Nature is wondrous. Every element in it helps the other in nature. The sun helps the trees, which in turn feeds the air. And so, the circle continues every day.
If you think about it, then, using tea leaves to help in the growth of roses shouldn’t be that strange at all. Both tea and roses are said to have originated in China. The Chinese believe in Ying and Yang, and, in a way, that’s what tea and roses are to each other.
Tea leaves offer several benefits to help roses flourish. One is that tea, which comes from the cameilla sinesis plant, naturally has caffeine, among other nutrients. The caffeine can help to stimulate the soil, which helps roses.
Tea also has tannins, which is acidic. In order for roses to grow and thrive, roses must have slightly acidic soil in order to grow. Other elements that roses need in its soil is nitrogen and potassium. Tea continues nitrogen and potassium.
It’s as if Mother Nature knew what she was doing!
Experts tell us that tea leaves alone can’t help roses thrive, but they are a great addition to specially mixed rose fertilizers. However, any longtime gardener believes in the power of tea with roses.
Roses, as most gardeners would agree, are ones that need constant care and tending — from watering and pruning to spraying and deadheading. They are a finicky plant that requires a lot of work, but the rewards are beautiful.
When planting roses, the first step is finding a nice sunny spot six to eight hours daily. Soil too must be just the correct format for the roses — loose, acidic and well-drained. This is where tea can help. Soil for roses must be between 6.2 to 6.8 pH; tea has 6.37 pH.
Roses need to be watered often, and they collect water through leaves or the roots. By watering roses with cooled tea can help supplement the water that roses so desperately need. One inch of water a week is needed at first. Between June and August, roses have to be watered every day. The hotter the temperatures, the more water is needed. Soil needs to be wet, but not water-logged.
Because roses tend to attract fungal diseases it’s best to do the watering in the cooler morning hours. During this time, inspect the rose for bugs, molds, etc., and clean them off.
Tea leaves can be used, too, as a mulch. However, because roses are susceptible to diseases, it’s best to mulch a couple of inches away from the roots. Using mulch with roses helps to keep the water in the soil as much as possible. And because tea retains moisture, it will slowly add the moisture to the rose’s soil.
For more great tips on growing roses, go to https://www.davidaustinroses.com/us/advice-and-inspiration/the-basics-of-growing-roses
Drinking tea and roses
We sell a fine rose flavored tea called Rose Congou, which is a supple, firm non-broken black tea from China layered with fragrant, pink rose petals. This mellow, sweet-tasting tea, with a balance of strength, flavor and wonderful perfumed aroma is ideal for drinking in the mid-afternoon. Find it here: https://larkintea.com/product/rose-congou/
If you would like to try to make your own rose tea, the following is a simple recipe:
- 1 cup of freshly cut or dried rose petals/blossoms
- 3 cups of water (hot, but not boiling)
- 1/4 cup black tea leaves
- Honey, to taste
Before using fresh rose petals, rinse thoroughly.
In a saucepan, add hot water, roses, and tea leaves. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
Strain the rose petals. Add honey for taste. Serve.