How to Garden With Tea Leaves


Tea has always been a popular beverage. However, in the last few decades the popularity of green tea has risen thanks to discoveries that green tea is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants. When you have finished with your tea bags, you might be tempted to throw them out. But instead, why not compost them into your garden? In addition to being packed with antioxidants, green tea leaves are filled with nitrogen. Nitrogen-laden leaves are considered organic green materal. When mixed with carbon-filled organic brown matter and allowed to decompose, tea leaves turn into a nutrient-rich compost that plants love.

Step 1

Separate your compostable scraps into organic green and organic brown materials. The color of the matter is unimportant. Organic green materials are rich in nitrogen. Although tea leaves may dry to a brown color, their high nitrogen content makes them an organic green. Examples of organic greens include tea leaves, kitchen scraps, grass clippings and clover. Brown materials include hay, wood chips and sawdust, dead leaves and paper.

Step 2

Layer your organic greens and browns lasagna-style into a pile that is at least 3 feet square, but no more than 5 feet square. Your organic brown layers should be twice as thick as your organic green layers.

Step 3

Wet the pile with a garden hose. Then cover it with a tarp and leave it to decompose.

Step 4

Check your compost pile every three days. If the pile is cool to the touch, stir the contents with a pitchfork to heat them again. The pile should always feel warm to the touch, but not too hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea leaves
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Grass clippings
  • Clover
  • Hay
  • Sawdust
  • Wood shavings
  • Dead leaves
  • Paper shreds
  • Garden hose
  • Tarp
  • Pitchfork


  • Teapot Diversions Website: Are you Composting your Tea Leaves
  • University of Illinois Extension: Building Your Compost Pile

Who Can Help

  • PlanTea Inc Website: 163 Things you can Compost
Keywords: Compost pile, organic green material, tea leaves

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.