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TEA Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze (CAMELLIACEAE; Theaceae s.l.)

The tea grown in China and Japan is all C. sinensis var. sinensis ('China tea'), which has smaller leaves and more cold tolerance but grows less vigorously than C. sinensis var. assamica (Mast.) - the basis for the tea industries South - East Asia, Africa and South America.

Tea, the beverage obtained by infusing the leaves in hot water, is used worldwide. The beverage derives its stimulating and refreshing properties from the high concentration of the alkaloid caffeine, specific polyphenolic compounds, and the aroma complex present in the leaves of young shoots. More than 80% of the present world tea production is consumed as black tea. In addition to the regular black tea, consumers in the industrialized world are offered several specialty teas based on origin (e.g. Darjeeling), blend (e.g. English Breakfast) or added flavour (e.g. bergamot, orange, jasmine).
Ecology and planting
Seedlings, at densities of 11,000 to 14,000 bushes per ha, have one vertical stem with lateral branches from buds in the leaf axils. Flowering starts when tea plants are about 4 years old. Root development, whether the initial taproot of seed-grown tea or the adventitious roots of cuttings, is important in tea cultivation. Pruning and harvesting results in a large number of branched twigs with leaves to develop in the top 20-40 cm of the closely planted bushes. Harvest of the apically dominant shoots encourages a second generation of shoots to grow: by fast-growing flushes after 30-40 days (warm and wet weather) by slow-growing after 100 days or more (cool and humid conditions).
Mycorrhiza & Bio-fertilizers
Tea plants are propagated usually from hard cuttings in nursery pots. The best way of introducing Symbivit® mycorrhiza is to inoculate the layer of soil in pots approximately 3 cm below the end of the cutting where most of the new roots develop. Mycorrhizal symbiosis will develop within 2 months. 10 % of biomass increase in inoculated plants in nursery can be observed then. Expected effects are mainly reduction of plant mortality and enhanced resistance to transplanting shock - inoculated plants show 10% less mortality within planting. More vigour of tea plants transplanted to the field, higher tolerance to soil salinity, nutrient deficiency and mainly to drought stress can be expected. Conavit® is added only within field planting and this application increases growth by 15% after 5 months as compared to untreated plants. Use of combined treatment in the field reduces the need of fertilizers within the first two seasons after planting by 50%.
Recommended products:
Symbivit: mycorrhizal product
Conavit: slow release fertlizer

Contact: info@plantaglobe.com

More details:
Info sheet Tea [PDF]