Indoor Tea Garden

Indoor Tea Garden
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Many tea herbs grow well indoors. They may not reach the fullness or height that they would outdoors as their container-bound roots are somewhat dwarfed, but they can still provide beauty and an abundance of leaves for making herbal teas. Some tea herbs to grow indoors include: Angelica, bay, borage, burnet, catnip, chamomile, dill, fennel, horehound, jasmine, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, marjoram, mint, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tansy, tarragon, thyme, wintergreen, sweet woodruff, and of course....scented geraniums!
Make sure you choose a spot where the plants will get plenty of sun, ideally a south-facing window that gets light all day. If you don't have that, you may have to use artificial plant lights, giving seedlings and plants from 12 to 16 hours of artificial light each and every day.You can grow a garden on a table next to a window, in a window greenhouse, in hanging baskets, in a terrarium, on trays, in large window boxes and of course in pots.

Make sure you use room temperature water. Take time to learn the herbs habits and water accordingly. You should also provide enough humidity. If your home is dry, as it tends to get during winter months, use a humidifier in your home, or mist herbs daily, preferably early in the day so that the herbs are dry when the light is no longer available. Some herbs will adapt to the drier humidity of indoor growing...but some will not! If an herb's leaves wither, check to see that it's getting enough, or too much water, and enough light. If the leaves develop brown streaks...the plant may be getting too much sun. A lot of us indoor gardeners think insects or disease are causing leaves to wither, turn brown, or develop crisp edges, but this may not be so. The plant may be getting too much heat, or soil temperatures may be fluctuating too much. Lifeless-looking leaves may be the result of too little water. Buds dropping off usually indicate rapidly fluctuating temperatures. If stems turn soft, the herb isn't getting enough sun, and it's probably getting too much water.

Indoor Pests and Disease

Herbs growing indoors are fairly resistant to disease and insects, just as they are outdoors. But, they DO get them. Major indoor herb pests include aphids, mealybugs, mites, and white flies. White flies love mints indoors! Insecticidal soaps, used to combat outside pests, are also available in indoor formulas. They provide effective insect control and are organic, they contain no substances injurious to people or to pets!

When you buy herbs from the nursery this time of the year, especially in colder zones, they may well have insects, so isolate them for your other plants for up to a week. Be sure to keep your plants trimmed. Trim just above the leaf buds, and trim regularly rather than allowing plants to become too large and 'leggy', which will require dramatic trimming, and can cause the plants to die of shock caused by the imbalance between the roots and leaves! Believe me....I speak from experience!

Indoor plants require careful monitoring because they depend on you for all of their needs.

If you use the herbs as decorative centerpieces for your table or as welcome fragrances in the bedroom or kitchen, be sure to alternate them so they are not in the shade for more than a few days at a time. This is all well worth the work! These herbs offer not only beauty and fragrance close at hand, but a bountiful harvest of herbal teas as well!


About The Author

herb gardens

Karen Hegre

I feel very fortunate to have met Karen, and to be able to share her wonderful crafts and herbal inspiration with our visitors. She has a gentle soul and contributes not only her words but encouragement as well.

Karen is a Master Gardener specializing in herbs, a mom and grandma. She and her husband have a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, plus 'Fairy Gardens' where the children can learn about different herbs and hear Karen read a story about the Garden Fairies and Flowers. They are open to the public May through September.

Karen owns several discussion lists, which we have listed below with the subscription information. All are free to join and a joy to be a member of!

Karen's Herbal Kitchen: A list for exchanging herbal recipes! Click Here to subscribe.

Nature Crafts: This is a list for those who enjoy crafting with Nature and want to learn more!! We will share projects, learn ways of preserving those natural items and much more. Click Here to subscribe.

Keepers Of the Gardens: This list is a 'learning & sharing' list on how to create beautiful back yard habitats for birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other wildlife including bees, dragonflies, frogs, toads & other friendly insects & reptiles. Click Here to subscribe.

Aromatherapy One-0-One: This is a list for learning the basics of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. A friendly place for questions and ideas... a place where we can learn from each other. Click Here to subscribe.


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