Store-bought herbal tea is costly. However, you can grow herbal tea at home.
There are many different plants that you can turn into herbal tea. Today, we’re going to give you a guide on how to grow herbal tea. It’s quite an easy process.
Best Plants to Make Herbal Tea With
Before you can grow anything, you need to determine which plants you want to turn into herbal tea.
The best options include mint, lavender, chamomile, bee balm, lemon balm, lemon verbena, roses, basil, horehound, ginger, and cornflower.
We recommend researching this as the flavors will vary from one herb to another.
How to Grow Herbal Tea: Tips
There is a wide variety of herbs and plants; therefore, we can’t give you a step-by-step tutorial on the process.
Each plant you may want to turn into herbal tea may have slightly different requirements. However, we can provide some general tips that should work for most herbal tea plants.
1. When to Plant
Most plants used for herbal tea should be planted in the early spring. Although not always the case, most of these plants will not survive a frost. Therefore, don’t plant anything for several weeks after the last frost date.
Of course, if you have enough room, growing them indoors is always an option. However, you will likely need to supplement sunlight with a grow light when growing indoors.
2. How to Plant
You also need to decide whether to grow your herbal tea plants from seedlings or if you want to buy seeds. You need a seed starter tray if you start your plants from seeds.
Get a tray with a seed-growing medium. This could be something as simple as peat moss. Some people germinate the seeds in a wet paper towel and then plant them directly in the soil. If this is your first time attempting to grow any kind of herb, doing so from a seedling is recommended.
You can purchase seedlings from a local garden store and then plant them in the soil; this is much easier and safer for the plants. In addition, the chances of a seedling continuing to grow are much better than growing from seed.
When you transplant a seedling into your garden, be very careful. Many herbs have delicate root systems, and if you damage these root systems, the rest of the plant will die.
Moreover, when planting these plants, fully cover the root systems with soil and pack that soil down just a little bit. Keep the soil fairly loose, but not too loose.
Plant your seedlings from 3 to 12 inches apart. This will depend on the plant you’re growing for herbal tea.
We recommend researching the plants you are growing. Some herbs like natural sunlight more than grow lights. This will depend on the specific plant.
3. The Right Soil and Nutrients
Ensure you are using the right kind of soil. Generally speaking, use soil either designed for leafy plants or for vegetables; you will be consuming these plants, so you want to use organic potting soil that doesn’t have toxic chemicals.
In addition, you can mix in some fertilizer with your soil. However, this should be organic fertilizer; you don’t want to put anything into those plants you wouldn’t want to put into your body.
The most essential nutrients are phosphorus and potassium, and your plants will also need a bit of nitrogen.
However, keep in mind that too much nitrogen can result in the leaves tasting funny or not having much flavor. If you use high-quality potting soil, you won’t need much fertilizer.
Also, consider using mulch. Half an inch of mulch on the soil below the plants will help with moisture control and prevent weeds from growing through the soil.
4. Light, Water, and Soil Conditions
The amount of light and water needed will depend on the specific plant. For example, some plants only require four to six hours of light per day, whereas others need eight or ten hours.
Watering also depends on the plant itself. However, a general rule of thumb is that plants need about an inch of water per week.
In addition, water your plants in the early morning or late in the evening. You don’t want the sun beating down on the soil when you water your plants. This will cause too much water to evaporate and not be absorbed.
Be careful not to get any water on the leaves. This can cause fungus and other diseases to grow on the leaves. Only water the soil.
5. Harvesting and Storing Herbal Tea
Harvesting your plants to make herbal tea word is pretty straightforward. In most cases, you either cut off the leaves or the stems.
The harvesting method will depend on the specific plant. However, you can clip off the leaves in many cases, and the rest of the plant will continue growing. This is the case with leafy plants such as basil.
You will get the best flavor from fresh herbs. However, if you’re growing a lot of plant matter, you won’t be able to consume it all before it goes bad. However, you can easily dry these herbs for future consumption.
Create little bundles and tie them together with twine. Hang them in a dry and dark area. The area needs to be absolutely dry, and the plants should not be exposed to sunlight.
Also, hang these little bundles upside down, so the flavorful oils drain into the leaves. Finally, store them in an airtight container when the leaves are thoroughly dry.
Growing herbs in your garden is not a complicated process. There are dozens of different plants you can turn into herbal tea. This is, in part, what makes this process so exciting—the continuous experimenting.