We’ve briefly touched on growing your own tea at home before on this site, but I’d like to talk about it a bit more. In fact, I’m not going to talk about just growing tea but about growing any similar plant indoors. What I mean by similar plant, is a plant that does not flower.
The reason this is important is that flowering plants grow most efficiently with a different kind of light than plants that don’t flower. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They grow the same, but when it comes time to flowering, the light they need changes.
Basically, for growing they need a light that is more heavy in bluish colors. When it comes time to flower, they do so more efficiently with light that is more reddish. In nature, this happens automatically as the seasons change, but when you are growing at home you have to make up for this difference in light by using different types of grow light bulbs.
Now I should note that it is possible to just use one type for both the growth stage and the flowering stage, but it is more efficient to use different lights. You’ll see better results.
But since we are not talking about flowering plants today, we don’t need to worry about this. We’re talking about plants that only need the bluish type of light for growth. So let’s talk about those lights.
The cheapest flights and the easiest to run are fluorescent lights. Specifically, T5 fluorescent grow tubes, like the Agrobrite tubes and fixtures reviewed here, are perfect for growing plants. These are the ones you want to use for an herb garden or if you’re growing lettuce, etc. Any types of plants that don’t need to flower, basically.
Since tea is one of those plants, it stands to reason that T5 fluorescent grow lights will work great for tea. The other alternatives are other lights that also give off blue light, like metal halide bulbs and LED grow lights using specific color spectra. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Metal halide lights are much more powerful than fluorescent lights and will give you better results, but they cost more to buy, they cost more to run and they give off much more heat. They cost more to run because they use more electricity and also because you have to cool your room to dissipate the heat they give off. If you don’t, it could harm your plants. This leads to much higher electricity costs.
As for LED plant lights, they use far less electricity than fluorescent lights or metal halide lights and they also give off less heat. This sounds great, but the drawback is the price. They are much more expensive than the other types of lights and really only make sense if you’re a commercial grower.
If you’re just growing a little bit of tea at home or you have your own little herb garden, I would definitely recommend T5 fluorescent plant lights. They are simply the most efficient and the easiest to use.
You can buy these lights anywhere, but Amazon might be the best choice, if you’re buying them online. Most people have an account there already and they have some of the best prices and a large selection. Alternatively, you can find fluorescent lights at your local hardware store. They are really easy to find, basically.
So there you have it. If you feel like you might want to try growing your own tea, get yourself some T5 light bulbs. The same is true if you want to grow your own herbs at home. And I know this is probably more likely.
I have yet to meet anyone else who has the same idea of growing their own tea. I don’t know why I’ve become so obsessed with that, but ever since reading about the Japanese farmer was doing it, I just really want to do it myself. I guess I just love tea and I’ve always been interested in gardening too. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?