Let's Talk Tea

Yes. I’m here to spill the tea about well, tea. Actual tea. You don’t always have to get tea from the store in little bags. Haven’t you ever wondered how nice it would be to have organic tea and the satisfaction that you made it all? Some plants (and roots) make great teas and beautiful plants to accent your home: the age-old favorite Chamomile, the sweet lemony flavor of Lemon Balm, and the refreshing mint. Whether you have a lot of room outside or you live in an apartment, anyone can have a tea garden if they want. All you need to know is where to start.

 

Calm your Nerves: Chamomile

Chamomile, or as my grandmother told me all my life, el té de manzanilla comes from the chamomile flower. The flower makes a cute, soft aesthetic in a planter and gives your tea the apple flavor that soothes stomach aches. Growing Chamomile, I've learned quite a few things that I can share with you all.

 

Stop planting the seeds. Scatter them on the ground instead. By planting the seeds, you are depriving the soon to be plant of what it needs to grow: sunlight. Chamomile is the type of plant that can self-seed, but planting Chamomile in a pot isn’t the best. Chamomile is the type of plant to spread and take over much like another plant I’ll tell you about. Sorry apartment dwellers, Chamomile does best in an outside area with full sunlight and excellent water time. When you do have your chamomile flowering, make sure to trim and harvest quickly. They will be suitable for your tea and great gifts for your friends.

 

Flower Shower: Lavender

We all know lavender, like essential oil lavender, but have you ever had it in tea form? Lavender tea is floral and tastes fantastic. Not only is lavender great-tasting, but it looks beautiful and can add a bright, distinct shade of purple to your apartment or yard. If you are growing some in your apartment, here’s what you’ll need.

 

Ensure your lavender is somewhere that it can get a lot of sunlight. It loves to take in that vitamin D. The soil you plant your lavender in is important too. Potting soil isn’t bad, but giving your plant the best will yield more flowers for your tea. Get well-drained soil for your plant; it doesn’t like being water-logged. Please put it in a pot by itself with enough room to thrive and shine. It wants to be the star of the show, and frankly, the scent will be enough to captivate you and your guests. 

 

Mellow not so Yellow: Lemon Balm

The sweet lemony taste of lemon balm is not only sweet for you but is also a sweet treat for your fellow garden friends: the bees. Lemon balm is much like mint in many ways, such as its shape and growing needs. Like mint, it can be used to give drinks both hot and cold, a distinct flavor all on its own. Lemon balm not only provides the drinks a lemony taste but also offers that sweet flavor without the added sugar. 

 

Growing lemon balm requires full sunlight. Find a nice sunlit window or a nice spot outside to plant your bee offering plant. If you find that you love having lemon balm tea, I’d recommend growing more than one plant for a more constant supply. Lemon balm may not be the fastest-growing, depending on where you are, but the satisfaction is worth the wait.

 

Beat the Texas Heat: Mint

Contrary to what you may think: there is a way to battle the 100-degree weather we deal with almost year-round here in Texas. Mint is refreshing and cute to have sitting on top of a mojito or slice of cake. I’m here to give you a hint about my favorite plant.

 

I recommend planting mint in a cute pot near your window or somewhere in the shade. I wouldn’t recommend planting it in the ground unless you are okay with it pulling a take over of your entire garden. Mint can pretty much grow anywhere and is one of those ‘unkillable’ plants as long as you take care of it. It likes being in the shade and a good water serving, so the soil is always nice and moist. With mint, it would be good to cut it back to prevent the takeover and keep it nice and firm. As you cut, you can even shape it. Depending on what type of mint you are growing, you can do a lot with mint if you like that refreshment in your drinks or foods.