13 Amazing Tea Bag Uses In Garden

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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 Here are some useful Tea Bag Uses for the garden that will surely make you save them the next time! Do not throw them away!

Tea leaves contain around 4.15 percent nitrogen and other nutrition that nourish the soil. They also improve the soil structure and increase drainage. Also, the tannic acid in tea leaves can mildly change and lower your soil pH, just like coffee grounds.

Check out our article on the coffee ground uses in the garden here

Amazing Tea Bag Uses for Gardens

1. Composting

Tea Bag Uses

Teabags are great to add to compost because they add nitrogen and also attract good bacterias. But before using them in the compost pile, always slit open the bags.

2. Repel Pests

Simply brew a weak tea with old bags and use it to water plants and also sprinkle on leaves. It is an organic way to deter pests and fungal diseases while providing nutrition.

3. Plant Food

Tear open some tea bags and disperse the contents around the plants. Tea leaves will nourish your plants every time you water by increasing nitrogen levels, improving soil structure, and giving earthworms a delicious meal to eat!

4. Great for Acid Loving Houseplants

Ferns and many other houseplants prefer acidic soil. Open up the tea bags and work used tea leaves into the soil in pots. It will slightly lower the pH level and also provide plants with some nutrition and minerals.

5. Speed up Composting

tea bag uses 2

Brew a strong tea with used tea bags and after it cools down, pour the liquid and tea bags over the compost heap. It will speed up the composting process and will also make it acid-rich.

6. Natural Fertilizer for Potted Plants

Brewed tea leaves make a useful liquid fertilizer as they contain high levels of minerals, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that help plants grow.

7. Give Roses a Boost

Roses love tea leaves

Roses absolutely love tea leaves! Slit open the used tea bags and sprinkle tea leaves around roses to give them a needed boost in growth.

8. Start Seedlings

Teabags make for a great source of plant food. You can grow seedlings by pushing them gently into the bags and allowing them to grow naturally as they would.

9. Treat Dead Spots

Tea Bag Uses 3

If your garden is full of dead or bare spots, then teabags will come to the rescue! Keep them at those spots and cover them up with grass seed.

With time, the moisture from the tea bag will help in decomposing and add some nutrients to the soil. Finally, there will be a good, healthy, growth of grass!

10. Cleaning Houseplants

Using tea bags to gently clean the leaves’ surfaces is a good idea. The leaves will also absorb little portions of tea that can also provide a healthy boost too.

11. Get Rid of Maggots


If you are facing troubles with maggots and worms in your garden, teabags can be extremely helpful. Dip tea bags in lemon and ginger juice and bury them in the worm-infested area. This will kill the soft-bodied larvae instantly.

12. Remove Fungus

Use brewed tea with chamomile to fight or remove the fungus from plants. As tea has anti-fungal properties, spraying it on the affected parts of the plant will be beneficial. You can also add green tea leaves to make it more potent.

13. Keep Cats Away

Tea Bag Uses 4
shutterstock/Nils Jacobi

If you want to get rid of the cats that wander into your garden, then you can repel them away using teabags. The strong scent of tea tends to keep cats at bay, and that too without any harmful effects.

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  1. Do tea bags bring in any animals? I want to try it but I live pretty close to the woods and don’t want critters on my porch.

    • Animals like foxes and cats do not like the aroma of some t/bags, and to keep insects away mix tea and salt into a watering can and spray all over the garden

    • I doubt it as they strictly provide nitrogen to the soil. They may even encourage the growth of fungi. Unless you have a massive mushroom problem I wouldn’t worry as there is a healthy balance of fungi. They also encourage nitrogen into the roots of plants at the molecular level.

    • 12. Remove Fungus

      Use brewed tea with chamomile to fight or remove the fungus from plants. As tea has anti-fungal properties, spraying it on the affected parts of the plant will be beneficial. You can also add green tea leaves to make it more potent.

    • Mushrooms are like any other plant or fruit that you grow. Teabags contain lots of nutrients that will help with the formation of the mushroom. An idea is to use old leftover tea to water the mushrooms because it will act as a fertilizer.

    • I never use tea bags made from plastic, as we ingest that stuff!! Use only paper tea bags, then you don’t have to worry about plastic bags. If you are concerned about pesticides, use organic tea. Also, I brew loose tea, much better tasting, some Brits won’t use any thing else. :-)

  2. The only problem with a lot of teabags is that they are made from plastic or partial plastic that does not compost. Above is a picture of a box of Lipton tea. The bags are triangle shape. These are some kind of plastic. Not good for the soil.

    • Bad idea, because the leaves are already compost with lots of nutrients. A thing for you to try is when you next brew a cup of tea do not strain it, put it on a saucer, tear open the top and put any seed in it. The reason for this is because the t/bag is aleady heated and the leaves have now become compost.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, I have always used coffee ground and tea leaves in bags or fresh. They have always worked wonderfully with my herbs. I have repotted my herb seedlings today and watered with freshly made tea in my watering my newly potted herb seedlings. Squeezed out both tea bags and broken both tea bags and shared the the spent tea leaves around each potted herbs. Gaurenteed they will be very healthy happy plants. Tea Leaves as well as Comfrey Leaves are perfect widely used Organic Natural Fertilizers over my last 10 – 12 years growing my own vegetables and herbs xxx

  4. I take people’s plants out of their garbage cans and feed them tea, prune them and just wait.
    My friends will say, “Wow! What a great plant!” AND I say, “That’s the one I took out of your garbage!” Fun!

  5. The tea that is spoken about is black tea. Different from herb teas, but they are great as compost as well. I don’t know if the herb teas are acidic, don’t think all are, you can always check them out for their properties.

  6. Can you use Bigelow wild blueberry with Acai (herbal tea)? It’s not my favorite tea & sounds like a good use for it.

  7. I cut my cold t-bags and place the leaves onto the top of my soil it grows mould practically straight away is this any good for my plants

  8. To get the best out of an old teabag.
    1 – brew the old teabag
    2 – use the old teabag water to water your plants. (acts as fertilizer)
    3 – also you can use the old teabag to place around the things you grow to keep pests away.


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