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How to Dry Hibiscus Flowers for Tea

The hibiscus bush is a popular tropical flowering plant that can also be used to make hibiscus flower tea. Along with its vibrant color and tart flavors, this tea is prized for its amazing benefits.

Below you’ll find a guide for drying hibiscus flowers for tea. If you want to enjoy these flowers as floral stars of your garden and as a supply for your tea caddy, keep reading and find out how easy it is to preserve and brew these flowers yourself. 

How to Gather and Dry Hibiscus for Tea

The good news about hibiscus tea is that if you live in a warmer climate, you can grow many species of the hibiscus plant if you have a sunny spot in your yard or patio. The fresh flowers of the hibiscus start blooming in late spring and continue until late fall, so you’ll always have a supply of this vibrant herbal tea blend.

The species of hibiscus used in hibiscus tea is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

Hibiscus flowers are collected and dried in multiple ways for use in brewing tea. 

These flowers can be grown and gathered from potted hibiscus plants for use in tea after serving as decoration on the plant itself. Hibiscus flowers can be dried in three major ways:

  • Oven heat
  • Dehydrator
  • Solar power

Before you dry hibiscus petals for tea, however, you need to learn how to efficiently harvest them from the plant. 

how to dry hibiscus flowers for tea
Hibiscus tea is full of vitamin C.

Harvest the Hibiscus Flowers

To harvest fresh hibiscus flowers, take a clean sharp instrument like a blade or a pair of sharp scissors and snip the hibiscus flowers off directly beneath the bloom, trimming away as much foliage like leaves and stems as possible.

Since the hibiscus petals are the only part of the plant that you want for tea, discard any green parts of the plant before placing the petals in a container for drying. 

Remove the stamens from the hibiscus blooms. These are the yellow pointed parts in the center of the floor that are dusted with the flower’s pollen. 

Rinse the fresh hibiscus flowers off in cool water to remove any dust or debris that might be clinging to them. Keep in mind that you’ll want to use hibiscus flowers that have not been treated with pesticides.

Dry the Hibiscus Flowers for Tea

After harvesting the hibiscus petals, the next step is drying them. This step will depend on which method you choose to follow for drying.

Oven Drying Hibiscus Flowers

If you’re planning to use an oven to dry the hibiscus flowers, lay them on a baking or cookie sheet and bake them in the oven on the lowest setting. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to prevent heat from building up. 

If you lay them on a piece of parchment paper, you won’t have to worry about them sticking to the pan.

Check on the flowers every thirty minutes until completely dried. Remove the layer of dried flowers once the petals begin to crumble and turn dark.

Sun Drying Hibiscus Flowers

Fresh hibiscus flowers can be dried in the sun by laying them on a tray and leaving them outdoors in direct sun in an area that is protected from the wind. 

Drying hibiscus flowers in the sun can take three to five days depending on how humid the climate is. Be sure to stay on the watch for rain if you decide to dry your flowers this way. 

Using a Dehydrator for Hibiscus Flowers

Using a home dehydrator is definitely a quicker method to dry hibiscus flowers for tea. To use it, place the flowers in a single layer on a drying rack in the dehydrator and put it on the lowest setting.

hibiscus flowers in herbal tea garden
Only the petals are used to make hibiscus tea.

Remove the dried flowers from the dehydrator trays after an hour or two after the flowers are dried and crumbly.  

No matter which drying method you use to dry hibiscus flowers for tea, you’ll need to store them properly to keep them in good condition until it’s time to brew them.

Storing Hibiscus Flower Tea

Dried hibiscus flowers should be stored in an airtight container like a Mason jar until ready for use. 

The flowers can be either kept loose and crushed as a looseleaf mixture or added to empty tea bags. If hibiscus flowers are used looseleaf, a tea infuser is needed to prevent straining.

How to Use Dried Hibiscus Flowers

Dried hibiscus flowers can be used to make either hot hibiscus tea or an iced tea also known as Jamaica tea, agua de Jamaica, agua fresca Jamaica, or flor de Jamaica.

Here’s an easy hibiscus tea recipe if you want to brew up your dried stash of flowers. 

The following ingredients can be mixed with dried hibiscus flowers and hot water to make hot or iced hibiscus tea: 

  • Dried hibiscus petals:  Dried hibiscus tea bags can be used, or the loose dried flower petals. 
  • Lime juice: Lime juice is often added to hibiscus tea as a tart counterpoint to the flavor of the dried flowers. It also adds an extra dose of Vitamin C to the brew. Floating a few lime slices can also make your hibiscus drink even prettier.
  • Cinnamon stick: A cinnamon stick can be used in hibiscus tea to help make the flavor of the tea more complex and add some warming spice. 
  • Green tea: If you want more of a mellow grassy flavor than a floral flavor in your hibiscus tea, green tea bags can be added to the brew to deepen its flavor profile and increase its nutritional value.
  • Sweetener: Liquid sweeteners like honey or stevia can be used to sweeten hibiscus tea since they mix well with hot tea.

Not only do these ingredients lead to a flavorful drink that is a refreshing drink in hot summer months, they also come with several health benefits.

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

how to dry hibiscus for tea

Dried hibiscus flowers hold several medicinal properties that make them a practical ingredient in herbal teas. These are the greatest hibiscus tea benefits you can get from drinking this popular drink regularly:

  • Low blood pressure and blood sugar: If you have high blood pressure, hibiscus can help lower blood pressure as well as lower blood sugar levels. This helps prevent degenerative damage from disorders like stroke and diabetes.
  • Vitamin C: Hibiscus tea is loaded with Vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system and can help prevent viruses and infections.
  • Weight loss aid: Hibiscus has been shown in scientific studies to promote weight loss and prevent obesity.

Since there are no serious side effects associated with hibiscus tea, it’s a smart choice to drink for preventative health.

Hibiscus Tea is Delicious and Healthy

Showcasing one of the most vibrant tea liquor colors in the herbal tea world, hibiscus tea is a simple tisane that you can easily make yourself at home in your own backyard garden. 

Growing and drying hibiscus at home is a good way to ensure that you have a supply of bright red blooms for your tea caddy all season long!

how to dry hibiscus flowers for herbal tea