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| When to Harvest Greek Mountain Tea |
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Annie Liddell
Posted on: July 24, 2002
This is not an order. I received an order from you in the spring that included a Greek tea plant. I also have one received from you the previous year. They are in blossom. Should I be clipping the flowering part? Or is it ok to leave on? I will be drying leaves for tea in the fall. I would really appreciate getting an answer to this.
Traditionally, leafy aromatic herbs such as greek mountain tea, mint, and lemon balm are harvested as the flowers appear. The rationale is that these herbs reach their peak oil content as they begin to flower and it is the oil that confers the flavour and (usually) the medicinal value of the herbs. So, you can already harvest the flowering stems and dry them. You can harvest any subsequent flowering stems as they appear until the fall.
Cutting the flowering stems before the flowers are spent and turn into seed heads often spurs the plants to produce more flowers. So, the added benefit of continuous harvesting during the season is increased yield.