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Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

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Mikeyduece

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I'm trying to grow my own tea tree indoors to maybe make my own oil. I have not been able to find a site that would be able to offer any info on how to find out what nutrients this plant likes. I live in CO, so indoor growing supplies and nutrients are not scarce. haha. I'm sure my search string is not correct, but I want to get started on this and just can't find the info that I'm looking for. Im trying to get quicker, fuller growth on the leaves. I know there are nutrients that can help that, jsut curious if there is a general formula somewhere out there, if anyone knows.
Thank you for any help you arre able to offer on this. I know this is not the best place to post this but since I want to make soap with the oil, I figured what the H! :D :p:p
 

Obsidian

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Generally if you want more foliage, you need a fertilizer with more nitrogen. I house plant fertilizer that has balanced numbers or the first number a bit larger should help it grow well.
 

Jstar

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Found this site:

http://sagegardener.blogspot.com/2007/09/growing-great-tea-tree.html


They suggest:

"Because Tea Tree plants are evergreen, they do like fertilizer year round. Using an organic fertilizer will encourage the healthiest possible root system, resulting in a resilient, healthy plant. Organic fertilizers are safe to use year round, as they will not lead to salt buildup (non-organic fertilizers are very salty and build up in the soil - especially hard on long term potted plants such as Tea Tree). We use Total Nourish liquid concentrate on our plants, supplementing with Ocean Fish in summer months when growth is most rapid"

Hope this helps :)
 

galaxyMLP

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You are also going to need A LOT of leaves if you hope to get any quantifiable amount of oil out of them.

For example, with mint it takes 4 lbs of fresh leaves to get 1 oz of oil and with rosemary it takes about 13 lbs to get 1 oz of oil. Not that I've tried it of course. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the volume it might take.

Cloves is one of the ones that has generous amount of oil and only takes 1 lb to get about 1.5 oz of oil.
 

doriettefarm

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You are also going to need A LOT of leaves if you hope to get any quantifiable amount of oil out of them.

For example, with mint it takes 4 lbs of fresh leaves to get 1 oz of oil and with rosemary it takes about 13 lbs to get 1 oz of oil. Not that I've tried it of course. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the volume it might take.

Cloves is one of the ones that has generous amount of oil and only takes 1 lb to get about 1.5 oz of oil.
Appreciate the factoids about how much essential oil is yielded per pound of plant material. I've been toying with the idea of growing a bunch of herbs/botanicals and trying to distill my own EOs. This was a nice reality check for sure. I obviously need to do more research before deciding what will grow best in my climate and yield the highest ratio.
 

galaxyMLP

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Rose apparently takes something like 2 tons of petals for 1 oz of oil. That's why it's so expensive! Glad I could shed some light. I wanted to distill my own for a little while and I realized that probably wasn't going to happen...

Oh, and about the tea tree, maybe you can just infuse some oil with the dried leaves. It may not be a strong scent but it might be nice. :)
 
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Jstar

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I was thinking infusion too..you can make it stronger by removing and replacing leaves every couple of weeks into the same carrier oil...wont be as strong of course as the pure oil, but it could be very nice :)
 

Mikeyduece

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thank you so much for all the infno! man i knew it took a lot of leaves for the oil but wow! lol.
guess i might need to research a vendor that can sell in bulk, think i found a good site, $120 per gallon, lol ouch!
 
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