Growing tea in Kentucky?

The only place in the United States to grow tea is on an island off the coast of South Carolina. The tea plants there were brought to the island over 200 years ago by a man who thought he could start a business selling tea in the colonies. Because the top leaves are cut in tea production the plants are the original plants from 200 years ago.

Kentucky is probably much too cold to grow the tea plant outdoors. You might be able to grow tea plants in a cold frame, or you could grow them in a greenhouse.

For comparison, coastal South Carolina and the milder coastal regions of Washington State both have commercial tea growing operations. The interior of the country, including Kentucky, usually has too extreme cold snaps for the plant. It can take a light frost but cannot handle prolonged cold.