Until recently, I have always shrugged at the thought of attempting to grow tea in Canada. Sometimes our Summers can get quite humid, but we are known for our brutal Winters which I do not think a Camellia Sinensis plant could handle quite well.
If you follow me on Instagram (@teaaholic) you may have noticed the photo I posted this past weekend. My boyfriend surprised me with a green tea plant that he stumbled upon at a local greenhouse by my house. I was pretty speechless because I didn't think there would be such thing in Canada let alone just down my street! Of course, I am quite nervous to be in possession of this plant as I already do not have a great track record with real plants that require a lot of care.
After extensive research, I came to realize that growing tea in Canada may be difficult, but certainly not impossible. I consider myself lucky to live in Southern Ontario for this plant as well. I noticed Teafarm, in Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, website where they have been sharing their experiences with growing tea with the Canadian weather. It inspired me and makes me think if you can grow tea in Canada - you can do anything! I currently have my tea plant set in our small greenhouse, in the Winter time I will have no choice but to bring it inside my home so I have left the plant in a pot so it's easy to bring back inside. Before the warm weather is up I will be transferring the plant into a larger pot to allow more room for the roots to grow. It's also important to note that tea needs acidic soil to grow, so that will be on my list of things to get when I am ready to replant. I'm really hoping for a decent Winter this year, preferably quite a bit of sunlight that my plant can easily get from a window sill to keep going strong.
So when will I be able to actually get tea from my Camellia Sinensis plant? When the saying "good things take time" first was said, I'm convinced they were talking about tea. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to harvest for a least 3 years. However, just having a tea plant and experiencing it is exciting enough for me!
If you are growing tea in Canada, or just have any tips/suggestions to help me with my experience please let me know in the comments below or send me an email. I am no expert and am extremely new at this so any help would be much appreciated.