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Tea Tree Oil

Melaleuca alternifolia

Tea tree oil plant, Ti tree (Eng.)

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This tree species is well-known in the aromatherapy industry for its amazing all-purpose essential oils. This tree can flourish in many South African gardens with varying soil types. The highly aromatic leaves and willowy look-a-like growth habit, make this elegant tree species a must have in the garden.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest the flowers for use in floral arrangements soon after the flower opens. Harvest fresh new branches to be used immediately or dried and used later.

Propagation

Seed
Sow the extremely small seeds in a deep seed tray at a depth of 1-2 mm, space them 10 to 20 cm apart. Germination takes about 3 weeks so be patient. Thin out seedlings that are too close together.

Special features

Attracts birds
Nectar drinking sunbirds are attracted to this species.
Attracts useful insects
Beneficial bees are attracted to the flowers.
Repels harmful insects
Due to the high essential oils within the leaves, make this plant unpalatable to many insects pests.
Drought resistant
This plant originated from marsh areas of Australia but can withstand long periods without water.

Geography

Origin
Australia; New South Wales, Queensland.
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The extracted oils are used in aromatherapy, used in the treatment of many minor insect bites, wounds. It contains antibacterial, antifungal and anticeptic properties which make it a must have in any first-aid medikit.
Ornamental
This species grows well in a wide range of soils and climates. It prefers well-drained but moist soils and to be grown in full sun

Personality

Family
Myrtaceae
Flower colour
, Cream, White
Scent
Strong

Problems

This tree suffers from very little pests but can fall under fungal attack if an abundance of water is given and sits for long periods of time around the roots (water must be able to drain off or into the soil.).

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