Perhaps you’d like to read Part 1, first? Read Growing your Own Tea, Part 1.
Growing the Tea
Make sure your tea plant gets sufficient water, but never too much; this can cause your tea plant to drown, especially if the soil doesn’t have adequate drainage (read: don’t plant in clay-like soil types). While your tea plant should always be wet, at no point should it ever be swimming. A quick sprinkle once or twice a day is more than sufficient.
If it floods and you are desperate to save the tea, attempt uprooting, draining and potting until the effects of the flood are over – otherwise the plant may become drowned and die.
Do not harvest the tea leaves the first time they grow. In order to survive effectively, the tea plant needs to be around three years of age before it is pruned and plucked, otherwise you will compromise it during a vital stage of development.
Pruning should be conducted after about three years of age, particularly if your plant is becoming too big to be manageable in its location. Tea plants tend to grow one to two metres tall, but can reach even higher if you allow them.
That’s all there is to it! As long as you treat your tea plant with love and care, it will reward you generously with all the tea leaves you could ask for. Please remember, however, that these tea leaves should still be processed before you throw them in your water to steep. Ancient Chinese people may have enjoyed unprocessed tea for many years, however it does not bring about the leaves’ full potential.