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Growing Tea Plants in New Zealand

Posted by Informal Tea Co. on

Tea Plant Tauranga Bay of Plenty New Zealand


For a few years now we've been growing our prized tea bush here in New Zealand and this spring was earmarked to be our first year harvesting tea off of it.


In anticipation of the first harvest I'd visit Mr Tea Plant every day or so to see how his fresh new spring buds (see above) were coming along. One day however, I was excited to find that He had dropped a few dozen of these little tea seeds:


Tea Seed Tauranga Bay of Plenty New Zealand


I was a bit sceptical because last year I found about half a dozen or so of these seeds, but they were all empty — quite a disappointment.

But this year, after some research, I discovered that if you soak the seeds in a bowl of water for around 24 hours, the seeds that sink are good, and the seeds that are still floating are empty and useless.

This year about 95% of the seeds floated, so we were all set to get planting!


inside tea seed

 Inside the hard exterior shell you'll find a fresh, white inside which looks quite similar to a macadamia nut.

growing tea seeds

I had to pick up all the seeds pretty quick because once the hens caught wind of what I was up to, rummaging around the base of Mr Tea Plant, they were keen to snatch up as many seeds as they could too!

After soaking the seeds for about a day, I planted them with about 1cm of planting mix covering each seed, placed my plater trays in the green house and waited... patiently...

Growing Tea Plants

About a month later... success! The first sprouts of Informal Tea's new tea plants emerged from the soil!

How to grow Tea Plants new zealand

Now we just have to wait another 2-3 years before they will be ready to harvest!




What do you think?


  • I bought some tea plants from Mitre 10 on 2016, will get some tea leavies next spring. I like your tea of the first photo, it’s thick leaf, Can you sale me some seeds or young plants?

    Louis on

  • Hi there – very exciting to hear that you have managed to grow some tea bushes! I have wanted to grow my own Tea for years but never see these trees anywhere. Would you consider selling me one of your baby bushes? My number is: 02102587579. Would be grateful to talk to you. Wondering where you found your first poppa tree? Jan. 🎄🧑🏼‍🎄🤗🌺

    Dr Jan White on

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    hostasy on

  • Congratulations Sir. It’s exciting that you are working on tea. I have interest in tea. I own a tea garden in Bangladesh. I am, so to say, a tea researcher. I would be pleased to share my experiences with you.
    Dr. Asgar Hossain.

    Dr. Asgar Hossain on

  • Where can I buy a tea plant?


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