Tea plants were formerly grown from seed bit in more recent years, new tea stocks have come from cuttings and from layered rooted branches. Also cloning has become a technique to reproduce the best producing and most resistant crops of teas.
New plants are raised in nurseries and transplanted after 6 months of growth. The plants are about 6-8 inches tall when they are moved to the plantations. When they are planted in the plantations they are given 16 square feet to fow without pruning or plucking for two years. After that period the plants are trimmed back to approximately 1 foot high and allowed to grow again. They are then pruned every week to maintain a waist high height. Plucking for commercial harvesting begins when the plant is between 3 to 5 years old, depending on altitude and conditions. In countries where tea is grown there are limited harvesting periods due to a dormant winter season. There are 4 major harvesting periods throughout the year between March and September. First harvest teas have the best soil conditions, temperature and precipitation. The best teas come from Spring and Autumn weather conditions. The early Spring harvest of tea is well sought after and is the most desired because it is considered to have the finest quality of tea. To obtain the best quality of tea, two leaves and a bud are removed from each shoot, Hand Picked allows for the best quality of tea.