Tea Tree Plant
Guidelines for Growing a Tea Tree Plant
One of the most exotic herb plants you can grow is the tea tree plant. A popular tea tree variety is the melaleuca alternifolia; this nice looking plant, plus it is used as a source for tea tree oil. This type of oil is very useful as an antiviral and antifungal, plus it has many other types of uses. Oil from the tea plant can be used as a natural disinfectant ingredient for household cleaners, plus this is also a popular ingredient in some natural mosquito replants.
There are a variety of tea tree plants that have different colored flowers and needles; these plants are often found in the swampy areas of Australia. This is a favorite landscaping plant, as it is fragrant and grows quickly, sometimes as much as much as several feet a season. You can grow this tree up to 20 feet or bigger. They can be trimmed down so that they do not get too big if you would like to grow them in a greenhouse, which would be necessary if you lived in a colder climate.
If you want to keep the tea tree plant from growing too big you will have to prune the top of the plant and minimize the size of the pot it is planted in. One of the most important elements of growing a potted tea tree plant is to ensure that you give it a lot of water. It is important that this type of plant never become dry, so to help keep the soil moist and the plant from wilting you may want to think about using a self-water pot. If you put your tea tree plant outside in the sun or keep it in your house during the cold months watering enough is even more important. This is why it is best to grow this type of plant in a greenhouse where you can keep the environment humid. Another method of helping the soil to remain moist is to use a soil that is not peat based.
Although the soil of the tee tree plant does need to remain most, it will still have to be a well drained soil and pot so that you can keep it moist without drowning the roots. Also the tea plant does best when kept in a sunny location that stays warm and has plenty of light. If you keep your plant indoors during the winter you will want to make sure that it has several hours of bright light a day so placing it next to a big window is best. Fertilizing frequently is another important step in growing healthy tea tree plants. This type of plant is an evergreen, which means that they need fertilizer year around.
If your tea tree plant begins to look wilted or as if it is dying, check to ensure that the plant is getting enough water and that there is some humidity, even if that is from extra watering. Another possible reason that a tea plant may start to die would be if the room it is in is too cool, don’t keep this plant around vents when you have your air conditioning unit running. You may also want to pay attention to how much light the plant is getting each day.
You should have no problems with pests infesting your tea tree plant; most insects do not like them because the oil in the leaves of this plant is so potent. If you do have any problems it will most likely be with the mealy-bug. There are many natural pest control measures you can take to rid your tea tree plant of mealy-bugs. If you do find this insect it will likely be in the bark of the trunk or the branches.
If you want a beautiful and fragrant plant for your greenhouse, garden or home, the tea tree plant is a wonderful choice.