Camellia sinensis. Getty Images

Camellia sinensis

  • Botanical name: Camellia sinensis
  • Plant Type: Shrub, Evergreen
Flower colour:


Foliage colour:


Camellias are popular winter- and spring-flowering shrubs, bearing masses of colourful blooms when little else in in flower. 


Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub, widely grown in many parts of the world for the production of tea. It’s native to China, Japan and Korea. It has attractive, serrated leaves and bears small, fragrant, white flowers with gold stamens in autumn. The young leaves can be picked in spring and dried to make your own tea.

Grow your own tea

Grow Camellia sinensis in a partially shaded spot in moist, acidic soil. If you don’t have acid soil in your garden, you can grow camellia in a pot, filled with peat-free ericaceous compost. For best results, grow beside a wall, which will protect it from the harshest winter weather. Avoid exposure to strong morning sun, which can damage flower buds after a frost, and cold dry winds. Make sure the soil is kept moist in dry weather to prevent bud drop. Feed with a balanced fertiliser in spring and early summer and mulch once a year with bark or leaf mould. Water potted plants with rainwater, which helps keep the pH of the compost low (acidic). 

Camellia sinensis is frost hardy but may need protecting with fleece during severe winters.

More on growing Camellia sinensis:

Where to buy Camellia sinensis

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How to grow Camellia sinensis

  • Plant size

    4.5m height

    2.5m spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Partial shade
  • Hardiness: Frost hardy
  • Soil type: Acidic

Camellia sinensis and wildlife

Camellia sinensis has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Camellia sinensis poisonous?

Camellia sinensis has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Camellia sinensis