Position: full sun or partial shade
Soil: moist, well-drained soil
Flowering period: July to August
Hardiness: fully hardy
Mentha, commonly known as mint, is a herbaceous perennial with lance-shaped leaves and spikes topped with purple or white flowers, which open in summer. It is also highly valued as a culinary herb. You can add the aromatic leaves to salads and beverages.
There are many varieties to choose from. Mentha spicata (spearmint or common mint). This variety has bright, green leaves. Excellent for making mint sauce. Mentha spicata var. crispa ‘Moroccan’. Extremely good for making sweet mint tea. Grows to about 60cm tall.
Mentha p. ‘ Moroccan’ Mentha x p. citrata
If you like the taste of peppermint consider Mentha x piperita and Mentha x piperita f. citrata ‘Chocolate’. For apple-scented leaves try Mentha suaveolens (Apple mint). This plant will reach a height of 80-90cm
Pruning Mentha (mint). Shorten stems by 1/3 after flowering. New sideshoots will appear on the stems. If the leaves have become ugly after flowering, cut the whole flowered stems back to 5-7cm above the ground. Hard pruning will quickly stimulate new growth.
Flower on a mint plant Shorten stems after flowering New sideshoots
Mentha planted in the ground can become invasive. The roots quickly grow just under the surface. If you want to control the spread of the roots, grow the plant in a container
Mentha dies down in winter and is fully hardy. So you don’t need to store the plant in a frost-free place. A container-grown mint plant doesn’t like wet conditions during winter. Heavy rainfall may cause root rot.
Pick leaves from the plant tips during the growing season. If you want to use the whole stem, cut the stem back to 5-7cm above the ground. Mint leaves reach their peak of flavour just before the plant begins to flower.
How to propagate mint. See Propagating Mint