How Tea Can Help Your Garden

tea gardenAfter savoring the aroma and flavor of your cup of tea, did you know that the used tea leaves can continue to benefit you and your garden? Tea is a powerful fertilizer, so powerful in fact that recently Harvard University switched to an organic fertilizer comprised partially of green tea.  There are many ways you can use your used tea leaves to fertilize your garden.  Some people simply throw their used tea leaves on their garden when they are finished, and while this is a simple and easy way to utilize tea leaves to fertilize your garden, I recommend using a hand rake or other similar utensil to regularly work the tea leaves into at least the top few inches of soil.  This not only allows the roots of your plants to get the maximum exposure to the tea, but also prevents mold from accruing on tea leaves that are on top of your topsoil.

You can also pour tea that you’ve made directly onto the plants to fertilize them.  In fact it’s a treat that your plants will love if you replace their regular water with a cooled down brewed tea occasionally .  You can use teabags as well as loose tea, but again, be sure to work the used teabags into the soil, and tear up the tea inside them so it gets maximum exposure to the plant roots.

Alfalfa tea is said to be especially good as a plant fertilizer however black tea, green tea, and oolong tea also make wonderful fertilizer, as does red rooibos tisanes.  Tea from the Camellia Sinensis plant (e.g. Black Tea, Oolong Tea, Green Tea and White Tea will be highly acidic and therefore more beneficial to acid-loving plants such as rosebushes, rhododendrons, azaleas and hollies and many others.

No matter how you share your leftover tea with your plants, they will surely benefit from it, just as you do from your regular intake of tea.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

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3 thoughts on “How Tea Can Help Your Garden

  1. Pingback: Tea and the environment: How to green your cuppa - T Ching

  2. Thanks for posting this.

    My husband left a cup of green tea sitting in the microwave overnight. I stopped him from pouring it down the drain because I thought it might be a good plant food but I wanted to be sure before using it on my cherished plumeria.

  3. Eve-Lynn

    Reading this article brought back the memory of my mother using her loose tea leaves. She would pour them and the small amount of water left in the pan onto her Passion flower vine, which was gowing up a pole on the edge of the carport outside of the kitchen. The Passion Vine just loved it! She did this every time she made tea, which was at least every other day. My family was living in South Florida at the time, so we always drank ice tea, but the tea leaves still went to the Passion Vine anyway.:-)

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