Are you looking for a new project while stuck at home? Grow your own herbal tea indoor garden! There is nothing more comforting, relaxing, or social than having a nice cup of tea after a long day of work or a cold winter’s day. And if you’re a regular tea drinker, growing an indoor tea garden sounds like a smart idea.
In this post, we’ll talk about the benefits of growing an indoor herbal tea garden, how to grow one and ten easy herbal tea plants you can grow to add more flavor to your teapot. Read on to get started!
The Benefits Of Herbal Tea & Growing Your Own Herbal Tea Indoor Garden
From its Ancient Chinese roots spanning 4000 years, an herbal tea made its way across all seven continents and into the hearts of people around the world. Plus, it’s one beverage that comes in a variety of flavors and preparation methods.
It's no secret that tea is a popular selection for people who want to improve their health naturally. Herbal tea leaves are caffeine-free and contain nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that vary on the blend.
Some of the health benefits include relaxation, pain reduction, improved digestion, and immunity. Research also shows that herbal tea improves the health of cancer and diabetes patients. Here are the top benefits of herbal tea and growing your own herbal tea indoor garden:
1. Home Grown Flavors
Growing your own herbal tea indoor garden can provide you with different enjoyable blends and improve your home decor with beautiful flowers and aromatic herbs. Unlike growing vegetables and fruits, growing herbs in your indoor garden is simple and requires little maintenance. Plus, you can use those homegrown herbs in your cooking.
2. You Save $ Money $
By growing herbal tea plants at home, you save money that you would have otherwise spent purchasing expensive, commercially produced herbs and teabags. It will also save you from the hassle of going to the store every time you run out of tea.
3. It Can Help You Unwind
Herbal tea is famous for its calming effects, and different cultures have used it for centuries in social events and as part of their daily post-work relaxation ritual. It’s a great alternative to taking medication to relieve pressure and stress for modern generations.
4. Herbal Tea Boosts Your Immune System
Even people who casually drink tea buy it for its positive benefits, such as boosting immunity. Most of us are advised to have a hot cup of tea whenever we catch a cold or flu because it offers antifungal and antibacterial properties.
5. Tea Can Help Reduce Pain And Soreness
People usually treat pain with over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs that generally also have some side effects. Alternatively, many herbal teas have natural pain-relieving properties minus the negative side effects.
6. Improve Your Digestive System
Herbal tea is beneficial because it can absorb gas, improve blood circulation in the digestive tract, and cut toxic particles that can cause indigestion or an upset stomach. They contain phenols that can strengthen stomach and esophagus muscles, reducing heartburn and acid reflux.
7. It’s Calorie-Free!
Tea is a better-tasting alternative to water because it also has zero calories. Studies also show that green tea promotes waste loss. But, keep in mind that only the tea is calorie-free, and this does not apply to teatime extras, like sugar, honey, or biscuits.
8. An Alternative To Other Beverages
The ingredients you need for herbal tea are easy to grow and provide a great alternative to other beverages like coffee, pre-packaged teas, alcohol, and carbonated soft drinks. Plus, with every cup of homegrown herbal tea, you also save money by not spending it on other beverages.
How To Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Indoor Garden?
While there are many types of teas available on the supermarket shelf, most originate from the “Tea Plant,” or its scientific name Camellia Sinesis. This is an evergreen plant with glossy green, pointy and fragrant leaves that undergo different processes before it becomes the final product we see every day. But, if you plan on growing this, it’ll take even three years before you can start harvesting it.
And that is why growing a herbal tea indoor garden is a great alternative to warm you up on a chilly morning. Whether you’re a newbie looking for a low-stakes entry into indoor gardening or not interested in substantial edible gardening, all you need is a sunny window, a container, seeds, and water. Let’s get started:
1. Select Your Herbs
We recommend starting with your everyday herbal tea plants like Chamomile, Lavender, peppermint, basil, coriander, lemon verbena, etc. These are popular tea herbs that can also add exciting flavors and scents to your teapot. Besides, most culinary herbs are suitable for tea and have their benefits. So, feel free to create custom blends by combining different combinations.
Most herbs grow well indoors, but those that thrive indoors are mint, basil, rosemary, and thyme. You can start with seeds or herb cuttings by soaking them in water until their roots sprout. But, we recommend doing your research and starting your indoor tea garden with seedlings from a local garden shop.
2. Remember To Choose Appropriate Containers
You can buy different types of herb pots from stores or online, but the truth is, you don’t need to, as any container will work well, as long as it has some drainage. You can use any size container as long the plant fits, so you don’t have to re-pot when they become too big for it.
If you’re using jars or glass containers, it’s advisable to place a layer of pebbles in the bottom to suck the excess moisture to avoid soil dampening. Lastly, try to use small containers if you regularly have to rotate or move the plant to ensure it gets enough sunlight.
3. Choose The Sunniest Spot
Most herbs need a lot of sunlight, so you’ll want to give your herbal tea indoor garden at least six hours of sunlight per day. To maximize exposure, place the plants strategically close to your brightest window and avoid setting them in the center of your room.
If you live in a single-floor dwelling, you can even install a grow light. This may be an expensive investment, but if you plan to grow plants indoors regularly, it’s worth it! Besides, the growth rate is slower in the winter due to fewer natural light hours, so there’s one reason to get one. But, if you don’t want to spend too much, consider investing in a grow light that is preferably an LED one.
4. Water Regularly But Carefully
Most herbs are low-maintenance plants, so they need little water for sustenance. But remember that you need to ensure that the soil is consistently moist but not soggy. During summer, the leaves might begin to wilt and turn yellow, which indicates that they need more water. During winter, they need considerably less in comparison.
5. Harvest A Little At A Time
When your herbal tea indoor garden is ready for harvest, start with a few leaves and avoid removing more than a quarter of the plant at a time. While regular cuttings encourage new growth, overcutting could kill the plant.
6. Tea Preparation
There are two types of herbal tea plants – fresh and dry. For fresh herb tea, pick the herb’s leaves or flowers, then crush them between your fingers to release the scent and flavor. Then, place two teaspoons of fresh herbs into a strainer and steep in hot water for 5 to 7 minutes.
If you plan to use dry herbs, store them in airtight containers and leave them for a few days or a week. When they’re ready, prepare them the same way. If you don’t like herbal tea’s bitter flavor, you can always add some sugar or honey to sweeten it or squeeze in some lemon juice or zest for a fruity flavor.
5 Herbs You Can Grow in Your Herbal Tea Indoor Garden
Now that you’re all set to grow an indoor herbal tea garden, here are five popular herbs you can easily grow at home:
Mint is a hardy plant that is reasonably low-maintenance. It will grow on any soil and lighting conditions.
How To Grow Mint Indoors From Seed?
To start, place seeds into a pot or container with soil, and put them outside for a few days until they germinate. Give it about two inches (about 5 cm) of water per week, and keep the soil moist but don’t overwater. Mint grows in the direction of the sunlight, so rotate the pot once or twice a week.
But, they are an invasive plant species, so you need to pick the leaves often. This offers three benefits – promotes growth, keeps the plant bushy, and provides a running supply of the herb.
The Health Benefits Of Mint Tea?
Mint is an excellent plant that can help you deal with nausea or indigestion. You can choose from peppermint, apple mint, Moroccan mint, or spearmint, and all of them provide similar benefits.
Most people think that rosemary is a savory herb, but it also works well in herbal teas.
How To Keep Rosemary Alive Indoors?
Rosemary prefers 8-10 hours of sunlight per day but still manages to grow well in lowlight conditions as long as you water the plant as soon as the topsoil becomes dry. You’ve probably wondered why gardeners grow herbs together, and it’s not just for space. This method is called companion planting, and rosemary does well when planted with thyme or chamomile, making it even more flavorful and keeps the pests away.
The Health Benefits Of Rosemary Tea
It’s an easy plant to grow and take care of and makes a valuable addition to any indoor garden. It contains antioxidants that boost your immune system, and you can brew rosemary tea to help with flu, fever, or colds.
Thyme is another excellent addition to your herbal tea indoor garden. It’s a cousin of thyme and comes in different varieties.
Is It Easy To Grow Thyme Indoors?
It’s a pretty hard plant to grow from seeds, so buy a plant that’s already grown and use its cuttings instead. You can harvest it as soon as it begins to flower, although you’ll need plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. But unlike most herbs, you should let the soil dry out before watering.
The Health Benefits Of Thyme
Thyme is a natural cough remedy, and you can brew tea using fresh or dry leaves. It contains antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and expectorant properties that can kill viruses and bacteria.
Chamomile is one of the oldest and most popular herbs to grow in your indoor herbal tea garden.
How To Grow Chamomile Indoors In A Pot?
The plant needs only four hours of sunlight daily and grows small in contrast to most indoor plants. As long as you keep the soil moist, place the pot near a south-facing window and water it consistently. You’re all set to brew a sweet-tasting chamomile tea!
The Health Benefits Of Chamomile Tea
These flowers help with insomnia and anxiety, reducing inflammation, treating diabetes, and lowering blood sugar, to name a few of its benefits.
5. Lemon Verbena
As the name suggests, lemon verbena is a lemon-flavored herb that people usually drink as a digestive aid, making it a perfect drink after dinner.
How To Grow Lemon Verbena Indoors?
The herb also has relaxant qualities to soothe stomach cramps and relieve stress. To grow it in your herbal tea indoor garden, you’ll first need a much larger container than your average herb pot because they grow pretty tall.
Lemon verbena also needs bright but filtered light, so you should place it a couple of feet (about 61 cm) away from a sunny window for the best results. Provide it with well-draining soil, and water it consistently once the top dries out.
Looking For More Herbs To Grow In Your Indoor Tea Garden?
The five herbs we mentioned above are the most common ones people grow in their indoor tea garden. But, there are also many other herbs you can grow at home to add more flavor to your teapot. Some of them include:
- Echinacea to fend off infections and minimize aches.
- Lavender improves sleep, reduces inflammation, and aids respiratory health.
- Hibiscus to lower blood pressure, boost liver health, and promote weight loss.
- Lemon Balm for cold sores, boosting cognitive function and easing insomnia.
- Rose hip to help with weight loss, reduce joint pain, and promote healthy skin.
Ready To Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Indoor Garden?
We hope you found this post entertaining and informative. If you want to learn more about growing a herbal tea indoor garden, we recommend checking out our other posts about growing herbs, where we ‘plant’ more ideas for anyone who wants to dig into the world of herb gardening.
Featured image credit – j.chizhe/Shutterstock.com