Growing and Making Your own Herbal Tea

I love tea, especially in the evenings. And I love to garden. Put those two together and you have a variety of herbal teas and blends!

Growing Herbs

I think herbs are the easiest plants to grow. They have only a few requirements – lots of light and some shelter from the wind. I tried growing them in my window sill. They looked really pretty, but didn’t grow well. As I used the herbs they started to look pretty ragged. So I moved outside.

You can put the herbs in pots or in the ground (except mint – do not put mint in the ground. More on that later). I like to keep them near the door so I can step outside and get what I need.


Annual herbs, like cilantro and basil, are easiest to start with seed. When it starts to grow, reseed every couple of weeks to keep them coming up. Be sure to save the seeds when the flower dies and save them for next year’s planting!

Perennial herbs can keep growing for several years. Keep them watered and enjoy them for the whole season. No fertilizer necessary.

Can You Use Fresh Herbs in Tea?

Fresh herb tea has more nutrition value than using dried herbs. And the flavor and color are really enhanced by the fresh plant.

I like to use fresh for straight tea. I prefer to use dried leaves for herbal tea blends.

Use only the top new foliage and flowers. You’ll need 2-3 tablespoons per cup. Cover with hot water and steep for about 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the herb. The thick, denser leaves need longer to steep.

Prefer iced tea? Drop a handful of fresh herbs into a heat resistant pitcher. Fill the pitcher half way with hot water and steep. Add some cold water and refrigerate until cold. Refreshing and delicious on a hot day!

Preserving Herbs

The best way to preserve herbs for tea is to dry them.

There are several methods to dry your leaves. The one I use is hanging them. Tie the ends up (I use rubber bands) and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place. Check them often to make sure they are not mildewing, but I think this method preserves the flavorful oils the best.


Another method is using a dehydrator. It goes quickly to watch it. You don’t want cooked herbs!! Some people even dry them in a very low oven. You’ll want them dry, but not crispy. You need the oils for the flavor.

When they are dry, store them in airtight jars.

What Herbs Make Good Tea?

There are many herbs that make a delicious tea. I like to experiment with blends and I sometimes add a little black or green tea to make it a stronger flavor.

Here are some of the herbs I use for tea, but there are many more –

  • Mint makes a great tea. I have several varieties, each one having a slightly different flavor. My favorite is chocolate mint! Do not plant mint in the ground. It spreads aggressively and you’ll have far more mint than you want or need. I have mine in a strawberry planter with a different variety in each pocket.

  • Lemon balm. This member of the mint family has a slightly lemony flavor
  • Lemon Verbena – one of my favorites!! I love the subtle lemon flavor and fragrance is wonderful!
  • Lavender is a flavorful tea. It also blends great with mint
  • Chamomile – this one is great if you aren’t feeling great. It settles your stomach and helps to open up the nasal passages. It’s also a natural sedative, helping you to sleep and relieve anxiety.
  • Rosemary give the tea a piney, earthy flavor.
  • Sage is a great herb to blend with others. It’s a very earthy flavor.
  • Thyme has a many varieties, all making great tea!
  • Fennel, both the leaves and the seeds, has a licorice flavor that lends itself to a wonderful cup of tea.
  • Basil – a rich, slightly spicy flavor
  • Stevia – a little bit added to your tea adds just a touch of sweetness


Blending Flavors – 

Herbal tea is great just by itself, but if you are looking for a more complex tea, try blending. Here are a few ideas, but be bold – experiment! Find a blend that you love!!

  • Try mixing different herbs together. Lavender and mint; lemon verbena and strawberry leaves; basil and thyme; chamomile and fennel. These are just a couple!
  • Add dried fruit. My favorite to add is dehydrated strawberries or raspberries. Another great choice is dried or fresh oranges or apples.
  • Mix with regular tea. Black tea makes a great addition to lemon verbena. I like to use dragon pearls. They have a richer, earthier flavor than the pekoe teas (as Lipton). Green tea tastes great blended with herbs as well.
  • Add some fresh herbs to ice cubes for your iced tea

It’s not too late to get some herbs going in your garden. You’ll have a summer full of fresh herb iced tea, and a winter full of delicious hot teas! Use them as loose tea or make your own tea bags!

This is a great recipe and instructions for making tea bags!

© Copyright 2024 The Lazy Gastronome

Leave me a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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6 Responses to Growing and Making Your own Herbal Tea

  1. Pingback: Lavender - Easy to Grow, Great for Cooking - The Lazy GastronomeThe Lazy Gastronome

  2. Paula says:

    This is packed full of information and details. I appreciate this in depth article as you answered several questions I had been thinking about.
    Visiting today from Talking About It Tuesday 25 #40,41&42

  3. Such a great idea and I bet tasty. I am happy to feature Growing and Making your own herbal tea at Love Your Creativity. Happy summer.

  4. Nora says:

    That is awesome! So many helpful tips! Summer can come with homemade tea! Thank you!

  5. Ashley says:

    Thanks for all the great tips! I tend to have a black thumb, but I’m going to give some of these herbs a try!

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