‘Crucial task’ gives plants nutrients they need for a ‘show-stopping display’ - can be completed using kitchen scraps

‘Crucial task’ gives plants nutrients they need for a ‘show-stopping display’ - can be completed using kitchen scraps

Royal Horticultural Society shares tips

Royal Horticultural Society
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 23/03/2024

- 10:00

Experts share tips on how to get a beautiful garden this spring

As plants gear up for a growth spurt in the coming weeks, eco-friendly gardening practices could give them a much-needed boost.

Even discarded ingredients, like used tea bags and coffee grounds, can help gardeners achieve a fuller display.

Chamomille and black tea varieties act as nutritious fertilisers because their tannic acids foster high nitrogen levels, which plants need to thrive.

The plants that benefit most from these teas are those that enjoy a higher level of acidity in the soil.

Fertilising plants

Fertilising plants ahead of Spring is crucial according to some experts


It is worth noting that the discarded tea leaves won’t necessarily benefit plants in a way that store-bought fertilisers can't, but they offer an economical alternative with comparable effects.

By boosting the soil’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, plants will benefit from a much-needed boost as they enter their growth phase while offering protection against common diseases.

“Chamomile tea is known for its fungicidal properties,” explained gardening expert Neil McKenzie, from Halton Stairlifts. “Watering your seedlings with a weak chamomile tea solution can help prevent fungal diseases, ensuring your young plants thrive."

“Don’t discard those used tea bags just yet! Rich in tannic acid and nutrients, tea bags can work wonders in improving soil quality.

“Bury then just beneath the soil’s surface to help retain moisture, reduce fungal infections and provide a nutrient boost to your plants.”

David Denyer, two-time Florist of the Year and six-time Chelsea Gold Medalist at Eflorist stresses the importance of fertilising plants ahead of spring.

“There’s no single trick [for vibrant blooms], but for a show-stopping display of blooms this spring, fertilising your flowers and shrubs is a crucial task.

“Fertiliser provides essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants need to not only survive but to thrive and produce those beautiful flowers you crave.”

Using a fertiliser formulated specifically for flowering plants ensures they get the right balance of these nutrients for optimal flower production.

These fertilisers typically have a lower nitrogen content compared to vegetable fertilisers, prioritising flower development over leafy growth.


tea bag

Tannins present in tea can boost plant health


The expert added: “Here’s where timing becomes crucial: apply the fertiliser in early spring, following the specific instructions on the package to avoid overdoing it.

“A pro-tip for long-lasting results? Opt for a slow-release fertiliser to dispense a steady stream of nutrients throughout the season.”

It comes as Monty Don has shared additional tasks to complete ahead of the spring.

The British Horticulturalist listed three plants that need pruning now for abundant flowering in the coming weeks.

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