How to Grow an Indoor Tea Garden
Growing an indoor tea garden may sound challenging, but it is quite simple to create. With a bit of space, a few resources, and the right conditions, growing an indoor tea garden is relatively easy.
If you are a tea fanatic, what’s better than being able to make your tea from your very own indoor tea garden?!
There is just something incredibly rewarding about growing your tea. You could say it tastes much better than shop-bought due to the freshness of the tea leaves.
Follow this guide to find out why and how you should grow an indoor tea garden along with which plants you should grow.
Why Grow An Indoor Tea Garden?
Apart from being fun, helping your home to smell amazing, and bringing you closer to nature, here are a few more practical reasons why you should grow an indoor tea garden:
- It’s available all year round
Most teas are made from dried herbs from plants such as mint, lavender, and chamomile. When grown outdoors, you are very much at mercy of the seasons and weather where you live.
Growing tea indoors changes things considerably. It means you can control the temperature, light, water, and even humidity. This gives you back control and enables you to provide the optimal conditions for growing tea all year long.
- Easy Access
By planting an indoor tea garden, it provides you with easy access to your fresh leaves. You don’t have to walk to the bottom of your garden, or even order tea online. Growing your herbs indoors is convenient and can be collected for drying without any extra ‘faff’.
- Health Benefits
Various studies have demonstrated that house plants can have a positive impact on your health. From reducing stress to increasing productivity, improving the air quality to helping you recover from illness. House plants really do have a profound effect on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Tea gardens are no different. Choosing to grow a tea garden indoors offers the same positive impact as other house plants with the added benefit they can be used to make tea.
Related Post: How to Grow an Herbal Tea Garden
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How To Grow An Indoor Tea Garden?
Are you convinced to start your very own indoor tea garden?
If so, you need to first consider what your tea plants need to grow. As you are growing them indoors, you need to think about where is the best location.
You will need to ensure your plants:
- Have access to sunlight
- Are not positioned near a draft or radiator
- Are ideally placed near or in your kitchen to then dry the tea leaves
- Have enough space to grow
When starting your tea garden, use a container that provides drainage. You can start your seeds in a seed tray with holes in the bottom adding a couple of seeds per section. Place your seed pots onto a large tray to catch excess water.
It is also a good idea to use compost rather than soil from your garden. The soil from your garden can be clay-heavy and lacking in nutrients. Compost is full of the nutrients your seedlings need to start well.
Compost is also loose and less compact, helping to drain excess water.
When your seeds have germinated, you can transfer them to larger pots. If your home is quite warm, it is best to use a plastic container rather than a clay-based pot. Clay pots will dry out quickly and your plants will require watering more regularly.
Remember your tea plants need access to sunlight. If you cannot position them in an area that gains at least 6-12hours of sunlight a day, consider investing in a grow light instead.
Continue watering your tea garden based on how the soil feels. If it feels dry on the top 1-2inches, then it is likely your plants need more water.
Finally, provide fresh air for your plants. On a warm day, you can open a window slightly to provide a natural airflow. However, during the cooler, winter months, the cold air might shock your plants.
To provide an airflow, you can turn on a fan to its lowest settings. This flow of air can also help to prevent diseases and pests indoors.
One thing to consider is that not all plants are perennials. This means that some of your plants will not regrow the following year (known as annuals). It’s nothing you have done, it is just a case that they only last one year and then naturally die.
If you’d like to grow annual plants, keep this in mind and start your seeds before your original plant has died.
Remember, your plants need:
- At least 6-12hours of sunlight each day
- Compost for nutrients
- Watering when the top 2 inches of soil become dry
- A consistent, warm temperature
- A fresh flow of air
- Good drainage
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What Can You Plant In An Indoor Tea Garden?
Here are some popular herbal teas you can grow in your indoor tea garden:
Chamomile tea is extremely popular due to its calm flavor and health benefits. Chamomile grows with beautiful yellow-centered flowers with white petals, a little similar in appearance to daisies.
To make chamomile tea, you can harvest the flowers and leaves. They then need to be dried and stored as-is. When making tea, you can add both into your cup and pour over boiling water. Leave the tea to steep to your taste preferences before removing the flowers and leaves.
If you find the tea bitter, only use the flowers and do not harvest the leaves.
The ginger root grows well in pots and can be grown from the leftover ginger root from the shop.
Unlike other plants in your tea garden, ginger does not need drying before making tea. Instead of harvesting the whole plant, you can dig to one side of the plant and slice a section of the ginger root for use. You can then recover the plant with soil and it should continue to grow.
With your piece of ginger, clean it and thinly slice. Add a few slices to a cup of boiling water and leave it to rest for 5-10minutes. Remove the ginger slices before drinking.
Compared with other indoor plants, mint can grow extremely well due to its durability. Mint often will survive for 4-5years.
To make mint tea, you can either use freshly harvested leaves or by drying your leaves first.
Tear a few leaves to release their fragrance before placing them into your cup. Pour over boiling water and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes.
Lemon balm is well known to help reduce anxiety hence making it a good tea to grow in your indoor tea garden.
Lemon balm leaves are best harvested just before the flowers begin the bloom. This is when the oils are at their strongest.
When you have removed some of the leaves, they will need drying. An air dryer can be used to speed up the process.
The leaves can then be added to a cup with boiling water. Leave to steep and then sieve to remove.
By following this guide, you will be able to start and grow an indoor tea garden. Growing tea indoors is convenient, offers numerous health benefits, and is cost-effective.
Depending upon the plants used, your indoor tea garden can provide you with fresh herbs to use for tea all year round.
For more information on growing and drinking herbal tea, along with the health benefits, take a look at these posts:
- 5 Best Herbal Teas for Digestion
- 10 Best Teas for Allergies
- How to Grow an Herbal Tea Garden
- Best Herbs and Teas for Immune System