Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I found an interesting source of cultivars of Camelias up to zone 6 which produces fermented black teas and green teas.  For those who have seen the recent research of cellular mitochondria and the importance of antioxidants in reducing cellular degeneration (aging), I thought you may be interested in entertaining the idea of cultivating your own tea.

http://coldhardytropicals.com/cold-hardy-camellias/
 
Steven Baxter
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Amedean wrote:
I found an interesting source of cultivars of Camelias up to zone 6 which produces fermented black teas and green teas.  For those who have seen the recent research of cellular mitochondria and the importance of antioxidants in reducing cellular degeneration (aging), I thought you may be interested in entertaining the idea of cultivating your own tea.

http://coldhardytropicals.com/cold-hardy-camellias/


I just found out about camellias yesterday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCMSkiQM5fU
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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Woohoo!  I thought tea was going to have to go in the greenhouse...
 
M.K. Dorje
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Location: Orgyen
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I've got a couple of Green Tea plants (Camellia sinensis). The older one is in the ground, and the newest one is still in a one gallon container. The cultivar is called "Sochi" and these plants have their origin in "the world's northernmost commercial tea growing region in southern Russia along the Black Sea", according to the Burnt Ridge Nursery catalog, a company I highly recommend out of Onalaska, Washington. The catalog states that "Sochi" is hardy in Zones 7-10. Territorial Seed Company and Raintree also carry Green Tea plants now as well. I'm curious, can you also make tea from other species of Camellia? I've got a gigantic Camellia bush that flowers (bright pink)  in the spring, I was wondering if I could make tea from this species as well while I wait for my C. sinensis plants to get big enough for harvest. Anyone out there have experience with this kind of Camellia?
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I believe all the cultivars I have heard of are able and used to produce teas.  On the link I found a cultivar claimed to be from Russian origin.  The cultivar I have had my eye on is from the wild from Korean forests also in the link.

http://www.camforest.com/Camellia_sinensis_s/34.htm
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Who wants to sell me some semi-mature c. sinsensis plants? I'm moving into a new place with a big deck which I'll treat as Zone I. Very fitting for a half dozen c.sinsensis plants,aye?

Post here, or message me. Thanks.

Peace -
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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LivingWind, tea doesn't sound like a zone 1 plant, to me.  Its not like you will step outside and gather some for a meal.  And it won't need the daily attention which zone 1 plants and animals would.  Tea will need to be processesed, so I would imagine harvesting only two or three times per year.

It sounds like a solid zone 2 plant to me, or even zone 3, with the unpruned and unmulched orchard.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Naw man you don't understand.. South Carolina, it's hot as hell.. So I'd provide them some shaded areas, and zone 2/3 on my property is heavily forested with a myriad of miner bugs (leaf miners) that will have a field day on green tea... Not to mention all the yearling rabbits, deer that would eat the fresh sprigs.. I'll be keeping it close, under a greenhouse frame potentially.
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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Gotcha, LW.  Yep, with your need to protect the plants from herbation, zone 1 sounds right. 
 
Cris Bessette
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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oracle wrote:
I just found out about camellias yesterday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCMSkiQM5fU


another source, if you are patient, is seed:

https://seedrack.com/02.html

This is where I got my Camellia Senensis seed.
Just a note, all types of tea can be made from the same plant (black /green / white / oolong/etc). The difference is in how you process the leaves after picking.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Crispy, how long did it take to grow your camelias from seed?  I can grow any kind of camelia here but I have always purchased plants.  I have heard that it can take forever to grow from seed.
 
Cris Bessette
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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Well, I only started mine last winter, they are only about 4 inches tall.  As for growing them from seed vs the plants- go ahead and buy the plants if you have a source.  I just happened to seed the seeds at seedrack.com when I was looking for something else.
 
Sasha Goldberg
Posts: 27
Location: Southeast Virginia, Zone 7B
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I just bought three bushes from them. A couple of sites I've been to since, state that the bush needs to be 4-5 years old before picking tea leaves. I don't plant on waiting that long though.
 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Yeah I'm waiting for delivery of my first plant. Looking forward to harvesting my own tea . Would also love to know if other varieties would allow for harvesting for tea as my parents have a bush of a different type in thier yard.
 
Sasha Goldberg
Posts: 27
Location: Southeast Virginia, Zone 7B
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Tea comes from Camellia Sinensis, only. There are a whole lot of Camellias that are not Sinensis.
 
Sasha Goldberg
Posts: 27
Location: Southeast Virginia, Zone 7B
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What I would like to know is, has anyone harvested any tea? Novella Carpenter, 'Farm City', planted three bushes and she harvested right away but she bought them because she was desperate for tea after having committed herself to eat for 30 days from her back yard. Later two of the plants died from natural causes and the third got whacked by her landlord's landscaping company. She felt that it might have been too cool where she had them but I am wondering if she set them back by early harvesting. I have chewed a few leaves from my plants; very bitter but in a good way. I bought one Sochi and two others one of which is good to zone 7 and the other, zone 7A. We are almost Zone 8 here, in fact, according to the new USDA zone website, we actually have pockets of zone 8 in Suffolk--just not where we live. I am a little apprehensive about winter; the coldest it's gotten here has been 12F. It's unusual to get that low but it does happen. I guess if they're hardy to zone 7, they should make it but the folks at Camellia Forest caution about too much wind and lately, it's windy all the time. I am going to plant them on the east side of my garden shed and probably erect some kind of lattice to act as a windbreak.
 
Rob Meyer
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Sasha Goldberg wrote:Tea comes from Camellia Sinensis, only. There are a whole lot of Camellias that are not Sinensis.


This is exactly what I was wondering. You can't brew the leaves of any of the other camellia species? The nursery I just started working at has a bunch of different varieties of the cold hardy big leaf camellias, and some smaller leaved ones scattered around. I'll have to take a look at their species name tomorrow, hopefully some of them are sinensis. Being that it's a nursery that get's contorta filberts which have had their edibility bred out of them, I won't be holding my breath, but if other species of camellia had some sort of edible/tea making potential, that would be great!
 
Rob Meyer
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Actually, upon doing some research, turns out that most camellias can be used as a tea substitute. Not as medicinal and delicious, but certainly do-able. They also have edible flowers when cooked. FYI!

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Camellia+japonica
 
Sasha Goldberg
Posts: 27
Location: Southeast Virginia, Zone 7B
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You can also use leaves from the Yaupon Holly. It's not a Camellia species at all but it is a native shrub/tree that has caffeine; more than tea but less than coffee. I just planted one so I don't know how it tastes. It has a pretty appalling botanical name, ilex vomitoria, but that is a misnomer. The Yaupon Holly was used in native ceremonies for men which including vomiting (don't know why). The Europeans mistakenly believed it was the Yaupon Holly tea that caused the vomiting. I just planted it so it is still teeny-tiny but I just noticed new growth so I think I will be able to try a cup in a month or two.
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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Yaupon is a close relative to Yerba Mate, and it tastes similar. I read somewhere that the species name is actually from the berries, which are an emetic (make you vomit). I find the effect of Yaupon to be calm and pleasant, much like Mate. Coffee has always given me jitters, and tea will also when I drink too much. Yaupon also gives me a certain kind of "high", that I speculate could be from the intense dose of anti-oxidants, but whatever the case it feels really good.

I don't think much research has been done on Yaupon, but Yerba Mate has a much higher ORAC value than tea. So while I certainly plan on planting a couple tea bushes, I think from a bioregional appropriateness perspective Yaupon makes a lot more sense for anywhere in the southeast US.

If you know where to look it can be foraged in quantity for free. We found two 30' Yaupon trees on the UNC campus, as well as a large conference center/hotel in the Durham, NC area which has the whole foundation and the parking lot medians planted with Yaupon (probably 100 or so trees).

peace
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 391
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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some info on : Camelia Sinensis "Sochi" (that russian, Black-Sea tea plant)


has anybody experience in growing it?
 
Morfydd St. Clair
Posts: 29
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Tobias Ber wrote:some info on : Camelia Sinensis "Sochi" (that russian, Black-Sea tea plant)


has anybody experience in growing it?


I've... killed it, a couple of times in Zone 8 Seattle, but we get droughts through the summer there and it was pretty badly neglected.

I'm in Hamburg now, and it's really weird to not worry about water scarcity. Where are you?
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 391
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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around 30 km northwest of Hamburg
 
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