Many common garden plants are both perfect for edible flower teas and are great fun to grow as they’re particularly hardy so basically grow themselves. Most of these varieties can also be grown in pots, which means you inner-city hippies can also enjoy growing your own homemade tea. Here’s five of our favourites to get you started:
Lavender: Lavender is an all-round winner of a herb. Bees and other pollinators love it, and the best part is it’s almost un-killable in most growing climates. Lavender is also delicious when added to flower teas. All you need to grow lavender it is a ‘slip’ – a cutting from another lavender plant – and a small pot of good soil. If this soil is kept moist in a sheltered and sunny area, you will soon have one proud lavender plant.
Lavender flowers are great for relaxation, lowering stress and also preparing for sleep. So if you’re feeling wound-up, this is the flower for you.
Globe Amaranth: Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) is available as seed in Australia, but it’s not yet widely grown — meaning you should try it! It’s a hardy annual herb with beautiful bright pink-purple flowerheads which partially dry themselves on the plant. At the end of the season, just pick and dry for a few days, and it’ll be ready to drink. You can also find this one dried in some Chinese groceries.
Globe amaranth produces a hot pink tea which is full of antioxidants and is traditionally considered an aphrodisiac and mood lifter.
Chamomile: Ah our good friend chamomile. This one is such a sweetie to grow and looks great in garden beds and pots alike with its delicate foliage. As it’s a perennial, chamomile will bloom with gorgeous small daisies once a year. Again, it’s a hardy little plant that’s easy to love.
Chamomile is a soothing brew that’s used to diminish stress and promote good sleep, as well as being an immune system booster. It can be used in tea either dried or fresh.
Calendula: Calendula daisies are a favourite in our garden, we always try to have a few around. They’re hardy, easy to grow flowers that can be grown in both garden beds and pots. You can plant them, ignore them, and harvest the flowers when the time comes. Calendula will flower continuously over some months so pick the flowers as they bloom (petal plucking also makes an excellent small person activity).
Calendula is known as the skin health tea, as it’s considered anti-inflammatory. It’s also great for menstrual cramps, or any part of your system that needs some help calming down and is full of antioxidants.
Rosella: This one’s more for the sub-tropical growers among us (though rosella can be grown as far south as Sydney in a sunny nook, or in a pot). The rosella flower is a small hibiscus which give way to luscious, fleshy red seed pods that are highly delicious to eat, or add a tangy sweet POW to flower tea. You can use these vitamin C rich flower fresh or dried.
Drying and Brewing Notes
Pick your flowers for homemade flower tea when the flowers are at their best (or the pods, in the case of rosella). Dry them on a tray, somewhere with good airflow and out of the sun. Once they’re dry, seal them in containers and proceed to make delicious teas as needed.
When brewing, add your flowers to a teapot (or directly to a glass), then pour over 85 degree water. A squeeze of lime juice helps bring out the colours and flavors. You van add sweetener as desired. Brew the tea for 5 minutes, and enjoy the many benefits of the prettiest tea this side of anywhere.