How to Grow Tea Herbs

Overview

Herbs for making tea can be grown in a home garden with ease. Nothing is better on a cold morning than a cup of tea made with preferred flavors right out of the garden. There are many different herbs with flavors that combine well to create custom tea blends.

Step 1

Locate your tea herb garden in an area that receives at least six hours per day and the area must be well drained. Pick an area away from regular foot traffic or play areas. The site for the garden will need to be near a water source for easy watering during dry periods.

Step 2

Remove all grass in the garden area and turn over the soil with a shovel. The garden does not have to be large. A 4-by-4 foot area is adequate for a tea garden. Add a layer of compost across the garden space and till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

Step 3

Dig a hole as deep as the herb's nursery pot the herb and twice its diameter. Remove the plant from the pot and gently pull apart the roots. Place it in the hole and fill with soil. Push down to stabilize the plant in the soil. Water after planting and mulch with straw, cocoa hulls, grass clippings or other types of mulch to retain the water around the roots.

Step 4

Plant German chamomile and bee balm (also called bergamot or monarda) at the back of the garden. These plants grow 2 to 4 feet high. Harvest the daisy-like flower of chamomile and flowers and leaves from bee balm. Dill seeds and foliage can also be used for tea and it is a tall plant.

Step 5

Plant sage, pineapple sage, and basil as they are moderately sized plants growing 1 to 2 feet in height. Leaves can be harvested from all these plants. Basil is the only annual and will not come back in the next year, though it may reseed itself. Try regular basil and cinnamon basil. Lavender can also be planted with this group of herbs. The purple stalks of flowers should be harvested before they completely open.

Step 6

Plant low-growing herbs at the front of the garden. This would include thyme, oregano and summer savory. Thyme comes in flavors and lemon thyme is considered a tea herb. The leaves of these plants should be harvested for tea.

Step 7

Sink invasive plants in large pots filled with potting soil among the other herbs in the garden or around the edges of the garden. Mint is invasive and needs to be placed in a pot or it will spread and overtake other plants, according to The Herb Companion. There are a variety of mints to try including spearmint, peppermint, lemon, orange, lime, chocolate, apple and lavender, just to name a few. Position pots containing different varieties at least 2 to 3 feet apart so they do not cross pollinate and all taste and smell the same. Another invasive tea plant is lemon balm, which is in the mint family.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never take more than one third of the plant when harvesting the herbs. Space harvests at least three weeks apart so that the herb does not get stressed. Most tea herbs can be air dried. Place flowers in baskets or on screens and tie the leaves in bunches and hang from a beam or the ceiling. Place in airtight containers when dry or they can get mildew.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Compost
  • Various herb plants
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • 8 inch or larger flower pots
  • Potting soil

References

  • The Herb Companion: Create Tea Time in your Tea Garden: Best Herbs to Grow for Tea
  • Disney Family: Grow Tea Herbs in Your Home Garden
  • Planet Green: Grow an Herbal Tea Garden
  • Allsands: How To Grow And Prepare Herbs For Tea

Who Can Help

  • Io: Tea Time
Keywords: Growing tea herbs, Herbs for tea, Planting tea herbs