Tea bags are a great way to keep your garden thriving. Sometimes we think that they serve no purpose for our plants. But tea bags can actually be very helpful in maintaining the pH balance of soil and preventing pests from attacking plants. All you need is a handful of used tea bags soaked in water overnight, then applied to the soil around your plants . The next day you will notice a difference in the healthiness of your plants as their leaves become greener and fuller. So instead of throwing away those old tea bags, use them for something useful.
Are tea bags good for plants
Yes, tea bags are good for plants. The tea leaves contain potassium, copper, and an amino acid called theanine that is thought to enhance plant growth. The tea leaves contain enough of these nutrients to make tea a good soil additive.
Tea grounds are an excellent addition to the garden or potted plants because they provide the necessary nutrients that should be found in all soils, but often aren't. Since tea grounds are known to contain small bits of tea leaves, it is important that they be composted before use. Tea bags destined for the garden should first be emptied out into a compost pile or bin where they can break down before being added to soil.
According to experts tea has beneficial effects on soil health, including increasing microbial activity which leads to better soil structure and water retention. Tea also contains polyphenols (a type of antioxidant), in particular catechins which help combat root diseases and inhibit the activity of some enzymes that could lead to cell damage and death - this helps prevent infections from spreading.
Catechins have also been shown to reduce salt concentrations in the soil so tea can be a useful addition to houseplants when growing them in water; as well as giving them a quick nutrient burst tea can assist with salt removal by drawing salt out of the soil.
How tea bags affect a plant depends on the tea used and the concentration in the tea solution; as tea contains tannins it can affect how much water is taken up by a plant which changes how much nutrients are available to it, this means tea bags could be good for some plants but not others.
What type of tea can you use with plants
All household teas can be used as fertilizer; you just need to experiment with it and vary the amount used based on which tea you use. However, the bags are not necessary. If you have loose tea, you can add it to your compost pile or directly to your plants soil.
How do tea bags affect the pH of soil
Fresh tea decreases soil pH. Which means it makes the soil more acidic.
Tea plants thrive in acidic soil, so un-brewed tea bags can be used as a fertilizer for plants that thrive in acidic soil. Plant tea near fruit trees and blueberry bushes that prefer an acidic soil to increase their production.
If you want to use fresh tea it should be left on the ground for 1-2 days until it's only mildly acidic or you can brew it.
Brewed tea bags generally have a neutral to slight alkaline pH. This means used tea bags will raise the pH of your soil. If your soil is acidic and you want to raise it, add brewed tea bags.
If you're looking for ways to change soil pH tea is one way just be aware that freshly brewed tea will lower the level of acidity whereas old, used tea leaves will raise it.
Is brewed tea good for plants?
As I stated earlier, brewed tea is has a pH of neutral to alkaline. Many plants like neutral soil. If you have plants that prefer acidic soil, brewed tea bags may not be a good solution because they will raise the soil pH.
Can you water plants with tea?
You can water plants with tea. Keep in mind that brewed liquid tea is acidic, while brewed tea bags are neutral to alkaline. The liquid tea is acidic because the acids leach into the water during the brewing process.
Do tomatoes like tea bags?
Tea bags can be used as fertilizer for tomatoes. To use tea bags as a fertilizer, place tea grounds in the soil around and between the tomato roots. Alternatively, tea leaves can be incorporated into potting soil to provide nutrients for tomato plants because they like acidic soil.
Are tea bags good for hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas can benefit from adding tea to soil to increase pH and nutrient levels, tea leaves can also be used as mulch around the plants to keep moisture in.
Tea bags to control bugs in garden
Tea is effective at controlling bugs in your garden. Tea discourages insects such as aphids and slugs from eating plants. Spray tea on leaves to prevent pests from eating the plants.
Tea is a great alternative, as it will not only provide nutrients but also kill off any bugs that are currently in your soil by changing the acidity of the soil; this makes tea an excellent organic pesticide you can use around the house and garden
Dangers of tea leaves for pets
Tea leaves can be poisonous to dogs and cats due to the caffeine in them. Prevent tea leaves (fresh or dry) from getting into your dog's mouth. When adding tea to soil, keep pets away when you are preparing tea bags, and until after you have mixed it into the soil. If a pet, particularly a cat, swallows parts of a tea bag or bags that remain intact enough to cause blockage they may require surgery to remove the obstruction or they could die.
Tea bags vs coffee grinds as fertilizer
Coffee grounds are better for fertilizing than tea bags due to its higher nitrogen content; however they are both effective at altering soil pH and providing nutrients.
How to add tea bags to plants soil
Add tea directly into the soil around your plants and be cautious about applying too much tea as it can burn young plants. Tea is often used to help seedlings get established quickly since it acts as a natural fertilizer. Once your plant has become established, use less tea and replace with some other form of organic fertilizer so that you don't overwhelm the plant's root system.
Small amounts of tea can be applied directly to plants or mixed into compost as long as they are diluted first (excessive amounts of tea will stop roots soaking up water from the soil). Dilute 2-3 teaspoons of tea per gallon of water and spray onto leaves when watering or douse small areas of bare soil.
You can brew tea by steeping tea leaves or tea bag in hot water and then allow it to cool prior to adding it to your garden.
For tea to be most effective it should be used straight after brewing rather than left to sit for a few days, you should also use cold tea-water if possible; although warm tea may have a stronger effect on soil microbes, applying boiled tea concentrate could leave the plant's foliage too acidic.
If using bags add them directly into compost so they are already broken down when they come in contact with plants roots. It may take time for the effects of tea on the soil to be seen, but tea will gradually leach into the soil over time. Tea can also be used periodically in potted plants or as a healthy alternative to traditional fertilizers.
Do roses like tea bags?
Roses benefit from tea's ability to reduce salt concentrations as it helps prevent infections causing black spots on leaves. Watering with tea that contains tannins at a concentration of 1oz per gallon can help reduce black spots, this is because tea helps prevent the spread of disease by stopping fungi from spreading. Roses also like coffee grounds in their soil.
Controlling weeds with tea
Research shows tea is effective at killing weed seeds and weed plants. This makes tea bags good for home gardens because tea inhibits the germination of weed seedlings.
Are tea bags good for plants summary
In conclusion, tea bags are good for plants. There are many benefits to adding tea bags in your garden. From preventing pests from attacking your plants and maintaining the pH balance of soil to improving plant growth and giving them a nice aroma, tea is an excellent addition for any gardener looking to grow their plants with comfort.