How Tall Can a Tea Tree Grow?

Tea trees can grow up to 20 feet tall (6 meters). The tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is native to the warmer regions of Australia. Also called “paper-bark” because it has flaky peeling bark, it can be a beautiful exotic addition to your home whether outdoor or indoor. They are both attractive and aromatic to have around your home, evergreen thin leaves alternately arranged gives the appearance of a conifer. Flowers are produced in clusters along the stems with fine small petals.

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Grow your own tea tree

They can thrive in warm-climate gardens with constant watering. With the right climate conditions, tea trees can grow several feet per season. In cooler climates, the tea tree won’t grow as fast. Do not plant your tee tree outside unless you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 or above.

Can a tea tree grow indoors?

Growing a tea tree indoors is an ideal alternative if you can’t grow them outside on your garden because of the climate. Grow a tea tree in a container and position it by a window where it can receive sunlight. The trees need sun to thrive, whether they are planted indoors or out. In summer, take them out under the sun, then move them back in during winter. 

Tea trees grow in water-saturated, riparian or swampy soils. Provide your tea tree a heavy, lime-free soil that is low in nitrogen and make sure it drains easily and avoid fertilizers.

How to water a tea tree in a container

Tea trees love water saturated soil and will not thrive if drainage is limited, even ones grown outdoors. Specific watering requirements may vary depending on the soil mixture, temperature and other factors of the environment. However, the general rule of thumb is to make sure to always keep the soil moist at all times and never let it dry out.


Follow the brand’s recommended instructions when applying fertilizers. Fertilize regularly to avoid salt build-up. You may choose to cut back on fertilizer or not feed the tree during winter. 


  • If you find you can’t keep up with soil moisture.  Add some organic mix to the soil like coconut husk fiber or mulch, which can retain moisture longer.
  • If your tea tree show signs of needle drop, it can mean your plant is too cold or too dry.    Move it to a different location and observe how the tree reacts.

  • Use/make humidity trays. Place shallow tray filled with small pebbles underneath the tea tree’s container to catch water coming out of the drainage. This can help increase humidity level.

Whether you just want another beautiful addition to your garden or you see yourself as a budding herbalist, a tee tree can be a lovely addition to warm climate garden and as a lovely potted plant. There is also usefulness beyond its beauty; the tea tree has medicinal applications. Oil extracted from the leaves is considered as natural antiseptic and can be used to treat burns, insect bites, wounds and skin infections. Native Australians have been using tea tree extracts for thousands of years.