Before you toss away another tea bag, please take note!

Tea bags are not just for brewing tea. They can be used in your garden in a green method of disposal and are good for the health of all your plants as well as the soil.

Note: Always make sure that the tea bags are not made from polypropylene (thermoplastic). If the tea bag feels slippery to the touch and has heat-sealed edges, it will likely be polypropylene. However, still don’t throw it away, instead, slit open the bag and use the tea leaves inside. 

How can I use tea bags in my garden?

  • Composting

Tea bags are great to add to compost your heap because they add nitrogen to the compost and also attract good bacteria. Tea gets its distinctive strong flavour from a compound called tannin. Tannin is a natural fertilizer which generates new plant growth.

  • Repelling pests

Tea’s bitter flavour helps ward off insects like aphids, caterpillars and also fungal diseases. 

  • Feed for acid-loving plants

Tannic acid in tea leaves can mildly change and lower your soil pH. Houseplants, like ferns, prefer acid soil. Fertilize them by using leftover tea in the pot to water them, or simply by using tea leaves and work it into the soil in their pots. Same for outdoor plants like Hydrangeas, Asalea’s and Camellia’s. Roses also loves tea. 

  • Seed germination

Tea bags can be used to germinate seeds. Flatten your tea bag out on a dish and place seeds that you wish to sprout on the damp surface of the bag. Dampening it slightly every day until seeds sprout out on the bag, and then transfer the entire bag outdoors and place on the soil. The plant will grow down into the soil, using the tea bag as fuel. 

  • Water retention

Because tea leaves are natural, organic matter, they improve soil quality as they decompose. Tea bags are great with water retention and come in very handy in dry weather where plants need a little extra help.

  • Speeds up composting

Moist tea bags added to your compost bin or heap will increase the speed with which your pile will decompose.

Whether it is from black tea, rooibos or green tea, you can place your used tea bags in a clean storage container for later use. 

Using tea bags is not a miracle method, just an efficient and green way of caring for your garden.