Can You Put Tea Bags In Compost? (Detailed Answer)

Tea or coffee has become one of the drinks that many people in the family love. Each family member can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee every day. For families with a large number of members, the amount of tea and coffee grounds discharged into the environment every day is very large. So if we accumulate tea bags or coffee bags to make fertilizer for plants is a great idea.

There are many ways to compost tea bags or coffee bags and use them in agriculture. However, each type of tea bag or coffee bag is manufactured from different materials. Can you put tea bags in compost? To reuse tea bags as fertilizer, you also need to note some important information in the article below.

Why Should You Use Tea Grounds To Make Fertilizer For Plants?

You can completely use tea bags to compost in the natural soil environment. Tea leaves that are brewed with fertilizers will speed up the breakdown of nutrients and improve the quality of the soil. Tea grounds contain high levels of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and many other minerals. In particular, used tea grounds also contain natural tannic acid, which has a very good effect on plant growth. Therefore, when using tea residue as fertilizer for plants, it will help provide the necessary nutrient content for plants to grow.

Fertilizer Tea Leaves Enrich The Soil With Nutrients

The nutrients in the tea grounds, after being decomposed directly in the soil, will be converted into plant nutrients. Moreover, the nitrogen content in the tea grounds also has the effect of making the soil more porous and improving the soil structure. Using tea grounds to fertilize also helps worms and beneficial organisms develop and improve soil better.

Tea Grounds Promote The Growth Of Better Acidophilic Plants

The content of tannic acid in the tea grounds also works to lower the pH, which is good for plants that prefer acidic soil. Therefore, plants will grow and develop better when the soil is improved and of ideal quality. You just need to mix tea grounds into the base of the plant with acidic soil-loving plants to lower the pH in the soil and provide more nutrients to the soil. However, for plants that prefer alkaline soil, you should not apply tea grounds to the soil.

can you put tea bags in compost

Add Organic Matter, Improve Soil Fertility

To improve soil fertility, you can use tea leaves mixed with organic fertilizer, or composted as plant fertilizer. This practice helps to increase beneficial microorganisms in the soil, add organic matter to the soil, and improve soil fertility. Instead of using tea leaves, you can also use tea grounds to make the soil more porous and improve drainage.

Anti-Mildew, Pests, And Diseases Harmful To Plants

Studies have shown that tea leaves have antifungal properties that help inhibit the growth of mold on the soil surface and plant stem. This property is also present in black tea – the type of tea used quite commonly today. In addition, chrysanthemum tea is also considered to have effective anti-mold properties.

Fertilizing plants with black tea grounds or chamomile tea not only helps provide nutrients for plants but also prevents mildew. Using tea residue to fertilize plants is also a way to make use of domestic waste in agricultural production today.

Tea bags are considered a natural solution to repel plant pests. The essence of tea leaves is a natural pest control effect, causing pests to automatically stay away. Just mix a few bags of tea grounds with a little water and then spray evenly on the leaves to help prevent pests effectively.

Accelerate The Composting Of Organic Fertilizers

In the growing process, the composting of organic fertilizers to take care of plants is inevitable. By using tea leaves or tea leaves mixed with organic fertilizers, it has the effect of accelerating the rate of decomposition, accelerating the composting process. This is also the secret to shortening the time of organic composting naturally applied by many gardeners.

Stimulate Flowers To Bloom Quickly, Large And Long-Lasting Flowers

Some ornamental plants such as roses or begonias are very fond of tea. Using diluted tea water to spray on the buds that are about to bloom also helps stimulate flowers to bloom quickly. This will help flowers bloom faster, with larger flowers and more beautiful colors. In addition, you can also use warm tea with diluted tea grounds, evenly watering around the base of the plant to promote bloom. This is also the secret of gardeners when they want to stimulate flowers to bloom naturally.

Can You Put Tea Bags In Compost?

You can use tea bags to compost with fertilizers for plants. However, what is important is how long the tea bag can decompose on its own. Tea bags are usually small bags made from materials such as mesh bags or paper bags for steeping tea. These bags work to keep the tea leaves, herbs, or nuts in the tea bag to prevent them from getting into the water.

Tea bags are made from many different materials and you need to consider them before composting tea bags. You should only use biodegradable tea bags in the soil to compost with fertilizer. Non-biodegradable materials in the soil will contaminate the soil and affect the health of plants.

Tea bags made of materials like nylon or plastic won’t biodegrade in the soil. So if you still want to brew the tea grounds into the soil, you need to remove the outer bag and use only the inner tea grounds. Some types of tea bags made of materials such as paper, silk, cotton, fabric, vegetable fibers, or muslin are biodegradable in the soil. You should give priority to using tea bags made from these materials so that you can brew the whole tea bag directly into the soil without worrying about environmental pollution.

You can also place biodegradable tea bags directly in the pot. Tea bags can also help retain moisture and provide essential plant nutrients. However, you should still brew tea bags before fertilizing them to bring the best effect.

Tea bag aging can take several months to decompose and this rate also depends on the material of the tea bag. Tea bags with organic materials such as paper or vegetable fibers will be completely decomposed at the end of the cycle and become useful fertilizers for plants.

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Which Plants Should I Put Tea Grounds In?

Tea grounds have the effect of improving the soil and stimulating the growth of plants. However, not most plants are fond of tea grounds. Here are some popular favorite plants that are fertilized with tea grounds that you can apply. However, you should not abuse tea grounds instead of fertilizers or apply too much to affect soil quality.


Ferns are very popular plants that are fertilized with tea grounds. Tea leaves can help keep the fern fresh and green all season long. The reason is that ferns are acid-loving plants, while tea grounds provide an ideal acidic environment for the soil.


Roses are one of the most popular flowers in North America and Europe. This flower is also famous for its picky soil and care. However, if you have a habit of enjoying a cup of tea every morning, your rose plant will always be lush and prolong its flowering time.


Hydrangea is also one of the plants that prefer acidic soil in soil. Therefore, using tea grounds as fertilizer is one of the effective methods to stimulate huge flowers with vibrant colors. The residue can create an ideal acidic environment for hydrangeas to maintain their vibrant color for a long time.

Spider plants

Spider plants are famous for being strong and sturdy plants in all harsh living conditions. However, tea grounds will promote the growth and development of this plant better. Excessive application of tea grounds can also stimulate this plant to overgrow.

African Violets

This flower also loves acidic soils, although you may have some problems with care. However, you just need to ensure enough light and regular acidic fertilizer to stimulate the growth of this flower.


Tomatoes are also plants that will grow well when fertilized with tea grounds. You can use fertilizer mixed with tea grounds to stimulate plants to flower and produce more fruit.

In addition, you can find many other plants that prefer fertilizer from tea grounds. What all these plants have in common is their preference for acidic soils. So you just need to learn about the ideal pH and environment of plants to fertilize with tea grounds.

Important Notes When Using Tea Grounds To Fertilize

Any fertilizer needs to be used at the right dose and time to bring the best results for plants. Here are some important notes that you need to pay attention to when applying this method.

  • Use tea grounds or bags that are naturally biodegradable in the soil, preferring bags with a short breakdown time like paper bags.
  • Only fertilize plants that prefer acidic environments to stimulate plant growth.
  • Do not pour hot tea bags directly onto the base of the plant because high temperatures will harm the health of the plants.
  • Only use tea leaves that have cooled and aged after a while to enhance the ability to decompose in the soil when you fertilize.
  • Use an appropriate amount of tea grounds for each type of plant. Do not overuse tea grounds to fertilize instead of organic or chemical fertilizers.
  • It is best to mix tea grounds with organic fertilizer and incubate for 14 days before fertilizing plants.
  • During the composting process, you can add some ingredients such as egg shells, orange peels, vegetable roots, or leaf shreds to enhance the quality of the fertilizer.


Brewing tea bags is a great green and sustainable treatment for the natural environment. This is also a perfect way to recycle tea grounds and maintain an eco-friendly attitude towards personal waste every day. Tea grounds have many effects on plant health and improve soil quality, especially with plants that prefer acidic soil environments.

You can compost tea bags as long as the material of the tea bags is naturally degradable. Avoid using tea bags made from nylon or plastic fibers to pollute the environment because they cannot decompose or decompose for a very long time. In addition, you should learn about the plants that prefer tea grounds before fertilizing to avoid changing the soil environment.

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