Drinking tea is a large part of cultural traditions and daily life across the world. In fact, some people even grow herbs of their own to brew, which is now known as tisanes or herbal tea.
By growing your own tea garden, it will allow you to do the same thing too! In this article, our outdoor experts have listed the five must-have plants and herbs you can grow in your tea garden. Plus, we’ll teach you how to plant, harvest and brew them. Shall we begin?
Mint is a fast-growing and easy to care for plant that makes an excellent addition to your tea garden. It’s best to grow them in average soil and after the last frost.
Even if you’re planting in the ground, growing mint in pots is a great way to keep them from taking over your tea garden. Planting them near barriers like sidewalks is also ideal for preventing the mints from spreading.
If you use containers or pots, place the herbs 18 to 24 inches apart. Regularly feeding them with a water-soluble plant food will promote excellent leaf production. Once they’re established, harvest them by pinching off the stems.
For a quick and easy fresh mint tea, harvest some fresh leaves then tear them up slightly. After that, add them in boiling water for three to seven minutes. Learn more about how to grow mint here, courtesy of Bonnie Plants.
Chamomile is a herb that is known for its calming effects. This daisy-like flower has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for different health conditions. It can increase appetite, and also relieve indigestion.
German and Roman are its two popular varieties. German chamomile is ideal for small gardens or planters while the Roman ones make an excellent ground cover.
You can grow chamomile both indoors and outdoors. Plus, they grow best in well-drained soil and a sunny spot. However, they can’t tolerate temperatures over 98 degrees for too long, so make sure to keep that in mind.
To make chamomile tea, harvest the flowers and hang to dry in bunches. Once the stems have dried out, take them off and store them in a sealed container. To brew, prepare two teaspoons and then infuse into hot water for five to ten minutes.
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is considered as a part of the mint family. This herb is used in traditional medicine as well as a sleeping aid and digestive tonic.
If you wish to grow lemon balm in your garden, it’s best to do it from early spring to early summer. You can also start seedlings safely indoors late in the winter, and set them out in the springtime.
They grow best in rich, well-drained soil and full sun. However, just like mints, lemon balm tends to spread. The good thing is, you can grow this herb in a pot or container to prevent it from scattering. Cutting back the flowering stems in the late summer will also do the trick.
To make a lemon balm tea, cut a few fresh leaves and add it in boiling water for two to five minutes.
Lavender produces beautiful purple flowers that have relaxing properties. Therefore it’s understandably one of the most common plants used as essential oils for aromatherapy. Plus, it’s known for its calming effects on the mind, especially when used as a sleeping aid.
You can grow them indoors with pots or planters, but if you want to grow them taller and have better air circulation, it’s best to sow them in your garden. Growing them outdoors can also help deter fungus. It’s a win-win for you!
Do it in late summer or early autumn. You can harvest the stalks just as the flowers bloom and let them dry before storing in a sealed container. To brew, add four teaspoons of dried lavenders in boiling water for two to five minutes.
Hibiscus plants are known for their big, colourful flowers. Not only can its blossoms make a perfect decorative addition to your garden, but they can also be used for medicinal purposes.
Just like with the other herbal teas, hibiscus is made from a mixture of dried hibiscus flowers, leaves, and dark red calyces (the cup-shaped centres of the flowers). Hibiscus tea has a very tangy flavour and a rich red colour.
The tea can be used to help lower blood pressure, as well as for stomach upset, fever, cramps, and sore throat. Plus, hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, meaning it can help to improve your immune system as well.
While you’re here, take a look of our other plant-related articles that as beneficial as the tea garden plants: