Plant a Beverage Garden

Grow these 13 plants to brew your own beverages.

Related To:

There are all kinds of edible gardens out there: herb gardens, pizza gardens, salsa gardens, cocktail gardens. If you are a fan of refreshing summer drinks, then consider planting a beverage garden that will allow you to create refreshing potions at home. Start with these suggestions for beverage garden plants.

Roselle Jamaican Hibiscus

Roselle Jamaican Hibiscus

Discover the pleasures of hibiscus iced tea with Roselle Jamaican hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa). The fleshy sepals that form after flowering brew a bright red tea packed with Vitamin C and anthocyanins. Grow as a potted annual north of Zone 10. Overwinter indoors, providing temperatures above 60 F for consistent growth.

Photo by: Logee’s Plants

Logee’s Plants

Roselle Jamaican Hibiscus

Discover the pleasures of hibiscus iced tea with Roselle Jamaican hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa). The fleshy sepals that form after flowering brew a bright red tea packed with Vitamin C and anthocyanins. Grow as a potted annual north of Zone 10. Overwinter indoors, providing temperatures above 60 F for consistent growth.

Common Chamomile

Common Chamomile

Also known as German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), this is the happy flower that yields a soothing tea. Give plants a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Harvest blooms when fully open, and dry for the most concentrated flavor. For tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. If using freshly harvested flowers, plan on twice the amount.

Photo by: Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Common Chamomile

Also known as German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), this is the happy flower that yields a soothing tea. Give plants a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Harvest blooms when fully open, and dry for the most concentrated flavor. For tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. If using freshly harvested flowers, plan on twice the amount. 

HoneyDip Stevia

HoneyDip Stevia

A favorite among dieters, stevia is super easy to grow as an annual in Zones 7 and cooler. Give it full sun in northern gardens; provide protection from hot afternoon sun in warmest zones. Pinch plants early in the season several times to encourage branching. Pick the super sweet leaves of this herb for drying or fresh use. For best results, dry in a dehydrator or a 150-degree oven. To use, crush dry leaves as needed. In Zones 8 and warmer, plants may overwinter with mulch.

Photo by: Burpee

Burpee

HoneyDip Stevia

A favorite among dieters, stevia is super easy to grow as an annual in Zones 7 and cooler. Give it full sun in northern gardens; provide protection from hot afternoon sun in warmest zones. Pinch plants early in the season several times to encourage branching. Pick the super sweet leaves of this herb for drying or fresh use. For best results, dry in a dehydrator or a 150-degree oven. To use, crush dry leaves as needed. In Zones 8 and warmer, plants may overwinter with mulch.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons

Not every garden property can boast an orangerie, but the exquisite Millwood, Virginia home of Elizabeth Locke features not only an orangerie for her citrus plants and indoor pool, but an ice house, conservancy, parterre gardens, a chicken coop, edible gardens and a black walnut tree that is one of the largest in the Commonwealth.

Meyer Lemon

Rewarding and easy to grow, Meyer lemon (Citrus x meyeri) is prized by chefs for its intense flavor. It adapts well to growing in pots. In cold regions, shift containers indoors for winter. Keep plants in a too-small rather than a too-large pot for best growth. Most importantly, allow soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root problems. Meyer lemons offer a sweeter juice, less acid and a thinner peel than other lemons. Use it for lemonade, dropped into water or to season the rim of glasses.

Coffee Plant

Coffee Plant

The coffee plant (Coffee arabica) makes an ideal houseplant, not needing high light to grow and flower. Plants start blooming when three years old and usually in late spring and/or summer. Flowers fade to form green cherry-looking fruit that turns red when ripe. Inside are two coffee beans. In summer, place your coffee plant outdoors, gradually exposing it to sun.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

Coffee Plant

The coffee plant (Coffee arabica) makes an ideal houseplant, not needing high light to grow and flower. Plants start blooming when three years old and usually in late spring and/or summer. Flowers fade to form green cherry-looking fruit that turns red when ripe. Inside are two coffee beans. In summer, place your coffee plant outdoors, gradually exposing it to sun.

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint

Despite the name and some online reviews, chocolate peppermint doesn’t taste or smell strongly like chocolate. It bears more resemblance to a chocolate after dinner mint—a hint of chocolate and mint. Use leaves fresh or dried to flavor water or tea. The flavor is best when leaves are harvested before the plant flowers.

Photo by: Burpee

Burpee

Chocolate Mint

Despite the name and some online reviews, chocolate peppermint doesn’t taste or smell strongly like chocolate. It bears more resemblance to a chocolate after dinner mint—a hint of chocolate and mint. Use leaves fresh or dried to flavor water or tea. The flavor is best when leaves are harvested before the plant flowers.

Chocolate Tree

Chocolate Tree

A chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao) is a large plant, not starting to flower until it reaches 5 to 7 feet tall. It craves warmth (temps above 60 F) and bright light. Sit it outdoors for summer to encourage flowering. Blooms typically form spring through fall, followed by a large pod-like fruit. The fruit starts green and ripens to golden yellow. Inside the fruit are the chocolate beans, which must be fermented and dried before use.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

Chocolate Tree

A chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao) is a large plant, not starting to flower until it reaches 5 to 7 feet tall. It craves warmth (temps above 60 F) and bright light. Sit it outdoors for summer to encourage flowering. Blooms typically form spring through fall, followed by a large pod-like fruit. The fruit starts green and ripens to golden yellow. Inside the fruit are the chocolate beans, which must be fermented and dried before use.

Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop

A pretty perennial in Zones 4 to 9, anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) brings a pop of purple to the garden. The eye-catching blooms are pollinator magnets, attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Harvest leaves or purple petals to flavor teas and water. You can use either leaves or flowers fresh or dried. Anise hyssop thrives in full sun in well-drained soil.

Photo by: Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Anise Hyssop

A pretty perennial in Zones 4 to 9, anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) brings a pop of purple to the garden. The eye-catching blooms are pollinator magnets, attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Harvest leaves or purple petals to flavor teas and water. You can use either leaves or flowers fresh or dried. Anise hyssop thrives in full sun in well-drained soil.

Tea Plant

Tea Plant

Camellia sinensis is the plant you want for growing traditional tea leaves. Dried mature leaves produce black tea; young leaves yield a less acidic brew known as white tea. Allow plants to reach 3 to 5 feet before picking leaves, which you can do twice a year. Prune plants when they’re young to cause branching, which gives you more stems to harvest. Plants are winter hardy in Zones 8-10. Grow them in pots in other zones. Feed tea plants lightly—only in spring.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

Tea Plant

Camellia sinensis is the plant you want for growing traditional tea leaves. Dried mature leaves produce black tea; young leaves yield a less acidic brew known as white tea. Allow plants to reach 3 to 5 feet before picking leaves, which you can do twice a year. Prune plants when they’re young to cause branching, which gives you more stems to harvest. Plants are winter hardy in Zones 8-10. Grow them in pots in other zones. Feed tea plants lightly—only in spring.

 ‘Vaniglia Sanguigno’ Blood Orange

‘Vaniglia Sanguigno’ Blood Orange

‘Vaniglia Sanguigno’ is an acidless sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) with a pale pink flesh that has a hint of vanilla. This blood orange is easy to grow, doing best with bright light and temps above 60 F. Watch for flowers in late winter and spring; fertilize lightly through summer. Fruit ripens through fall and winter.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

Blood Orange

‘Vaniglia Sanguigno’ is an acidless sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) with a pale pink flesh that has a hint of vanilla. This blood orange is easy to grow, doing best with bright light and temps above 60 F. Watch for flowers in late winter and spring; fertilize lightly through summer. Fruit ripens through fall and winter.

Red Pineapple Sage

Red Pineapple Sage

The fire-engine-red flowers of pineapple sage, a tender perennial, start in earnest in late summer. The common scarlet sage, an annual that blooms from spring to frost, also comes in a host of other colors, including cream, pink, orange, salmon, purple and bicolor.

Pineapple Sage

Grow pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) as an annual shrub in all but warmest zones. It flowers late in the season, but the red blossoms are worth the wait. They beckon hummingbirds heading south for the winter and also carry a lovely pineapple flavor. Leaves are flavorful, too, with tender young leaves packing the best aroma and taste. Use pineapple sage in water, lemonade, punch or tea.

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate

In South America, yerbe mate is the drink of choice, more popular than coffee. It’s made from the leaves of a plant by the same name: yerbe mate (Ilex paraguariensis). The drink, made with dried leaves, tastes refreshing hot or cold with a flavor similar to green tea. Packed with antioxidants and caffeine, yerbe mate is an easy growing beauty. Start picking leaves once plants are established—anywhere from 2 to 8 feet tall. Feed plants regularly through spring and summer.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

Yerba Mate

In South America, yerbe mate is the drink of choice, more popular than coffee. It’s made from the leaves of a plant by the same name: yerbe mate (Ilex paraguariensis). The drink, made with dried leaves, tastes refreshing hot or cold with a flavor similar to green tea. Packed with antioxidants and caffeine, yerbe mate is an easy growing beauty. Start picking leaves once plants are established—anywhere from 2 to 8 feet tall. Feed plants regularly through spring and summer.

'Maid of Orleans' Jasmine

'Maid of Orleans' Jasmine

Also known as Arabian tea jasmine, ‘Maid of Orleans’ (Jasminum sambac) is usually raised for its perfumed blooms. The blossoms also make a refreshing flavored water. Simply place flowers in cold water, refrigerate overnight, and drink in the morning. This jasmine thrives indoors or out, although it’s only winter hardy in Zone 10. Indoors, keep it in a bright southern window with temps above 65 F. ‘Maid of Orleans’ grows into a shrub form. Prune as needed to control and direct growth.

Photo by: Logee's Plants

Logee's Plants

'Maid of Orleans' Jasmine

Also known as Arabian tea jasmine, ‘Maid of Orleans’ (Jasminum sambac) is usually raised for its perfumed blooms. The blossoms also make a refreshing flavored water. Simply place flowers in cold water, refrigerate overnight, and drink in the morning. This jasmine thrives indoors or out, although it’s only winter hardy in Zone 10. Indoors, keep it in a bright southern window with temps above 65 F. ‘Maid of Orleans’ grows into a shrub form. Prune as needed to control and direct growth.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Top Edibles for Apartment Gardens

 Meet some of the best edibles—veggies and herbs—that thrive in the tight confines of apartment gardens.

Garden Smart with Simple Stone Labels

Take the guesswork out of gardening with clearly labeled fruits and vegetables.

Top 10 Value Veggies to Plant

Can you guess which plant is #1 for getting the most bang for your gardening buck?

Apartment Gardening Tips

Learn tips to succeed with indoor gardening.

How to Plant a Kid-Friendly Garden

Encourage your kids to embrace their inner gardener this season.

Ready, Set, Grow! When to Start Your Garden

Does winter weather have you itching to dig in the dirt? Get tips on when you can safely start planting veggies for spring and summer.

Making Good: How to Garden Like a Diplomat

What the rooftop garden at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC can teach you about gardening.

Fall Gardening, Planting and Lawn Care Tips

The gardening season isn't over when the weather gets cooler.

Fall Planting Step-by-Step

Extend your garden season into the fall with these tips.

4 Raised Gardens You Can Make in an Afternoon

Give your veggies a leg up by growing them in raised gardens.