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E. sinica is a popular herb in China, because of the chemical called ephedra it contains. Ephedra acts as a stimulant and has been known to treat some health problems, such as asthma, hay fever, and the common cold. Ephedra is usually referred to as "Mormon Tea", because the Mormons in North America brewed tea from a non-alkaloid producing species of Ephedra.
Mormon Tea is native to China where it is commonly used as a herb. These evergreen shrubs make nice groundcovers for shrub borders or rock gardens. Mormon Tea requires little maintenance and can grow in poorly fertilized soils.
|Plant Types:||Perennial, Shrub|
|Height:||3 feet to 4 feet|
|Width:||3 feet to 4 feet|
|Zones:||3a to 8b|
|Special Features:||Not North American native|
|Shape:||Upright or erect|
|Fertilizer:||Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food|
|Want to know where Mormon Tea will thrive in your house or garden? The EasyBloom Plant Sensor will give you a plant's-eye view of your environment to measure soil, sunlight, temperature and humidity.||
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Depending on the hardiness of the species, sow seeds in fall or spring. Sow tender seeds in spring, and hardy seeds in containers in an open frame in fall. Conduct division also in fall or spring. Division entails propagating a plant by splitting it into 2 or more parts. Each part has its own root system and more than one shoot or dormant bud.
Grows best with full sun exposure. Ephedra works well as groundcover in a shrub border or rock garden. In areas where Ephedra is not growing hardy, raise plants in a cold greenhouse.
Plants are dioecious (that means the male cones are borne on separate plants as the female cones are). Blooms very small flowers followedy by spherical fruits.
Grows best in soil with poor to medium fertility and excellent drainage.
Poor to moderately fertile soil works fine for Ephedra.
Pruning is not generally necessary.
The only real issue for Ephedra is rust.