Like other woody shrubs, the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) can be asexually propagated from the small terminal branch sections, known as “cuttings”. Usually, the cuttings are treated with a hormone solution at the cut to facilitate the rooting process. IBA (Indole-3-butyric Acid) is commonly used dissolved in an alcohol solvent. Research suggests to increase the rooting %, to store the cuttings in an environment that will not desiccate the plant material, since it lacks roots to rehydrate itself. Often, cuttings are placed under plastic coverings and periodically “misted” to ensure adequate moisture. Factors that may affect the rooting of cuttings include: nutrition, juvenility, timing, the condition and type of cutting wood, wounding, and hormones.
This process yields exact genetic clones of the parent specimen, and is a desirable practice to quickly multiply the numbers of a particular plant exhibiting favorable characteristics (e.g., flower color, fruit size, or growth habit). Of course, it is by the ascertainment of the individual propagator that characteristics are deemed “favorable”.