Hot Stuff: Grow an Indoor Tea Garden

Cup of Herbal Tea

Cup of Herbal Tea

Brew fresh or dried herbs to create herbal infusions. Dried herbs offer more intense flavor.

Photo by: Julie Martens Forney

Julie Martens Forney

Brew fresh or dried herbs to create herbal infusions. Dried herbs offer more intense flavor.

As the weather gets colder, the idea of curling up with a hot cup of tea sounds better and better. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could grow your own?

Well, you can! True tea – from the Camellia sinensis plant – can be grown in your garden if you live in a warm climate (zone 8 or warmer), or in a container in your home if you live in a cooler area. There’s just one catch, though: it’ll be three years before you can start harvesting leaves to make tea!

If you were hoping for a homegrown brew with a slightly faster turnaround, why not consider creating a windowsill herbal tea garden? 

True, herbal teas aren’t “real” teas, but they’re still a great way to warm up on a chilly morning. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Select your herbs. Chamomile, lavender and peppermint are three common herbal tea ingredients that are easy to grow indoors. Coriander, lemon bergamot, lemon balm and jasmine are also popular tea herbs that can add interesting flavors and scents. Pretty much any culinary herb can be used in a tea; and many have medicinal qualities. Feel free to experiment by combining herbs to create your own custom tea blends (be sure to research each type of herb to make sure it won’t counteract with medication you may be taking.)
  2. Choose appropriate containers for each type of herb you’ve chosen. Plant seeds in a well-balanced soil, then water and place in a warm place until they sprout. Then move them to an area that gets at least 6 hours or so of sun per day, like a windowsill. Rotate plants often and check soil frequently to make sure it’s got the right moisture level for each plant.
  3. When plants are mature, you can harvest for tea! Here are two ways to prepare your tea:
  • Fresh: Pick the herb’s leaves or flowers, then crush between your fingers to release the scent and flavor. Place 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs into a strainer or mesh tea ball, then steep in 8 ounces of hot water for 3-5 minutes.
  • Dried: Dry the herbs, and store in airtight containers. Steep about 1 teaspoon of herbs per 8 ounces of water for 3-5 minutes.

Pour, sweeten with a little sugar or honey if you like, and sip! Congratulations, you’ve just made a hot, soothing drink from your very own tea garden.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Grow a Tea Garden

    Brew a cup of tea using ingredients you grow yourself.

How to Grow Organic Herbs

Consider the health benefits of growing herbs organically.

An Herb Garden Plan

Herbs are for more than cooking. Incorporate these versatile plants to help add spice to your landscape in this multi-season garden.

How to Create a Terrarium

Learn how to create a tabletop terrarium with these simple step-by-step instructions.

Start a Mason Jar Herb Garden

Move your herb garden indoors using recycled canning jars.

How to Plant an Indoor Salad Garden

Follow these simple tips to have fresh produce throughout the entire year.

Grow a Woodland Garden

Brambles and trees can hide potential jewels, says Brett McLeod, author of The Woodland Homestead. Use his tips to make the most of your wooded land.

How to Force Daffodil Bulbs

Tuck these spring-flowering bulbs into containers while the weather's chilly for an early touch of spring.

Grow a Pizza Garden

Creating an Italian masterpiece is as simple as running out to the yard to pick fresh toppings for your pizza from a productive, pie-shaped bed.

Make a Planter With Crystals

Use sea glass to create a glamorous stage for your humble houseplants.

On TV

Desert Flippers

7:30am | 6:30c

Desert Flippers

8:30am | 7:30c

Desert Flippers

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10am | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop

11am | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30am | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c
2pm | 1c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Love It or List It

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.