'Sochi' Tea success in 6B


#21

I wonder how tea would fair down here?? Don’t think I know a single person growing it.


#22

Tea tree should be able to grow there. But tea trees like higher uv ray as well as certain climate which in general, the mountain region grows the best tea


#23

might be worth a shot…no mountains, but we don’t have any trouble with UV here…


#24

Anyone ever make tea from Ilex vomitoria, the only caffeinated native plant as far as I’m aware? I have the weeping form, but I have yet to take the plunge. I heard ruminants go bonkers over this plant.


#25

No, but hopping to.
I found a large bush , on yaupon Rd about 2-3 blocks in at myrtle beach a few years ago. Just had to drive down that Rd. And there it was.!
Colected seed ,planted ,took 2 years for many to come up.
Many died., down to 3 plants, ( or up ?) small yet , but putting on growth now in side . Wish I had more as they may be of questionable hardiness here in west by God Virginia :thinking: Any buddy got more starts , seed ?
I would like to have more to experiment with here.


#26

What a coincidence to read this now. I visited a friend last week and he was showing me his tea plant which is grown in front of his house about 5 feet away from the house wall, so not really benefiting from the indoor heat. He said it’s origin was from Mukachevo, Ukraine. Supposedly there was an experimental tea orchard where different varieties from former Soviet Republics were collected and tested for cold hardiness. This orchard is abandoned and overgrown with weeds now.
Anyway, his friend was there few years ago and brought few plants (no one knows the cultivar names). He has this plant in ground for 5 years and it survived unbelievable -13F last winter (we had the toughest winter in the last 50 years) covered only with geo-textile fabric.
Hybrid persimmon trees next to it were all killed, some of them having about 6" diameter trunks.


#27

That’s really neat! I don’t think there is a commercially available cultivar (in the US at least) of tea rated for temps that low. That’s actually kind of incredible for any Camellia plant


#28

I remember seeing berries along the road to Dawson, I’ll check again.

Edit: heck, my tree had berries but the birds may have eaten them all.


#29

I have been wanting to try that unfortunately named Holly. BTW South America Yerba Mate is a related Holly.


#30

I have a tea camelia plant – and I’ve just started adding some more (by layering) – originally from Edible Landscaping here in zone 7b North Carolina where most of the last several winters have been 7a, some nearly 6b, and it has survived just fine unprotected on the east side of a block building. It generally looks really rough by spring, about like Carroll’s photos if not worse, but it puts out fresh leaves in the spring and has grown very well, enough so that I started making tea from it a couple years ago. Honeybees absolutely love it when it blooms in Oct/Nov, probably more so than any other plant I can think of any time of year.


#31

Oh golly, y’all are contributing to the delinquency of a fellow grower, LOL. I have enough growing around here and yet I’ve already visited sites that sell tea plants…and resisted…so far.
BUT, I love my proper cup of black tea several times in the morning. And it would be neat to see such a lovely productive plant growing somewhere …hmmmm…where would that ‘somewhere’ be?


#32

It seems like the east side of a building is the standard recommendation for our region, but I bet it would probably do fine completely in the open, too.


#33

I air-layered a few unknown Camellias a couple of years back. This thing flowers nearly all year. The mother tree is about 12 feet tall. Looks like I will get tons of blooms this year. It’s not a tea Camellia, but the bees sure love it.
image

@Hillbillyhort Looks like the birds got all but one berry on my Yaupon. I don’t think it’s worth the postage.
image

I may air-layer it as an experiment.


#34

Update on my mostly unprotected Tea. They ended up being buried about half way up under fall leaves. The largest and heatliest plant when planted was the Russian tea. It had the most dieback

She is starting to show regrowth from the trunk.

The other two Blushing Maiden and Tea breeze both made it though with out loosing all there leaves.


#35

I’ve gotten Camellias to grow in zone 6. Why not tea.
They are closely related.


#36

Tea (Camellia sinensis) is generally rated hardy to USDA zones 7 or above. There are some cultivars or varietals that are supposedly more hardy than the average tea plant. I am growing a tea plant from Sochi that is one of these supposed hardy tea plants.
So far, I’ve had really good success with it here in my region of WV (zone 6B), so I believe the outlook on being able to grow tea in similar climates is hopeful. Personally, I’ve found with my figs and marginal plantings such as the Sochi tea, shielding them from cold, desiccating wind is key to keeping them happy.


#37

I planted the small leaf variety in a well protected site from wind. Should also get a little more heat there from the house, but it’s on the north side as I wanted my tea on the sweeter side. I hope it’s not too cold over there.


#38

Ross,

Where did you ordered your tea trees from?

Tony


#39

Tony,
Cam forest: https://www.camforest.com/Camellia_sinensis_s/34.htm

These people seem to have quite the collection available.


#40

Anyone have an update on how their tea trees handled last winter in Z6 ?