Tea can take you away. Sweet ice tea with a touch of lemon evokes images of sultry summers in the South. A steaming cup of jasmine tea can transport you to the Orient. These are only a few of the tasty teas you can grow in your own garden.
A Jamaican tea hibiscus is a good addition to a tropical blooming flower tea garden. It does well when planted in a sunny location with rich, well-drained soil. It blooms in late fall, bringing color to your garden. The flowers are commonly used to make tea. It is tasty when drank alone, but can also be paired with mints or fruit juices for added flavor. When combined with spices and citrus flavors, sage makes a delicious tea. It requires lots of sun and well-drained soil to thrive. While all varieties of sage have similar flavor, many tea gardens choose the Bergartten variety as it is less susceptible to fungal root disease.
Both German and Roman chamomiles make tasty teas. Chamomile can be grown from seeds, but many gardeners choose to buy small plants to be put into the ground in late fall or early spring. Tea is made from the small white flowers of the plant, harvested at peak flavor just when petals begin to wilt. Drank alone, it can help calm a stomach or aid in relaxing. It is sometimes combined with mints, lemon herbs, or hibiscus. While Arabian jasmine isn’t used alone to make tea, it is used to imbue flavor and fragrance on other tea leaves. It does well if shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun and planted in rich, well-drained garden soil. Gardeners who include Arabian jasmine as part of their garden should keep in mind that it doesn’t do well in temperatures below 50 degrees and will need to be brought indoors.
Lemon balm requires little care to grow. With occasional watering and protection from the afternoon sun, it thrives in most gardens. It is a proliferate plant so you’re not likely to run out of this tasty tea. The leaves are brewed to make tea and it pairs well with honey. Lemon balm may also be used in combination with other teas. Mints can be drank alone or combined with other teas. For best growth, they require frequent watering and partial sunlight. They are an aggressive plant so it’s a good idea to give them room to spread out or be prepared to prune regularly.
Anise hyssop makes a sweet, soothing tea to ease away the stresses of your day. It requires well-drained soil and plenty of sun for optimal growth. This tea plant can easily be grown from seeds. The violet flowers with a licorice-like scent attract butterflies and bumblebees to your garden.
Lemon verbena can be difficult, but tea aficionados agree it is well worth the effort. The delicate lemon flavor makes it a refreshing tea on hot summer days. It requires dry soil and a sunny location. However, afternoon sun can bleach out the leaves. Don’t be alarmed if it is slow to grow or loses leaves without warning as this is common. It can withstand winter in warm locations, but needs to be brought indoors if temperatures get cooler. Lemon verbena is often drank alone, but pairs well with other teas as well.