9 reasons leftover tea leaves belong in your garden + compost recipe

9 reasons leftover tea leaves belong in your garden + compost recipe

Tea is so much more than just that warm and comforting beverage we love curl up on the couch with. It’s also a natural powerhouse ingredient to use in your garden soil. 

That’s right—tea leaves are packed with tons of benefits designed to help your plant paradise thrive and look extra lush, whether you’re spraying it on top of the leaves or adding it to your soil (check out our DIY tea compost for your garden below!) Repurposing your steeped tea leaves is also a quick and easy way to reduce your food waste and give back to the planet.

Ready to get your hands dirty? Grab your gloves and let’s dig into the 9 reasons leftover tea leaves belong in your garden.

1. Natural pest repellent 

Who needs pesticides and herbicides when you already have a natural pest repellent: tea! From black to green to oolong—tea leaves are about to become your secret weapon to warding off those annoying insects, spiders and snails from eating and destroying your beautiful garden. Just burry the leaves around your plants and let it work its magic.

2.Give outdoor plants an extra boost of nutrients

Two words: natural fertilizer. When you incorporate tea leaves into your garden soil, they release nitrogen naturally which helps balance out any carbon-rich materials that may already be present. Reusing tea leaves also helps you improve drainage and adds to soil structure.

3.Protect indoor plants from fungus

Sometimes one of our precious plants gets infected by a mysterious fungal infection. If this happens, don’t worry. Simply use your steeped leaves to brew a weak tea, add it to a spray bottle and spray your indoor plants. Chamomile and black tea leaves actually work wonders on clearing up fungi. 

4.Say goodbye to pesky weeds!

Remember those weekends you spent on all fours digging up those stubborn thistles and crabgrass? Well, no more. Tea leaves have the amazing ability to help the plants you love thrive, while deterring the plants you don’t want (aka weeds) from growing. 

5.Reduce household waste

When you recycle your tea leaves, you’re saving them from winding up in our already overly burdened landfills. Not only is it a win for you (not having to spend money on fertilizer is always a plus!), it’s also a win for the planet. 

6.Speed up composting

Tea leaves are naturally acidic which, when added to other organic materials like compost, increases the speed at which your pile decomposes. If you’re looking to make a nutrient-rich compost at home using leftover tea leaves, check out our how-to guide below.

7.Help plants retain water

Tea leaves have been known to help improve the soil’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, which is why many pro gardeners burry tea leaves around the roots of their plants. When your plants are able to retain more water, this means you don’t have to worry about watering them as frequency.

8.Give earthworms healthy food

You might be wondering: why would I want earthworms in my garden? As it turns out, earthworms provide many benefits to your garden, including helping fertilize your soil. By recycling your leftover tea leaves, you’re providing these little soil workers with a nutritious food source.

9.Keep your nosy cat out of your garden

Fun fact: cats can’t stand the smell of tea. Keep you cat from making a mess and ruing the plants you’re trying to grow by incorporating leftover tea leaves into your soil. It’s a quick, natural and effective way of keeping your favourite furry friend at bay. 

How to compost your tea leaves at home

Give your beautiful garden a feel-good dose of plant-happy nutrients with this perfect tea compost recipe courtesy of DAVIDsTEA.


  • 3 cups finished compost
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 15L rain-barrel water or any chlorine-free water


  1. Soak your finished compost in rain-barrel water and molasses for 2-3 days, stirring your compost regularly.
  2. Pour mixture over your garden soil and watch your plants grow and flourish.
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