Before you tip over your teapot and pour out the tea bags, consider this: they have more than one purpose. From beauty to cleaning to home health remedies, tea is a best-kept secret.
You may know about tea bag use as a remedy for eye afflictions, toothaches, or razor burn. But did you know that they’re good for greenery too? Wet, dry, open, or closed, tea bags make a great addition to all your plant-related endeavors.
Find out how to use one of the world’s most popular drinks in your garden. Check out this list of nine ways to give your tea some new life and make your plant game top notch.
Tea helps to speed up the decomposition process of organic matter. Paper or muslin tea bags can be added to the compost pile, provided you snatch the staples out first. For non-biodegradable tea bags, you can slit them open and use the moist tea leaves in your compost.
Roses love it, and so do houseplants and garden plants like ferns; tea makes a nutrient rich fertilizer with its tannic acid and nitrogen-boosting properties. To use as a fertilizer, you can brew up some tea or mix damp black tea leaves into the soil or spread it around the base of the plant. Keep in mind that because of tea‘s acidity, it may not be beneficial for plants that require neutral or alkaline soil.
Step outside and you’re bound to run into some type of bodily hazard. Poison ivy, sunburn, or bug bites can all be treated with tea bags. For stings and bites, used a cooled tea bag as a compress to relieve itching, sting, and inflammation. With poison ivy or sunburn, you can either use the compress method, or make tea to add to lukewarm water in a bath. Soak up its healing properties.
Rodents don’t like the smell, nor do cats. Bugs and slugs can be kept at bay with some tea leaves sprinkled into the soil. Use dry tea leaves or a moist bag that’s been cut open. It is thought that the caffeine can keep pests from eating or urinating on your garden turf.
Did you know tea has strong antifungal properties for plants? Water or spritz your outdoor and indoor plants with diluted brewed tea to prevent fungicide. In addition to black tea, chamomile holds a special place among gardeners for dispatching fungus from plants. Steep a few bags of chamomile tea for 16 to 24 hours before using as a spray or watering solution.
Have a few empty patches on your lawn? Some folks soak grass seed in brewed tea before sprinkling in their yards. Others plant used tea bags into dirt with fresh grass seed. The moisture and nutrients from the bag help new grassy hairs to sprout.
Speaking of sprouts, you can germinate seeds inside of teabags to get your plant party started! Dampen the bags just a bit, slice them open, and place one seed inside of each. Place them in sunlight and keep them moist until your seeds start to sprout.
Water & Dirt Retainer
Placed in the bottom of plant pots or containers, tea bags help to keep dirt in the pot and also to retain water. Planted in soil holes, the bags also help to keep roots moist upon planting seeds or transplants.
Loose tea leaves or a bag of tea can be turned into a weed-killing concoction. Apply brewed black tea to weeds, or make a tea recipe of citrus (orange or grapefruit), tea, and water. Black tea steeped in a jar of vinegar with orange rind can also be used as a spray.
Enjoy your next cup of tea and save those bags for another purpose. Make your garden glorious with these tips and other DIY gardening remedies. Happy planting!
Have you ever used tea successfully to boost your green thumb? Which of these tricks would you try? Tell us in the comments!