A confession: How not to grow a tea plant

As you all know, I love tea and I also like telling stories so here I am, killing two birds with one stone…

Let’s rewind to September 2017. I went on a glorious visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew during the very brink of Autumn. It was magnificent.

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What has this got to do with tea, I hear you ask? WELL… It was in the gift shop. Gift shops are my thing and there I saw, a collection of tea plants for indoor homing. jfkjfjblhsfbjasfjfsbljbckbsfkaΒ Dream come true!

Evidently, I was too absorbed in the moment to take a photo of the display. There were about seven tea plants to choose from, each in a rustic clay pot and I took great pleasure in selecting the largest and most prosperous looking tea plant.

There were a gazillion coffee plants presented in sweet coffee cups- an ideal present for a coffee lover. Thus, I selected with a bit less finesse, two coffee plants.

Proud as punch, I carried my Camellia sinensisΒ along with the two coffee plants on the train back. I couldn’t wait to start harvesting my own tea. “Think of all the blog posts?!?!” I was well and truly buzzing.

I brought it back home, along with a coffee plant. Both had the same treatment and enjoyed a light space in the conservatory and regular watering. However, my tea plant suffered with black bugs. After making an effort to shut the window nearby, still bugs.

I took to the spray, and damp kitchen towels to squish the critters. The tea plant seemed rather needy compared to the happy-as-larry coffee plant. Humph.

This carried on for a few months. Then, winter hit. Boy did it hit- we even had snow!Β The tea plant had stopped shooting (to be expected) but then took a turn for the worse…

It’s only now I’ve come to accept defeat. Without harvesting any tea, without even capturing a shot of the beautifully healthy tea plant and without a name. I present you with my crispy tea plant…

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RIP gone too soon

Where did it go wrong? I’m almost writing this hoping that somebody reading has managed to keep an indoor tea plant going through the winter and can shower me with tea plant care tips. Should I have chosen warmth over light? Why the infestation of bugs when the coffee plant is still going strong without a hint of bug? I need answers!

Meanwhile, here is my Coffee arabica blooming even in these chilly months…

coffee plant

NB: If you want to find out more cool stuff about Camellia sinensis or Coffee arabica, Kew have pretty tidy information pages on these plants. <<<< Hit the links

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