Large Leaf Tea Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 7 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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The Large Leaf Tea Tree is a Camellia sinensis cultivar that has the same qualities as the common tea plant, but with much larger leaves. This easy to grow tree is a giant leaf version of the same Tea Tree that provides us with green tea, black tea, and white tea. Large Leaf Tea Trees can be grown in-ground within USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 11, or in pots in Zones 4 to 11. They like shade, are evergreen, and the plants bloom fragrant white flowers in late fall. Plant a few of these sturdy Large Leaf Tea Trees in your edible landscape and make your own fresh tea any time.

Large Leaf Tea Trees will grow to twenty feet tall and ten to fifteen feet wide when planted in the ground, or somewhat smaller if growing in pots. Large Leaf Tea Trees are also great plants for growing into hedges. The slow-growing plants like to be trimmed, and the leaves can be used at any time, unlike fruit that must bloom and ripen. Fresh, delightful, home grown tea from your own Large Leaf Tea Tree is something you are sure to enjoy, and growing these deep green shrubs is both easy and rewarding.

Large Leaf Tea Tree Care

If you are planting your Large Leaf Tea Tree in the ground, pick a spot that has soil that drains well and is in full sun or partial shade. Prepare a hole that is about three to five inches wider and deeper than the rootball on all sides. Do not plant too deep, and place the tree so that the surface of the potted plant’s rootball is even with the ground surface after planting. Water in well, then water once per week, or when soil is dry down to three inches.

Large Leaf Tea Trees do not require pruning, but they can be trimmed into hedges or decorative shapes. If you are trimming the plant, you can simultaneously harvest the tea leaves. Cut the branches you wish to trim, then remove the leaves for use. Be sure to remove cut branches from the general area around the tree’s base. Large Leaf Tea Trees can be mulched, but do not pile mulch agains the tree trunks.


Large Leaf Tea Trees must have soil that drains well. They also do best in locations that have full sun or mostly sun and some shade. Because making green tea involves steeping fresh leaves, the best preparation is from leaves just harvested. Making Black tea involves steeping Tea Leaves that have been dried and then aged until they turn very dark. Finally, white tea is simply tea made using the new, small leaves as soon as they appear on the stem ends. Harvest by trimming off branches then removing leaves from the cuttings.

You will be surprised by the flavor of tea made from fresh leaves when compared to the taste of commercially packaged tea. Fresh tea is more vibrant and refreshing, and at the same time, fresh leaves contain more antioxidants and nutritional benefits than tea that has been packed and stored for sale. The easiest way to grow Tea at home is to plant several Large Leaf Tea Trees in a row or hedge and harvest the leaves when you need them. Thrill your friends and family by serving them the delicious, healthful Tea grown right in your own yard.

Growing Zones


Large Leaf Tea Trees are cold hardy down to 20º F, and resistant to most pests and diseases. These characteristics mean the plants can be grown in the ground even in areas that freeze in winter. Plant Large Leaf Tea Trees as a border under taller trees and above lower groundcovers and flowers, for a dark green, edible hedge that also blooms. Large Leaf Tea Trees are also a good choice for growing on their own, as their natural, bushy shape makes them a balanced specimen from all sides.

Large Leaf Tea Trees are also great plants to grow in pots. Use a pot with drain holes that gives the existing tree three or four inches of growing room on each side and below the root ball. Plant in potting mix that drains well, and place in full sun. Potted Large Leaf Tea Trees can also be grown indoors with enough light. Water when potted soil surface is dry down to an inch deep, and allow the pot to fully drain.