Heralded as a comforting concoction with natural healing powers, herbal tea has long been enjoyed for a bevy of reasons—but mainly because it's simply delicious! It's perhaps even more flavorful when you grow your own ingredients. Why settle for a store-bought bag when tea gardening is so easy?
Whether you prefer yours piping hot or served over ice, you'll love the immersive experience of nurturing, preparing, and drinking homegrown herbal tea. Here's how you can get this family-friendly project brewing!
What You'll Need
- A sunny spot or a grow lamp
- Bonnie Plants herbs, like garden sage, rosemary, and sweet mint
- 10-inch pots for each plant, with drainage holes
- Lightweight potting soil like Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix
- Nutrient-rich fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food
- Sharp scissors
- A cloth towel for drying herbs
- A storage container
- Your favorite mug
Plant Your Indoor Tea Garden
Planting your indoor tea garden can prove as calming and relaxing as brewing your first cup. Make sure to inhale the fragrance of the herbs as you plant—it's a guaranteed pick-me-up.
- Place newspaper or an old sheet on your work surface for easy clean up.
- Fill each pot one-third full with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix.
- Remove the herbs from their nursery pots, and carefully loosen the root balls if necessary.
- Place the herbs in each of their containers so that the top of the root ball is about an inch below the rim of the pot (to avoid overflow when watering).
- Add more potting soil to cover the plant roots, and firm it into place.
- Water well to settle the plants and soil.
- Place your indoor tea garden in a sunny space, or add a grow light to a low-lit spot.
- A month after planting, begin a weekly fertilizer schedule using Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food (according to the label directions).
- Harvest no more than a third of each herb when you trim.
- For freshly picked herbs, wash the leaves, bruise them by gently crushing the leaves with a wooden spoon to release their aromatic oils, then use them to make your tea.
- For dried tea leaves, pick your leaves and let them dry on a cloth towel until they're crumbly, with no hint of moisture. Store them in an air-tight jar, and add a label to reduce any guesswork.
Brew the Perfect Cup
Most herbs develop a stronger flavor when dried, so you'll need a larger quantity of fresh herbs if you decide not to dry them. That's up to your personal preference! To help you enjoy your indoor herbal tea harvest, here are a few brewing tips.
Basic Herbal Tea Instructions
- 3 teaspoons freshly picked herbs or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs
- 1 cup boiling water
Boil water. Add fresh or dried herbs to an infuser and place in a teacup. Pour hot water—not boiling—over the herbs, and cover the cup to keep in aromas. Steep fresh herbs for up to 10 minutes, dried herbs around 5 minutes—or time it depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove the infuser and serve. Add a sweetener, like honey or sugar, if you like it a little more mellow.
Whether you prefer a calming cup of hot tea to release the tension of the day or a chilled glass of mood-boosting brew before work, an herbal tea garden gives you plenty of choices—and, perhaps, a project you can enjoy for years to come!