I’m a Proud Father of Two

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.  I spread my seed and the result is the miracle of new life!

The seed was, of course, that which I had painstakingly gathered from the formerly hornet-infested of my two tea plants and documented in an earlier post.  Once the seed pods had popped open, I put them in water for a bit and discarded the floaters–I understand they rarely sprout, and if they do, the plants are typically weak and runty.  (I kind of like that word: runty)

Anyway, I gathered up the six “sinkers” and poked them down into a well wetted half-sand, half-potting mix concoction that I’d put in the bottom of a gallon-sized plastic zip seal bag.  I sealed up the bag and left it on the sill of one of our sunny south-facing windows.

Frankly, I expected to be disappointed.  After all, I tried to root cuttings of my favorite rose bush (it was here when we bought the house) and 100% of them dried out or rotted.  And I had at least twice as many chances with that one.  And the plant is more suited to this climate.  So I figured the seeds were gonners.  I gave ’em up for dead.

But a couple of days ago, my partner yelled “Hey, you’ve got to look at your tea plants!”  I thought to myself, “Oh great, what now?  Hornets again?”  But when I went to look, I saw he wasn’t pointing outside at the plants I knew about.  Instead, he was pointing at the “nursery” bag.  There were two shoots, unmistakably something from the Camellia genus.  (I bet he didn’t think he’d also be a proud father either…)  A 33% germination rate was more than I could have hoped for.

Well, I was overjoyed.  I think I danced around like a crazy man for a few minutes.  Or maybe more.  If I smoked, I would have given out cigars.  But I don’t, so I celebrated by boiling up some of the cousins of my new babies and had a nice cuppa instead.  (Ew.  I know, it didn’t occur to me until later how macabre that was…)

Anyway, I’ve just finished moving the “boys” out of the nursery and into their new rooms.  I think they’re big enough that they shouldn’t be sharing the same bag any more.

Stay tuned for more on the little rascals as they grow up.

Oh, and to underscore the geeky part of “Tea Geek,” I’ll end with an excerpt from the lyrics of the best song ever written for the end of a video game:

“This was a triumph.
I’m making a note here:
It’s hard to overstate
my satisfaction.”

4 thoughts on “I’m a Proud Father of Two”

  1. I also have two cute young tea sprouts about the same height as yours (I’m guessing from the pic).
    I got the seeds at the UW; they have some low tea hedges in the gardens there. The name tags say Camellia sinensis, but give no more details.
    I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what they taste like when they’re older.
    It’s a good thing that they produce a lot of nuts because I had the same problem with germination, and was beginning to think I’d have to wait until next year to try again. They really do take their time sprouting.
    I was so happy to see that little bit of green.

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