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Tea plant 'Zairai'  

Camellia sinensis

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Zairai is part of the Camellia genus and is a Tea plant variety. Its scientific name is Camellia sinensis 'Zairai'. Zairai is a variety of OP Tea plant . The leaves of this particular variety normally show as   Fern green colour. This variety is an Flower that typically grows as an Evergreen, which is defined as a plant that retains leaves throughout the year. Zairai normally grows with a tree-like habit.

Japan is believed to be where Zairai originates from.

Be aware that Zairai Tea plant typically needs a fair amount of maintenance and care in order to grow successfully. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests. Pay attention to weeding, feed and pruning schedules to ensure your plant remains in peak condition.

This variety plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Zairai have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Zairai

  • Partial Sun

  • Medium

Plant in acidic loose soil. Potting soil is ok as long as it does not have peat moss (this causes root rot). I have used a mix of aged pine bark and top soil, but any medium is fine as long as it drains quickly and does not hold on to water.

Try to plant in a location that enjoys partial sun and remember to water moderately. Keep in mind when planting that Zairai is thought of as hardy, so Zairai will tend to go dormant or grow slowly over the winter months. The USDA Hardiness Zones typically associated with Zairai are Zone 7 and Zone 11. Zairai requires a sandy soil with a ph of 4.6 - 7.5 - it grows best in moderately acidic soil to weakly alkaline soil.

Growing Zairai from seed

Store in fridge in plastic baggie with a moist paper towel. When you are ready to plant soak in water for 5-10 minutes. Separate floaters and sinkers, the sinkers sprout better/strong/first. You can still plant the floaters but they may take longer and may be weak.
Plant in a warm area after danger of frost, should be in full to deep shade with protection from the wind.
The warmer and milder the weather the sooner they will most likely sprout.

Look to ensure a distance 1.95 feet (60.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - bury at a depth of at least 0.49 inches (1.25 cm) deep. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 4°C / 39°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Zairai

Once they have a few true leaves they can slowly be moved from full shade to partial shade, but be careful as they can burn easily. Once you feel they are big enough you can move them to full sun, but allow them to transition slowly.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Zairai is a hardy plant.

Harvesting Zairai

You can Harvest the Fruit (seeds) and leaves

Expect harvests to start to occur in mid spring.

Tea plant Zairai Etymology

This is called “wild tea”, It is a catch all name for potentially cross pollinated seeds (example Yabukita X sae midori). Unless seeds are hand pollinated and isolated they are automatically assume to be Zairai.

Other Names for Tea plant 'Zairai'

Camellia Sinensis V. Sinensis C. Zairai, Japanese Small leaf tea, Tea camellia, Ocha,