Hello everyone, just wanted to share with you all one of my recent plant sort-of-experiments that turned out surprisingly well so far. As you all in the northeast US probably know we’ve been having some very cold temperatures this winter. My ‘Sochi’ tea seedling has handled the weather like a champ. It’s supposedly rated to 6B zone hardiness, but time will tell. It is in a pretty advantageous microclimate, near a brick wall in a full sun exposure. A deer ate it down to a stump earlier in the year (trying to imagine a hyped up over-caffeinated deer) and the plant returned with a vengeance and has flowered profusely up until the really cold weather in December. The only other thing I have done for it is wrap a blanket around the outside of the welded wire guard I made to protect it against deer, and I also wrapped the base of the plant with a blanket when the temperatures were getting down to around 0f. I think it’s the really cold, drying wind that is likely to damage it. There are only two or three leaves total on the entire plant that have shown any cold damage so far, as you can see in the last picture.
Camellias in general are pretty plants and interesting to grow, I really enjoy it aesthetically (especially the sunny side up flowers!) and the fact that it may one day yield tea to drink is really just a bonus to me.