Audubon® New Jersey Tea
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A rocky, barren patch of land or an unmowable hillside comes alive when you plant New Jersey Tea! This tough native Accent endures drought and fixes its own nitrogen (it feeds itself!), so it can thrive where other plants fail. It also feeds bees and countless other pollinators when its cloudlike white blooms erupt in early summer. Hummingbirds feed on some of the smaller pollinating insects, adding valuable protein to their usual diet of nectar. New Jersey Tea’s handsome foliage hosts around 40 species of caterpillars, too, which in turn nourish songbirds and their chicks.
May Benefit & Attract: Hummingbirds and songbirds
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AAA (12-18" tall) container grown
Size AA (18-24" tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
New Jersey Tea is native to not only New Jersey, but most of the eastern half of the United States. It gets the other part of its name from its leaves, which have a wintergreen flavor and can be brewed into a refreshing, caffeine-free herbal tea. New Jersey Tea has several other uses and pet names, such as “Red Root,” because of its taproot, which yields a red dye. That thick, deep-growing taproot enables the plant to survive when fire strikes, an important adaptation in the western part of its range, where fires were once more common.
In rural areas, Turkey and Quail may feed on New Jersey Tea’s seeds in late summer. They must time their visits just right, however, because the seed capsules burst open when the seeds are ripe, flinging them away from the parent plant!
How to Grow
Because New Jersey Tea is a taprooted plant, it may take some time to get established. It will concentrate on root growth before top growth. Plant it in full sun, in any type of fast-draining soil. Rocky or sandy sites are no problem. Water regularly the first year, but go easy on the fertilizer—this plant is happiest in lean soils. Prune New Jersey Tea in early spring if necessary. Blossoms appear on the new growth, so you will not sacrifice flowers by pruning at the beginning of the growing season. Plant en masse for best effect.
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