Tea tree (melaleuca)

Kind like melaleuca (tea tree) is directly related to the myrtle family. It brings together about 200 species of evergreen shrubs and trees. In nature, they can be found in Indonesia, New Caledonia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and also in Malaysia.

Simple leaves have a lanceolate or ovoid shape, and they are located on the shoots, in most cases, alternately. Some species have no petioles at all, while others are short. Fragrant flowers are collected in rather loose inflorescences, having the shape of a ball or cylinder, they are similar in appearance to a panicle or brush. The peculiarity of the inflorescences is that each of them continues with a new growth. The flower mainly consists of stamens, which are collected in 5 bunches. Its petals fall off when flowering is just beginning. Over time, strong closed capsules appear in place of flowers, inside which there are seeds. These capsules are very tightly pressed against the branches.

Such a plant not only has inflorescences of an unusual shape, it also has a flaky bark, painted in a light color shade. There are species with exfoliating thin, rather large pieces of bark, which is why the tea tree is also popularly called the paperbark tree (Paperbark).

Moreover, these trees and shrubs are medicinal, which was recognized by official medicine at the beginning of the 20th century. Essential oils are found in large quantities in any part of the plant, which destroy microbes, viruses and fungi.

Tea tree care at home

This plant is not very capricious and can be grown quite simply at home. However, for a regular, lush bloom, the tea tree needs to provide the most favorable conditions.

Earth mixture

Suitable soil should be slightly acidic or neutral and fairly loose. For self-preparation of a suitable soil mixture, it is necessary to combine sod land, peat and sand in a ratio of 1: 2: 1. When planting beautiful melaleuca, you need to increase the proportion of sand.


The plant must be fertilized during intensive growth 2 times a month. To do this, use a complex fertilizer for indoor plants.

How to water

In the wild, the tea tree prefers to grow on river banks, as well as in swampy areas. In this regard, it must be systematically watered abundantly. If the soil is allowed to dry out completely, the plant, as a rule, dies. But it is also not necessary to allow stagnation of water in the soil, because this can provoke rotting of the root system.

For irrigation, use soft settled water. To soften hard water, experienced flower growers advise adding a little acetic or citric acid to it.

With a cool winter, water the plant a little less and less often. So, watering is done after the top layer of the substrate dries slightly.


High humidity is required. In order to increase it, systematic spraying is needed (especially on hot summer days). Also, to increase humidity, expanded clay can be added to the pallet and water can be poured.


It needs bright lighting, but it needs to be shaded from the midday direct rays of the sun. Daylight hours should be approximately 12 hours, and the illumination level should be 6000–7800 lux. If there is not enough light, then the plant must be supplemented with special phytolamps. In the event that there is enough light for the tea tree all year round, it can bloom again in winter. If there is little light, then the shoots become elongated, and part of the foliage falls off.

Temperature regime

If supplementary lighting for the plant is not provided, then its wintering must be cold (about 10 degrees). In summer, melaleuca feels good even at high air temperatures, however, the midday direct rays of the sun can leave burns on the foliage.


Systematic pruning is required all year round. The bush can be given absolutely any shape, as well as shaped it in the form of a tree or a bush. Also, during pruning, you can remove branches that have already faded, since the resulting seed boxes spoil the spectacular appearance of the plant.

Young plants must be pruned. In order for the bush to branch better, it is cut off at a height of 10 centimeters. After that, you should prune each new stem until you achieve the desired branching.

Transplant features

While the tea tree is young, it must be replanted once a year, while choosing a pot with a larger diameter than the previous one. Adult specimens undergo this procedure as needed, for example, when the roots no longer fit in the pot. You may not transplant into another pot, but simply cut the root system and replace the top layer of the substrate.

Reproduction methods

This plant can be propagated by seeds, as well as lignified annual cuttings. The seeds are simply scattered over the surface of the moist soil, and there is no need to deepen them. Then the container is covered with glass and placed in a well-lit place. The first shoots can be seen after a little over a week, but if the temperature is less than 20 degrees, then it can take up to 4 weeks. At first, the growth of seedlings is extremely slow and a greater number of young plants may die. A tea tree grown from seed blooms for the first time in the 6th year of life.

Semi-lignified cuttings can be 6 to 8 centimeters long. They can be rooted both in the soil and in a glass of water. To increase the chance of rooting, you can use remedies that stimulate root growth.

Diseases and pests

Most often, spider mites settle on a plant grown in indoor conditions, but mealybugs can also start. In order to destroy them, it is necessary to carry out treatment with appropriate insecticides. For example, you can take Akarin, Aktellik or Fitoverm.

Most often, the plant is sick due to violations of the rules of care. So, all the foliage can fall off, or burns appear on it from direct sunlight, the root system rots or the tea tree dies altogether.

You should know! Alternate-leaved melaleuca can be easily confused with paniculata leptoospermum (also called manuka or New Zealand tea tree). So, often, images of another are attached to the description of one plant. They are actually very similar in leaves, but their flowers are completely different. Also, these plants differ in fields of application and properties. In this regard, when preparing some kind of folk medicine, it is necessary to find out exactly which of the plants is meant.

Main types

For growing at home, the types listed below are most often chosen.

Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Or the Australian tea tree - this species is most often grown at home. A plant native to northeastern Australia. This is a short tree, which is characterized by slow growth and green narrow long leaves, which are very similar to spruce needles. In length they reach 1–3.5 centimeters, and in width - about 1 millimeter. It blooms from late spring to early summer, with abundant flowering. Snow-white dense inflorescences reach 3-5 centimeters in length, and outwardly they are very similar to small cylindrical brushes.

Melaleuca diosmifolia

Or green honey myrtle is also one of the most popular types in home floriculture. He is originally from Western Australia. This small shrub has small (about 1 centimeter long) green leaves. They are located on the stems extremely tightly in a spiral, while they have the shape of an oval. Green-lemon flowers are collected in small (up to 5 centimeters long) inflorescences in the shape of a cylinder, which are located on short lateral stems. Flowering lasts from late spring to early autumn.

Linseed melaleuca (Melaleuca linariifolia)

This plant is native to the east coast of New South Wales and South Queensland. It is a short evergreen tree with fast growth. Greenish-gray alternate leaves like linseed. In length they reach from 2 to 4.5 centimeters, and in width - up to 4 millimeters. In the summer, flowers bloom at the plant, which have an external resemblance to bird's down feathers. They are collected in snow-white short (up to 4 centimeters in length) inflorescences that are similar to panicles. Due to the abundant flowering, during which the flowers cover the plant almost completely, in some English-speaking countries it is also called Snow in Summer, which means "Summer Snow". In indoor floriculture, the variety "Snowstorm" is very popular, which is a dwarf form of linseed melaleuca.

Melaleuca beautiful (Melaleuca pulchella)

Or Claw Honey myrtle - native to Western Australia. It is a low creeping shrub. Its dark green oval-shaped leaves are very small, so they reach 2–6 millimeters in length. Pink-purple flowers, which have an unusual shape, are collected in rather rare inflorescences. The flowers have 5 groups of long stamens fused together, which are located next to the sepals. The shape of the flower is bent inward and therefore it seems that in front of you are fingers with claws in the form of anthers. Therefore, this plant is also called the Claw flower.

Melaleuca nesophila

Or pink honey myrtle (Showy Honey Myrtle) - this tall shrub is native to Western Australia. Greenish-gray leaves reach 2 centimeters in length. Lilac-pink flowers are collected in small (up to 3 centimeters in diameter) inflorescences shaped like a ball. Flowering is observed from late spring to mid-summer. The most popular variety is "Little Nessy" (Little Nessy) - a spectacular dwarf shrub.

In specialty stores, you can buy other equally decorative varieties of tea trees.

Bonsai tree

The author of the article: Pravorskaya Yulia Albinovna, 69 years old
Agronomist, over 45 years of experience in gardening Read on to learn how to grow a small tree called bonsai at home. Helpful tips on how to care for the plant, as well as a video with recommendations for care.

Bonsai art is native to the ancient east. Lovers of indoor plant growing were immediately captivated by this unique opportunity - to settle at home a piece of nature itself. Born in China and cultivated in Japan, bonsai has become popular all over the world.

At home, you can grow a delightful, amazingly beautiful miniature of a tree, which will be an exact copy of a carmona (tea tree), pomegranate, myrtle, ficus, azalea or peach growing in natural conditions.

Bonsai at home gives magnificent colors of spring flowering, freshness of green foliage in summer, golden charm of autumn and winter intricacies of branches, resting and waiting for the arrival of a new spring.

Indoor bonsai requires attention to itself, careful and proper care. Indeed, the plant is based on a tree that grows in a natural subtropical or tropical climate, coniferous forest or other conditions that are not so easy to create at home. Therefore, it is better to choose the type that is most close to the conditions of a particular region. However, with proper care, beautiful copies of exotic plants can be grown.

Types and varieties of tree lilac

The tree lilac looks a lot like a tree, but is actually a shrub.


Compact bushes of dwarf lilacs of this variety do not grow more than 1.5 m.The plant grows only 10 cm per year.The shoots are brown, the leaves are small, up to 47 cm.The length of the inflorescence is on average 10 cm.The colors are varied: white, purple, red ... Blooms in the last decade of May - early June. It can withstand both severe winters and dry summers.

Ludwig Shpet

Sprawling shrub with bright purple flowers, gathered in a large panicle. It grows up to 3.5 cm. Lives over 100 years. Growing fast. Homeland - Germany.

Miss Canada

An unpretentious plant, reaches a height of 2.5 m. It blooms profusely, flowers are small, burgundy-red. Prefers sunny areas with loose soil.

Michelle Buchner

Light-loving shrub up to 4 m high. Prefers fertile soils with good lighting. It grows well in urban conditions, this variety is used for landscaping. The flowers are double, lilac. Blooms in late May and blooms for quite a long time.

Madame Lemoine

The variety acquired its name in honor of the wife of the French breeder Victor Lemoine, who bred it. Panicles are large, up to 20 cm long and up to 8 cm wide. In the buds, the petals are green at first, but when blooming, they change color to white. Blooms profusely annually.

Beauty of Moscow

This beautiful variety is distinguished by its double flowers, similar to those of a rose. The color is pinkish-white. The diameter of the flower reaches 2.5 cm, the length of the panicle is 25 cm.

Blooms for a long time. A very beautiful and unusual variety.


The variety got its name for its unusual flowers, bright purple with a white border. The flowers are large, with a weak aroma. The leaves are dark green. Mostly propagated by cuttings.


It differs from other varieties in an unusual variegated color of foliage. The flowers are semi-double, rather large, with a strong aroma. The bush is tall, under favorable conditions it grows up to 4 m.

How to grow a tea tree at home

Although this plant is called a tea tree, it looks like an evergreen shrub. The food product obtained from it is well known to everyone - it is tea.

In the rooms, the type of Chinese tea tree is grown, reaching, when grown in a container, only 40-50 cm in height. Its leaves are small (4-10 cm), with short internodes. Young shoots are covered with delicate silvery hairs. The tea blooms very beautifully and bears fruit regularly.

Optimal placement

Tea can be grown on windows of any orientation; temperature is more important for its cultivation.

Temperature and temperature requirements

In late autumn and winter, it is advisable to keep the tea tree in rooms with a temperature of 5-8 ° C. If there is no such place in the apartment, you can grow it in ordinary rooms (in this case, the tea will bloom worse and its decorative effect may decrease).

Potting requirements

The substrate for growing tea should be loose and sour (pH 4.5-5.5). Any loamy-humus soil is suitable, but the tea tree grows best in the For Azalea soil. Good drainage is essential.


Tea is propagated by seeds and annual lignified cuttings.

Seeds are sown immediately after harvest. They are buried in the soil to a depth of 3-4 cm. Seedling care is unremarkable.

Cuttings are carried out in the early spring and summer periods.

Plant formation and pruning

When the tea seedling reaches a height of 15-20 cm, to stimulate tillering, it is pruned at a height of 10 cm from the soil surface. The next year, the second pruning is done at a height of 15-30 cm. The third and subsequent pruning is carried out annually.

Requirements for watering and atmospheric humidity

In the summer, the tea tree needs even, abundant watering, in the fall and winter, they are reduced to moderate. Spraying is not required under normal conditions. To increase the humidity of the air to the desired level, the pot is placed on a pallet of gravel, into which water is poured. Spraying and electric humidifiers are usually used in winter if the tea is kept at a temperature that is too high for it.

During the growing season, the tea tree should be fed regularly once every 10-15 days. Liquid concentrated fertilizers can be used. In winter, feeding is stopped.

At a young age, the tea tree is transplanted annually, and at an older age - once every 2 years.

Other care

Other care includes loosening the soil and pest control. The main pests of tea trees are scale insects, tea moth and tea aphid. With excessive moisture, tea can also be affected by fungal diseases, in particular, various spots.

In summer, it is advisable to take the tea tree out to an open balcony or garden.

Based on materials from the book by M. Tsvetkova "Kitchen garden on the window and balcony"

Hidden text

Internal use

Only after consulting a doctor! 1-3 drops of oil in a glass of herbal tea or a spoonful of honey (for intestinal and other infections, diseases of the respiratory tract, sepsis, fungal, gynecological diseases and diseases of the genitourinary system - wound healing, bactericidal, diaphoretic effect), (only as prescribed by a doctor!)

with neoplasms: (only as directed by a doctor!) 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil + 2 drops of vegetable oil in a bread capsule (take 2 times a day after meals for 3 weeks. Then 2 weeks - a break, and you can repeat the course.

1 drop of Tea Tree Oil + 1 teaspoon of milk (or take 2 times a day after meals for 3 weeks. Then 2 weeks - a break, and you can repeat the course (in case of neoplasms).

Enrichment of cosmetics: 3-5 drops of oil per 5 g of base (for the care of oily skin prone to inflammation, fungal diseases).
Enrichment shampoos: 2-3 drops of oil per 10 g of base (prevention of dandruff, head lice, prevents hair loss).
Saunas, baths: 3-4 drops of oil in a composition with other oils per 8 m2.
For kids: can be used from birth.
Oil burner: 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with manuka and rosalina + 2 drops of lemon oil per 5 sq. meters
Aroma bath: 5 drops or in composition with other oils on an emulsifier (skin diseases, neurodermatitis, psoriasis).
Massage: 5 drops per 10 g base (muscle pain after exercise, joint diseases, relieves joint pain).
Rubbing: 7-8 drops of oil per 10 g of base (joint pain, myositis, neuralgia).
Inhalation: 3-4 drops per 200 ml of water, duration 5-10 minutes (colds, cough).
Aroma medallion: 2-3 drops (prevention of colds, helps to concentrate).
Foot baths: 2 coffee spoons Foot bath salts + 5 drops of oil (fungal diseases, cold feet syndrome, swelling of the feet).

In case of individual intolerance to the components of the product, when applied to the skin, a burning sensation is possible for 2-3 minutes. The reactions are natural.

Watch the video: Melaleuca Australiana Tea Tree

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