Flower tea, also known as floral tea or blooming tea, is a type of tea that is made by combining edible flowers, typically dried, with tea leaves. When hot water is poured over the dried flowers and tea leaves, they unfurl or “bloom,” creating a visually stunning and aromatic infusion. Growing flower tea plants at home offers several benefits like freshness, quality, sustainability, customization and community engagement, making it an appealing and rewarding endeavor for many tea enthusiasts.
Several countries around the world are known for their cultivation of flower teas, whether for their unique flavors, cultural significance, or export purposes. For instance, jasmine tea is a popular ชาดอกไม้ or flower tea in Thailand, which is made by scenting green tea leaves with jasmine blossoms. Additionally, Thai herbal teas, including butterfly pea flower tea and roselle tea, are popular both domestically and internationally. Similarly, cherry blossoms (sakura) and chrysanthemum flowers are the top varieties in Japan, while the brewing and consumption of Moroccan mint tea with fresh mint leaves is a cultural tradition in Morocco. So, the variety you want to grow at home depends on your personal choice and where you live.
Top Flower Tea Plants to Grow at Home
When growing flower tea plants, it’s essential to research the specific care requirements for each plant and provide them with the appropriate growing conditions. Also, consider whether you want to grow these plants in your garden or in pots indoors, depending on your climate and available space. Proper harvesting and drying techniques are also essential for making flavorful flower teas.
Here are some popular flower tea plants that you can consider cultivating in your home garden:
1. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Chamomile is known for its calming properties and mild, apple-like flavor. It’s relatively easy to grow and thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. Chamomile plants produce small, daisy-like flowers that can be harvested and dried for tea.
2. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender tea has a soothing aroma and a mild, floral flavor. Lavender plants require well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Harvest the lavender buds when they are in full bloom for tea preparation.
3. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Hibiscus tea has a tart and tangy flavor, often used for its potential health benefits. Hibiscus plants prefer warm climates and well-drained soil. You can use the calyxes (the red, fleshy part behind the flower) for tea.
4. Rose (Rosa spp.)
Rose tea is known for its delicate, floral flavor and potential skin-enhancing properties. Roses require well-drained soil, regular pruning, and sunlight. Harvest the petals when they are fully open for tea.
5. Jasmine (Jasminum spp.)
Jasmine tea is famous for its fragrant and sweet aroma. Jasmine plants need a warm climate, well-drained soil, and plenty of sunlight. Jasmine flowers are often used to scent green or white tea leaves.
6. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
Chrysanthemum tea has a light, floral flavor and is popular in Chinese culture. Chrysanthemum plants prefer well-drained soil and full sun. The whole flowers, including the petals and central disc, are used for tea.
7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula tea has a mild, slightly earthy flavor and is often used for its potential health benefits. Calendula plants thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. Harvest the petals when they are in full bloom for tea.
8. Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea tea is known for its potential immune-boosting properties. Echinacea plants prefer well-drained soil and full sun. Harvest the aerial parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, and stems) for tea.
9. Violet (Viola spp.)
Violet tea has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and is known for its potential medicinal uses. Violets love moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. Harvest the flowers and leaves for tea.
10. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)
Nasturtium tea has a peppery, slightly spicy flavor. Nasturtiums grow well in poor soil and full sun. Harvest both the flowers and leaves for tea.