Tea Seed Difficult to Germinate
Answered by: Ginny Cotterill
Question from: Kevin
Posted on: August 13, 2010

Hi! I am having problems starting the seeds and could use some help please.

Tea seeds ( Camella siensis) can be difficult to germinate. The seeds must be freshly harvested ( less than one year old) to be viable, so always sow the seed as soon as you receive it from us at Richters Herbs. Tea seeds have a hard coat covering the embryo. To assist in the germination process, this coat must be cracked. You may use a knife and nick the coat. This is painstaking and may injure the delicate embryo. Therefore, a preferred method is to begin by soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours. Then place the seeds on a tray in a shaded area where you can mist them. They must be kept damp. After 1-2 days, some of the seeds will have cracked open. Alternatively, instead of placing the seeds on the tray, you may mix the seed with damp peat moss and place in a baggie where it can be stored in the fridge. Check periodically for seed cracking. Once the seeds have cracked open, plant them an inch deep in a flat of soil-less medium. Place the flat in a fairly shaded area, at about 80%. Within a month or two, seeds should begin to germinate. When the seedlings have 2 to 4 leaves, they can be transplanted and gradually moved to a less shady area, of about 40-50%.

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