Vandana Shukla

How To Fertilize Orchids With Tea: 11 Facts You Should Know!


There are many different ways to fertilize orchids, but using tea as a fertilizer may just be the easiest and most effective way to try.

The steps for fertilizing orchids with tea are outlined below:

  • Using tea water to soak orchid roots
  • Spread the tea content directly in the orchid potting soil
  • Use tea & lemon combination while watering the orchid

The following sections provide more information on the aforementioned points.

Using tea water to soak orchid roots

This is the best method for dehydrating orchids. Add water to a vase until the tea bag turns into a different color. During the day, soak the orchid roots in a glass of tea, and at night, take it out to dry. Repeat the process for at least 2-3 weeks.

Spread the tea content directly in the orchid potting soil

Tea bag method is perfect to give an orchid, a little extra help during the growing season.

Once brewing the tea with a tea bag, add the contents of the bag over the potting media.

Use tea & lemon combination while watering the orchid

Since adding tea to an orchid can lower the pH level, by adding a slice of lemon with it can reduce the pH level to its normal levels. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at how tea can benefit the orchids, what types of teas are best, and how to use tea in the orchid care routine.

Image Credits: “Orchids” by Shehan Obeysekera is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Is tea good for orchids?

Tea is good for orchids in the following ways:

  • The nitrogen content in tea is almost 5%. It also contains polyphenols, antioxidants, and natural chemicals that will benefit orchids when used as part of a care routine! In fact, a high percentage of nitrogen also helps to revive the dead orchid.
  • The acidity of the tea can help to create a slightly acidic soil environment for the orchids, which can be beneficial for their growth.
  • Tea contains tannins which help to improve the soil structure, making it more porous and allowing for better water and nutrient uptake by the orchids.

Keep orchids in their tea bath during the day, in an area where it receives some exposure to light. Check on it after 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to remove it from its bath before night so that it can dry; or else the rot will occur.

If the orchid looks healthy, just stop the baths. If it still looks dehydrated, place it back in its cup or vase and resume the baths. Remember to refrigerate the tea before using it again.

What kind of tea is good for orchids?

Image Credits: Black tea by
Daniel Hanson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Black tea is good for orchids because it not only boosts nitrogen levels, but also lowers pH levels. Using a herbal tree is a good option if the Ph preference of the orchid is unknown to the grower.

Black tea has an approximate pH of 5.0 which will help to lower the pH of alkaline water used in potting media.

Note: If required for terrestrial orchids then it is better to use green tea than black tea because they prefer a high pH, and green tea has a pH level of around 8-10.

TeapH Level
Black tea5-5.5
Green tea8-10
Chamomile tea6-7.5
Lemon tea3

How to use black tea for orchids?

Even dehydrated orchids can be revived with black tea’s nutrients like nitrogen, but what is the best way to use it?

Listed below steps can be followed to use black tea for orchids:

  • Pour room-temperature distilled water over a black teabag
  • Steep for 8-10 minutes
  • When the tea gets cooled down, soak only the roots of the orchids into it.
  • Keep the orchid’s crown area dry by covering its roots with tea.

How much tea to use for orchids?

Whether soaking orchid roots in tea or directly spreading the tea contents, it is best to use the right amount of tea to get the desired effect.

In general, one tea bag should provide enough nutrients for orchids without causing the growing media to clog. However, if it feels that the orchid requires more, it is better to add more but it would be more of an experimental process.

If too much tea is used, it can damage the orchid’s roots and leaves; if used too little, the orchid won’t be able to absorb the nutrients and may become weak. Thus, make sure to use the right amount.

How often should you add tea to orchids?

Adding tea to orchids can have many benefits, but it is important to do it the right frequency so that it doesn’t cause any damage to the orchids.

Ideally, it is recommended to add tea to orchid after it has finished blooming. Fertilizing one day on the watering schedule ensures vibrant blooms for years to come.

When to use tea to use for orchids?

Image Credits: “Orchids in Summer” by Sarah Ward Aviatrix is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Using tea as part of the orchid care routine can help orchids grow healthy and strong, as long as it is used properly, at the right time, and with good ingredients.

The best time to use tea to use for orchids is during the day time. Put orchids in a jar of tea during the day and remove it at night. This will keep the orchid fresh. Make sure to place it back into the jar of tea in the morning.

Is chamomile tea good for orchids?

Image Credits: “Chamomile Tea” by Paul Downey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Chamomile tea is good for orchids as it not only prevents damping off but also helps in seed germination and works as an effective natural insecticide. Plants suffering from fungus and mildew will benefit from chamomile tea’s antibacterial and fungicidal properties.

Chamomile tea contains tannins, which break down seed casings and help seeds germinate. Chamomile tea can be used to germinate seeds: make a cup, let it cool, then add the seeds and let it get swollen.

Compost tea for orchids

Compost tea has gained popularity as an alternative method of fertilizing plants, trees, and shrubs, but it can also be used to support the health of the orchids.

Compost tea boosts plant growth, and provides orchid with essential nutrients. The best part is that compost tea can be used directly in the orchid’s growing medium.

It is possible to apply compost tea directly to the plants’ growing medium or to their leaves as a foliar feed. Pour a cup or two of compost tea into an orchid medium and water the plants. And for foliar seed, ensure that compost tea mixture is strained before spraying it.

Cold tea for orchids

Most orchid hobbyists use room temperature or warm water to water their plants, but what about cold tea?

Cold tea can be used at room temperature for orchids because cold tea has 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit, while orchids prefer temperatures between 50° and 80° F.

Cinnamon tea for orchids

Cinnamon tea has a pleasant taste and smell, but it is also a natural fungicide. Let us see how it works for orchids.

Cinnamon tea protects orchid plants from fungi and bacteria, especially in winter when the orchid does not get as much light as it needs to photosynthesize and keep from getting moldy.

To treat orchid’s leaves, stems or roots, sprinkle a little cinnamon over the areas. To treat a particular area, sprinkle the seasoning over that area or dip it in cinnamon. Make sure to keep the area wet so that the powder will stick.


As a tea drinker and an orchid enthusiast, it is effective to try these methods for fertilizing the blooms. It is easy and effective to keep orchids healthy and rich with flowers.