Starting & Growing Tea Trees, Melaleuca alternifolia
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Brenda
Posted on: December 15, 2010

I’d love to start a tea tree for myself but I’d like to know my chances of even trying to in my Michigan, USA. climate. Here’s my question: How would I start it- (what kind of soil & watering care does it need?). I live in Michigan, so it’s probably too far north for the garden, but if it could start in the house, maybe it would keep growing. Could you give me some hints on how to start it & keep it growing? How big does it get & does it bloom?

Tea tree likes neutral to acid soil and likes to be moist at all times. It dies when it dries out. You will have to grow it indoors in the winter, since it is a tropical plant. The seeds are not hard to germinate, but take their time to do so: 90 to 120 days. So make sure you have sterilized the soil by pouring boiling water over it and letting it cool, covered. I would suggest a soil-less medium such as Pro-Mix to cut down on the soil pathogens present in the first place.

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