DIY

Here’s Why You Should Never, Ever Throw Out Used Tea Bags In Spring

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

If you’re a tea drinker, you probably have a dozen reasons to love the aromatic leaves. Still, I bet you throw out your tea after you finish the cup.

Here’s why you should save your used tea bags instead: it can work wonders in your garden, especially this time of year.

Every time you throw out an old bag of tea, you’re missing an opportunity to transform it into vital fuel for your plants.

After all, tea is full of benefits for humans; it can pep you up when you need energy, soothe you when you’re anxious, and clear your head when you’re foggy.

With all those superpowers, why shouldn’t it be awesome for plants too?

Whether you enjoy a nice cup of English breakfast in the morning, or sip green tea all day to keep up your energy, your tea is ready and waiting for a second life beyond the mug.

Scroll through below to learn more about how used tea bags can benefit your garden.

Next time you sip a cup of tea, don’t dump that tea bag in the trash!

Most people don’t realize that used tea bags are actually excellent for the garden. Most tea bags even have compostable bags, so you can just plant them in the soil exactly as they are.

They can have a happy second life in your soil, long after that cup of tea is done!

Tea gets a distinctive, strong flavor from compounds called tannins, which can also be found in red wine.

You probably enjoy the flavor of tannins, but your garden loves them for a different reason.

Tannins are natural fertilizers; when tea enters the soil, it releases the tannins and other nutrients back into the soil to help a new generation of plants grow.

Recycling your tea bags is a very green way to reduce your excess waste.

The average American produces roughly 1,300 pounds of waste every year. You can lighten your contribution by trying to recycle and compost whatever you can.

Tea bags, reintroduced into the garden, definitely count as compost.

No garden? Just keep a compost bin in your home for all organic scraps and contribute the rich compost to a community garden instead!

Tea is great for repelling unwanted garden visitors.

Planting tea in your garden rows helps the soil and also helps ward off plant-munching insects like aphids and caterpillars. They don’t care for the tea’s bitter flavor.

Try pairing it with a few garlands of soap to really protect your garden from all the foraging garden pests.

If you don’t want to plant your tea bags right away, you can also use them to germinate seeds.

Flatten your tea bag out on a dish or tray, and place seeds that you wish to sprout on the damp surface of the bag.

Continuing dampening slightly every day until seeds sprout on tea bag. Then, you can transfer the whole thing outdoors; the plant will grow down into the soil using the tea bag as fuel.

Even once the tea bags are buried out of sight and the soil has absorbed their nutrients, they still give the garden extra boosts!

They are great for assisting with water retention, especially if you plant the bags near the densest roots under the soil. This comes in very handy in dry weather where plants might need a little extra help.

If you love the idea of giving tea bags a second life outside, be sure to SHARE this neat idea with fellow gardeners!