How to Buy Camellia Sinensis


Camellia sinensis is a variety of camellia that is harvested for its young fresh leaves that are then dried and used to make tea. They are also grown as ornamental plants, growing white fragrant flowers in the fall. Plant Camellia sinensis outdoors in USDA zones 7 to 9 or in containers that can be brought indoors when temperatures dip below freezing. Purchase Camellia sinensis as either seeds or nursery plants. Plant nursery plants or new seedlings outdoors in the spring after the chance of frost as passed. Plant seeds indoors about two months earlier.

Step 1

Decide if you want to buy nursery plants or seeds. Camellia sinensis nursery plants are harder to find than seeds, but they may be available at your local nursery, especially in USDA zones 7 to 9 from spring until fall. Call first to save yourself some time, since this is not a common nursery plant. On the other hand, seeds are available through many online and catalog nurseries. If your local nursery does not carry camellia sinensis seeds, it may be able to order them for you.

Step 2

Buy nursery plants to grow in rows that are about 4 to 5 feet apart. Plants are spaced in the rows about 2 feet apart. You can also grow Camellia sinensis in containers. Keep in mind that only new shoots are harvested and each plant differs in how much it will produce. In general, a plant will produce 3,000 tea leaves a year, and for every pound of green shoots you harvest, it will produce one-fourth pound of dried green leaves for tea.

Step 3

Purchase camellia sinensis as seeds. Buy more seeds than the number of plants you will need. Each seed packet typically contains about 10 seeds. Expect two to five good plants from a packet of 10 seeds. Nick each seed before planting and soak for 24 hours to increase the likelihood of germination.


  • University of Oklahoma: Camellia sinensis - Tea Plant
  • Purdue University: Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze
  • Narien Teas: Tea Seeds (Camellia Sinensis)
  • Seed Rack: Camellia sinensis
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About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.