Tea tree | Leptospermum scoparium

The tea tree (Myrtaceae) is native to Australia where it grows as an evergreen shrub or small tree. The small needle-like leaves are very aromatic and are used by the Aborigines to make tea. The tea tree usually flowers in spring but in a conservatory it already starts flowering in late winter. There are a large number of varieties: as well as the white-flowering varieties, there are also pink and red-flowering varieties with single or double flowers. It needs a warm, sunny position in rather acid soil and regular watering. The soil must never be allowed to dry out or become waterlogged. Use only soft water to water the plant. Apply a rhododendron fertilizer every 14 days.

Large specimens can be cut back after flowering. In winter the plant should be moved to a light, well-ventilated room with a temperature of 10° C (50° F) to ensure the prolific formation of buds. Water sparingly during the winter. It is propagated from cuttings and young plants should be pruned several times.

13. September 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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