Beginner gardeners often have the question: is it possible to water indoor flowers with tea, and if so, sweet or without sugar?
There is no doubt that the most lively discussions take place when you are sharing a cup of tea with your neighbor. So it is not far-fetched that they should recommend you feeding your indoor flower with a strong cup of tea.
Should I Water My Plants and Flowers With Tea?
What benefits are there in watering with drunken tea? If you conduct a chemical analysis of tea, you can find in the composition of the drink minerals and organic matter, as well as tannins, that will acidify your soil. Not all houseplants need such acidification.
We can certainly say that ferns that suffer from the action of carbonate salts in soil or water as well as cacti that love hard water and the tannins it contains, respond well to tea.
The rest of the houseplants, however, react to the watering of the teapot with a lot of disdain or probably disgust. More so, there is no reliable experimental data that would prove the obvious benefit of such a fertilizer.
There is an opinion that regular mulching of the soil with tea residue helps to retain moisture, and if you make tea leaves under flowers indoors and gently store them in a flowerpot, the plants will receive a fertilizer with an extended lifespan.
Disadvantages of Watering Your Plants with Tea
Watering plants with tea has several benefits. But no doubt, there are still some disadvantages of this form of irrigation.
The fact that there's no actual scientific proof of the results of this form of irrigation makes this method considerably unreliable. Significant results may be assured only after several failed attempts.
This is in addition to the fact that the whole procedure can be time-consuming and you can't even store your compost tea for future use. Plus, the compost tea contains mixtures that have a foul odor.
Therefore, it is much easier to sort other options. And there are sufficient options of fertilizers particularly manufactured for both universal and specialized soils and fine-tuned to be suitable for the needs of all types of plants. Flavored tea with additives in particular can lead to dramatic consequences for flowers including root rot and imbalance of soil nutrients.
Watering plants with tea leaves that contain sugar provokes the appearance of a fungus mosquito in the pot, black midges, and other pests that are not easily eliminated. These pests will start a toxic relationship with your flower and will require a lot to stop.
When using moldy tea, you can introduce bacteria, mold in the soil (apparently) and cause soil contamination. For cases of domestic greenhouses that prefer acidic soil, such addition can only do more damage than good.
Top Tip: You can determine the acidification of the soil by such signs as a greenish coating on the soil, which gives off an unpleasant smell, rotting of inflorescences and leaves, as well as mold on the petioles of plants.
These disadvantages may seem unimpressive. But if you are a cultured person and you can deal with these few cons, you might as well go ahead with teeing up your flower. Perhaps, it'll become an amazing choice for you.
How to Use Tea Leaves for Irrigation and Fertilizer?
This option may be acceptable to supporters of organic floriculture, as natural remedies have recently become widespread.
Top Trick: Any tea can be used for watering: black, green, herbal. The main thing is that it does not contain additives and flavors of synthetic origin.
How to Water Plants With Tea Infusion?
Make sure your flowers need soil acidification. Plants like tomatoes, oxalis poinsettia, and east lily thrive in acidic conditions. A simple soil test can be performed with a litmus test.
You do not need to constantly pour this fertilizer under the flowers, several times a month is enough. Avoid watering your plants with tea that has added sugar, acidic or moldy solution. You can use a cool, weak, unsweetened solution at room temperature.
Top Trick: If, in addition to watering, the tea leaves also flow under the flowers, then it is necessary to strictly fix the amount of them, mixing them with the top layer of the soil. This method will help maintain humidity, which will require you to water the plant less often.
Some Other Ways to Use Tea Leaves
If you are a tea addict like many of us, then you might be “elated” to discover that there are other means to use them.
A large amount of waste after drinking tea can be turned into a drainage layer when planting a flower in a new pot.
To do this, lay the tea leaves on the layer of expanded clay, sprinkle with earth and plant a flower. When it reaches the roots of the lower soil layer, part of the tea leaves already decompose and serve as organic fertilizer.
Instead of a drainage layer, the dried tea leaves are mixed with the flower soil when a plant is transplanted into another pot. This additive is acceptable if the soil is dense, then it acts as a baking powder.
So, if you use drunk tea for watering, then you should do it following all the rules, do not use additives and flavorings, or moldy raw materials. This method is best for plants that prefer acidic soil and hard water with tannins.
When adopting this method, try to regularly loosen the soil under the flowers indoors and monitor the condition of the plants. When midges and other insects appear, you need to cultivate the soil and reduce watering.