Mint comes in all sorts of varieties, and one of the most popular is Peppermint. The fragrant leaves can flavor anything from favorite drinks to easy or gourmet dishes. Peppermint also is said to have some medicinal properties. You even can enjoy mint outdoors, too. Walking past or touching the plant unloads its fresh aroma. Mint is easy to grow. It grows quickly and can spread to make a scented, light green groundcover. Planted between stepping stones, mint fills in to create a warm, green pattern of color and texture.
Pruning your Peppermint is easy. Just clip leaves to harvest and use fresh or dry. Mint's ability to spread is well and good if that's what you want from the plant. If you don't want mint to spread, plant it in a container. You even can take the bottom out of a pot and plant it in the ground deep enough to keep its runners from moving along at soil level. Mint grows low to the ground or container surface but can reach nearly 2 feet tall. Since it is a perennial herb in zones 3 through 7, your mint can come back year after year.
Peppermint Plant Care
Plant Mint in spring after the last frost in your area. Choose an area with plenty of sun of part shade where you can water the mint easily. Mint likes average to rich soil, so you can add compost or other organic matter to the soil before planting. Add a layer of mulch to the ground around the plant to help retain moisture and lift leaves off the soil for cleaner harvests. Space mint plants about 18 to 24 inches apart. Keeping your mint trimmed and harvesting the leaves for cooking or other household uses can help control its growth.
Growing Peppermint Plants
Mint grows quickly, first into a small, bushy shape. Then, it begins to travel outward, and runners can root along the ground wherever they can reach. You can harvest mint by pinching off stems as soon as the plant is established, meaning it has been in the ground for more than a week or two and appears to be settled in, even growing. Separate the plant into several small plants each spring if you like.
Few plants are as perfect for containers as Mint. The only sure way to control the plant's growth is to place it in a container. But you can take the container inside in winter and enjoy the herb all year, returning it to the outdoors when the weather warms. Use a good quality potting mix and grow in nearly any container that has good drainage. Get creative if you like. Container-grown mint might need repotting every few years if the leaves look sparse.
Watering Peppermint Plants
Keep the soil around the mint evenly moist. Indoor-grown mint will need more water than some houseplants, so be sure to check the soil to see if it is moist just below the surface.
Feeding Peppermint Plants
There is no need to fertilize mint, but an occasional dose of a plant food can keep it green and healthy. Use a balanced fertilizer and water after adding the food.
|Common Name: Mint-Peppermint|
|Botanical Name: Mentha x piperita|
|Plant Type: Mint|
|Edible Type: Herbs|
|Vegetable Size: -|
|Light Exposure: Full Sun (+6 hrs.)|
|Spacing: 12 - 18" (30 - 46cm)|
|Height: 24" (61cm)|
|Width: 24 - 36" (61 - 91cm)|
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