March 6, 2008

Growing Herbs for a Tea Garden

If you love hot tea as much as I do you probably walk around with a cup of tea in your hands, especially in the cold winter months. Have you considered planting a Tea Garden?

We will be carrying the most extensive herb collection in the Kansas City area this year with many varieties of herbs well suited for this Spring project. Group your plants together by their growing habits and you will be sipping your own home brew in under a month.

You don't need a large space for a tea garden. Some herbs can be grown in containers for those without access to a garden area. Grab a container for your sunny window inside or balcony outside.

Great herbs for your tea garden -


Spearmint makes a nice hot or iced tea. Orange mint has a nice citrus scent and flavor. Also consider peppermint, apple mint, and chocolate mint.


Sweet woodruff is a native plant to woodland areas and thrives in shady conditions. Its star-shaped white flowers bloom in spring and summer. The leaves are most flavorful during the blooming phase.

Use the blossoms from the chamomile plant, rather than the leaves. Soothing and enhances sleep.


Lemon Balm has a distinct lemon aroma. Also, try Bee Balm.


Rose hips are full of antioxidants, and has a citrus taste. Slice the hips in half before steeping. Rugosa roses produce the largest hips.


Lavender creates a floral tasting tea that can be blended with other herbs like chamomile.


Try sweet fennel for tea. When dried the seeds have a strong licorice flvor.

Other herbs to consider for your tea garden-

Agastache Seeds (Lavender Hyssop)

Anise Seeds

Bergamot Seeds

Catnip Seeds

Shiso Seeds

Summer Savory Seeds

Herbs can be used fresh from the garden or dried. Air-drying herbs is a simple and easy process.

  • Harvest herbs mid- morning after the dew has dried but before the plants have been exposed to strong sun.

  • Cut lengths of herbs that are long enough to tie together in bundles.

  • Hang the herbs after tying upside down in an area that has low humidity and is out of direct sunlight.

  • Once the herbs are completely dry, crumble them and store in airtight container.

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