How to Plant a Teabag Garden

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Ever have one of those days where the teenagers are belligerent, the dog escapes from the yard, and your dishwasher decides to start leaking all over your kitchen floor? I seem to have those days an awful lot! At the end of such a day I look forward to a cup of tea, usually accompanied by something in the chocolate family. Using teabags in the garden is a great way for me to reduce the carbon footprint of my teabags!

How to Plant a Teabag Garden

A mug of hot chamomile tea can be the perfect way to wind down after a stressful day. I also enjoy an uplifting green tea in the morning or peppermint tea when my stomach is feeling a bit queasy. Needless to say, we drink a lot of tea in my house and Bigelow tea is a brand you will often find steeping in my mug. With a foil pouch for freshness I know they will always taste delicious. They were the perfect choice for my recent experiment with planting a teabag garden!

How to Plant a Teabag Garden (#AmericasTea #shop)

Bigelow Tea Sustainability

If you are a tea lover concerned with reducing your carbon footprint, Bigelow is a great choice for your next mug of tea. They are a family owned, zero waste company and are serious about protecting the environment and giving back to our community. Their SustainabiliTea program focuses on 4 main areas: Energy, Waste, Land and Suppliers. Here are a few key facts about their sustainability efforts:

  • Since 2007 they have generated over 6,429,534 kWh of solar energy. That’s enough energy to power 527 homes for a year!
  • They are protecting 347 acres of land from development.
  • Bigelow is part of the Ethical Tea Partnership, an organization that works with tea growers to establish methods for responsible conservation of the world’s tea fields and improve the lives of the people who work them.
  • They compost approximately 2 tons of material annually.

I also love that they have a wide selection of organic tea to choose from as well!

What to do with used teabags #AmericasTea #shop

What is a teabag garden?

I bet you are wondering what a teabag garden is, right? No, you are not growing herbs to put INTO the teabags! Instead, you take that leftover used teabag and repurpose it as a sprouting medium for your garden seeds. Tea leaves are loaded with nutrients…not just for our bodies when we drink the tea but also for growing seeds. Here is a quick run down on how to reuse your teabags to plant a tea garden:

More Frugal Gardening Tips

First off, you need some leftover tea bags. You can save them up every morning for a few weeks (leave them someplace where they will dry out so they don’t get moldy) or you can make up a big batch of homemade iced tea, using 8 to 10 bags at once. My family loves iced tea so that was the method I chose to use. Now, it is time to make your teabag garden!

How to Reuse Teabags with Bigelow Tea (#AmericasTea #shop)

How to Plant a Teabag Garden


  • 8 to 10 used teabags (or as many as you would like to plant!)
  • plastic tray
  • unbleached paper towels (bleach residue is not good for sprouting seeds!)
  • scissors
  • seeds of choice ( I used beans but cucumbers, squash, peas, and many other veggies grow great from seed!)
  • Glass measuring cup with water (1/3 cup is more than enough)

Easy Gardeningi Project: How to Plant a Tea Bag Garden (#AmericasTea #shop)Directions:

  1. If your teabags are dry, soak them in water for a minute or so to rehydrate them before beginning.
  2. Lay 2 paper towels on your plastic tray.
  3. Place the teabags on the paper towels, laying them on their side.
  4. Using the scissors, snip a hole in the teabg that runs most of the length of the teabag from top to bottom.
  5. Place one to two seeds (depending on size) into each teabag, trying to tuck it into the wet tea leaves as best as possible. It doesn’t have to be completely buried but at least partially covered is best.
  6. Gently pour water onto the paper towel, avoiding the tops of the teabags as much as possible. You want the teabags to soak up the water from the bottom.
  7. Place the tray out of direct sunlight and keep the paper towel wet until the seeds germinate. The amount of time needed will vary depending on the type of seed. Check the back of the package for germination times.
  8. Once you have sprouts in your teabags that are 2 to 3 centimeters tall you can plant the entire teabag along with the sprout directly into the soil. Make sure you plant during the appropriate season for your location and keep the soil damp until the seedlings are well established. Tackle your spring garden chores while they sprout. Then, plant right in the ground!


My little sprouts aren’t quite ready to go out to the garden yet but stop back in a couple of weeks for the unveiling of my teabag garden!

Have you ever tried planting a teabag garden?

Are you ready to start gardening? Check out the top ten gardening supplies I think you should have!

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  1. What a neat idea. I have never heard of this before.
  2. I drink tea every day, and now I will use it to help grow my garden. Thanks!
  3. Jennifer H says
    Wow, what a neat DIY. My mom loves tea, I'll have to share this w/her.
  4. Neat idea! I'd love to see pics of the germinated seeds in the bags as well.
    • They are coming! Post had to be up before the seeds were ready to plant but I have little sproutlets emerging and will update the pics ASAP!
  5. This is such a clever idea...I had no clue you could do something like this with tea bags! I'm so eager for your seeds to sprout and will definitely be checking back. #client
  6. Wow I love this idea. I use my tea bags in my art and do sprinkle the tea in my garden. Now I know how to use the tea!!!
    • I really want to try dying Easter eggs with tea this year! There are some natural teas that are very pretty colors!
  7. I love the teabag garden idea to grow seedlings.Will try it. Can you also put the used teabags into the compost heap, or dig them into a garden bed - are they beneficial to the soil in this way. thanks. We are in Autumn here but March/ April the best month to plant vegies in tropical climate. It has been a very hot summer. Will wait until April and test out the tea bag garden. thanks
  8. This is a fantastic idea! I've heard of tossing spent teabags in the garden but I've never heard of starting seeds in them. I think that's brilliant and i'll definitely try it ASAP
  9. Carol A Grant says
    I love that idea.... will have to try this... Thanks for ur post
  10. Can not wait to try this! Wish I knew about this for my winter germination. I felt so guilty of tossing out my used tea bags, so now I toss them into my composting bin.
  11. What an awesome idea especially when I always look for something to grow the seedlings out of..
  12. Used teabags are great to keep cats from using your flower beds as a litter box. A few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the used, dried teabag and place them about 12" apart in your flower beds. Haven't seen a cat in my flower beds for years.....
    • I did not know this! Wish it would keep my dog out of the garden. She pulled up my rosemary bush last year and boy was I annoyed!
  13. Sheila Susen says
    Thank you so much for posting this idea. I am a Master Gardener, but have never heard of this technique. I will be trying it this in a few weeks when I start planting my seeds, and will surely pass it along to my family and friends. Your suggestions are great.
  14. Sprinkling the tea grounds throughout the soil is fine, but I wouldn't plant the seeds right inside the tea bag. Tea leaves (actual tea, not herbal "tea") contains a lot of FLUORIDE, so the vegetables might end up containing high levels of fluoride. Too much fluoride is bad for you. To be safe, I filter it out of my tap water with a water filter system that contains a "Bone Char' carbon filter stage (the fluoride they add to tap water is actually toxic industrial waste from the aluminum and fertilizer industry, which is worse than fluoride found in plants). Also, always spring for ORGANIC tea, unless you want to drink pesticides.
  15. Estella Michael says
    Hi, I live in East Central Texas (lived here the last eleven years) and have never been able to get any of my seeds to germinate. It is mid- June and temps are climbing up into mix to hi 90s.(moved here from SE Arizona by way of the Netherlands, two extremely different weather types) I have no idea what can be planted in this zone at this time. Am also a Bigelow tea drinker. Have been tossing used teabags in the flower bed just outside my kitchen door . Am going to try some gourd seeds(if I can find any). Any way, just wanted to let you know I am going to try the teabags idea. Going to take about a month (only tea drinker here) but here we try again. By the way, I must have the proverbial Black Thumb as I have even billed cacti.
    • I lived in Texas for 7 years and the key is to start early in the season (early march) and keep them damp. It is rough weather down there for seedlings but good luck!

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