The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, produces seeds for several months every year. These tea seeds are used to propagate new tea plants. All tea (whether green, black, white or oolong) originates from Camellia sinensis plants-the processing is what makes the different teas.
During Autumn and early Winter, Bryn Hill harvests a small quantity of tea seeds for sale to gardeners and nurseries who would like to grow tea plants from seed.
The propagation of tea plants from seeds is not complicated. Only freshly harvested seeds should be used as older seeds lose their moisture, and therefore their viability, the longer they are stored.
To ensure optimum freshness, tea seeds are only available from Bryn Hill between March and July each year. The tea seeds produced at Bryn Hill are Camellis sinensis var. assamica, the variety used to produce black tea in Far North Queensland, Australia, since 1886.
Tea seeds can also be pressed to make an incredibly healthy oil, used for centuries in Southern China and other parts of Asia for cooking and in beauty products. Bryn Hill is in the final stages of planning to produce cold pressed 'Tea Seed Oil' (Camellia Oil) in the near future-a first for Australia.
HOW TO GERMINATE CAMELLIA SINENSIS SEEDS
- Your seeds, posted from Bryn Hill, are freshly harvested and have already had their seed coat removed.
- Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to soften the outer hull.
- Spread the seeds on a plastic tray in full sun and keep them constantly moist with frequent sprays of water. DO NOT LET THEM COMPLETELY DRY OUT. The aim is for each seed to start development without going mouldy.
- Plant seeds that, after 2-3 days, have developed a crack in their seed coat. Sow each seed with its “eye” (the hilum) in a horizontal position (parallel to the surface of the medium). Bury under 2.5 cms of medium (use a medium with good drainage eg. coarse vermiculite or perlite mixed with peat moss).