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New Jersey Tea Seeds

Ceanothus americanus

  • HOW TO GROW
  • FAST FACTS
  • REVIEWS

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: This seed requires scarification and stratification to break its dormancy. Pour boiling water over the seeds and let them soak overnight; next, mix the seeds with moist sand and store them in the refrigerator for 70 days before planting. Direct sow the treated seed in the spring after the last frost, planting just below the surface of the soil. When planted in the fall, only the boiling water treatment will be needed before direct sowing the seed. Germination may be slow and irregular.

Growing: This plant prefers dry soil, and grows well in rocky or shallow soil. Though seedlings should be watered occasionally until they become established, mature plants handle drought well and do not tolerate excess moisture. This plant develops rather slowly, since producing its extensive, deep roots take much of its energy in the first few seasons; transplanting is not recommended because of these deep roots. Over time, it will spread and form a colony. This plant attracts butterflies, bees, and many other insects, as well as being a food source for deer and birds. This plant makes a lovely fragrant border as well as being a good addition to native prairie plantings; in winter, the yellow twigs remain attractive.

Harvesting: New Jersey Tea makes a very attractive, fragrant cut flower. Cut the stems long and place them in water immediately, stripping off the leaves that fall below the water level. For tea, gather the leaves when the plant is in full bloom; spread them out to dry fully, out of direct sunlight.

Seed Saving: This plant spreads its seeds by exploding them out of their pods, making harvesting a challenge. Keep a close watch on the heads, since they will explode soon after they turn a dark color. When the seed heads turn nearly black, remove them and spread them out to dry. A light cover of some kind may be necessary, since the seed heads may still explode and release their seeds as they dry. Separate the seeds from their pods and store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Redshank, Wild Snowball, Mountain Sweet, Redroot

Latin Name: Ceanothus americanus

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 6,600

Stratification: Cold/Wet for 8 Weeks

Germination Ease: Stratify 8 Weeks

Height: 36 Inches

Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Attracts Butterflies, Aromatic, Cut Flowers, Deer Resistant

Size Price Quantity
XL Mylar Packet (~100 Seeds) $2.50 -+
1/64 Oz Mylar (0.44g) $5.40 -+
1/16 Oz Mylar (1.77g) $8.00 -+
1/4 Oz Mylar (7.09g) $21.00 -+
1 Oz Mylar (28.4g) $60.00 Sold Out
1/4 Lb Mylar (113g) $240.00 Sold Out
1 Lb Mylar (454g) $900.00 Sold Out
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DESCRIPTION

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During the time of the Revolutionary War, the American colonists began making their own tea as a substitute for the expensive Chinese or British tea. The leaves of this nitrogen-fixing native shrub, which grew abundantly in New Jersey, could be used to make a beverage much like black tea. Native American women often used the fragrant flowers as a soap, since they produce a gentle lather and cleansing agent; the entire plant has also been used in the production of brown, green, and red dyes. This plant is a host for several butterfly species such as Spring and Summer Azures and the Mottled Duskywing. Its deep, extensive root system makes it one of the most fire-resistant shrubs on the prairie; fire may actually improve the germination of its seeds.


HOW TO GROW

Sowing: This seed requires scarification and stratification to break its dormancy. Pour boiling water over the seeds and let them soak overnight; next, mix the seeds with moist sand and store them in the refrigerator for 70 days before planting. Direct sow the treated seed in the spring after the last frost, planting just below the surface of the soil. When planted in the fall, only the boiling water treatment will be needed before direct sowing the seed. Germination may be slow and irregular.

Growing: This plant prefers dry soil, and grows well in rocky or shallow soil. Though seedlings should be watered occasionally until they become established, mature plants handle drought well and do not tolerate excess moisture. This plant develops rather slowly, since producing its extensive, deep roots take much of its energy in the first few seasons; transplanting is not recommended because of these deep roots. Over time, it will spread and form a colony. This plant attracts butterflies, bees, and many other insects, as well as being a food source for deer and birds. This plant makes a lovely fragrant border as well as being a good addition to native prairie plantings; in winter, the yellow twigs remain attractive.

Harvesting: New Jersey Tea makes a very attractive, fragrant cut flower. Cut the stems long and place them in water immediately, stripping off the leaves that fall below the water level. For tea, gather the leaves when the plant is in full bloom; spread them out to dry fully, out of direct sunlight.

Seed Saving: This plant spreads its seeds by exploding them out of their pods, making harvesting a challenge. Keep a close watch on the heads, since they will explode soon after they turn a dark color. When the seed heads turn nearly black, remove them and spread them out to dry. A light cover of some kind may be necessary, since the seed heads may still explode and release their seeds as they dry. Separate the seeds from their pods and store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Redshank, Wild Snowball, Mountain Sweet, Redroot

Latin Name: Ceanothus americanus

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 6,600

Stratification: Cold/Wet for 8 Weeks

Germination Ease: Stratify 8 Weeks

Height: 36 Inches

Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Attracts Butterflies, Aromatic, Cut Flowers, Deer Resistant

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