My mother always used to empty used tea leaves onto our rose bushes.
The short answer is – putting tea leaves round a rose won’t do any harm, provided you’ve allowed them to cool first.
They will help keep the soil moist and add to the humus content as they break down.
But bearing mind that they are acid – being the leaves of a Camellia species – a better use is a mulch around camellias and other acid-lovers such as rhodos and blueberries.
Incidentally, it is also a good idea to put banana skins around rose bushes (eat the banana first). They rapidly break down and are one of the best organic sources of potassium – essential for good flowering.
Answered by Andrew Mikolajski from United Kingdom, Long Buckby, in June 2010.
Andrew Mikolajski is an author of gardening books and a gardening lecturer and speaker.