Tea Plant Propagation for Nursery Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2024: $29,764.00
Projected End Date: 07/31/2027
Grant Recipient: Washington State University
Region: Western
State: Washington
Graduate Student:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Carol Miles
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC


  • Additional Plants: other


  • Crop Production: greenhouses, nurseries, varieties and cultivars
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, participatory research, technical assistance, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities, new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    Tea (Camellia sinensis) is an emerging specialty crop in
    the United States, however, the limited availability of tea plant
    material and limited knowledge and skill for tea plant
    propagation are major barriers for tea production in Washington
    and the United States overall. Tea propagation guides did not
    work well in Washington, but through preliminary experiments at
    Washington State University (WSU NWREC), we have identified
    techniques that work well in our region. This research project
    will evaluate the rooting and plant growth of 14 different tea
    varieties during propagation in western Washington. The
    experimental design will be a randomized complete split plot with
    14 main plot treatments, 2 subplot treatments, and 3
    replications. We will provide hands-on training on tea cutting
    propagation methods to our grower partner at the grower’s farm in
    the first year and to all growers and nursery propagators at WSU
    NWREC in the second year of the project. We will develop guides
    for propagating and planting tea in western Washington. At the
    end of this project, tea plants will be available for WA nursery
    growers to collect cuttings upon request. We will post all tea
    plant propagation and establishment information developed by this
    project on our website https://vegetables.wsu.edu/tea/.
    We will share project results with stakeholders in meetings,
    field days, and conferences. This research study will develop
    appropriate techniques for tea plant propagation so that
    nurseries can sell tea plants locally and nationally and be a
    part of the emerging tea industry in the United States.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Research objective:

    1. Conduct varietal trials of tea plants for propagation

    Educational objectives:

    1. Provide hands-on training on tea cutting propagation method
      to growers
    2. Write an extension guide on tea propagation for Western
      Washington nursery grower and a guide on garden/field planting
      for customers
    3. Present research results at conferences
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.