The plant I'm going to tell you about now is one of those that has a very pleasant aroma, so much so that it is hard to resist. Its cultivation in the garden is very frequent because, as we will see, it is very easy to maintain.
So without further ado, it's time to know how to care for peppermint. A very grateful herbaceous plant that, with basic care, will grow non-stop year after year.
Table of Contents
- 1 Origin and characteristics of peppermint
- 2 How to take care of peppermint?
- 3 What uses is it given?
- 4 Where to buy?
Origin and characteristics of peppermint
First of all, it is interesting to know what its characteristics are, since this way you can take better care of it. So, of the peppermint or spearmint it is necessary to know that it is a perennial herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean region whose scientific name is mentha spicata. It can reach a height of up to 30 centimeters, and develops stems with lanceolate leaves and a green serrated margin.
During spring it produces flowers grouped in terminal inflorescences, and consist of a calyx with five sepals. The corolla is lilac, pink or white, and is about 3mm long. The fruits are small, less than one centimeter, and contain several seeds, but multiply from the roots.
The root system of this plant is extensive and invasive; in fact, it is not uncommon for it to be pruned at ground level and to sprout again after a few weeks. However, you can grow without problems in small pots - about 30 centimeters in diameter - throughout its life.
How to take care of peppermint?
If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:
It is a very grateful plant and easy to care for, so much so that it could be said that the only essential requirement to have a mint plant in perfect health is the following: it has to be located in full sun, although it can also be adapted to semi-shaded areas (as long as it has a minimum of five hours / daylight).
But so that unforeseen events do not arise, it is advisable to plant in an area where it can be well controlled. As we have commented above, its roots extend a lot, so in the case of wanting to have it in the garden it is preferable that it either be planted with the pot, or in a corner such as a built-in planter or similar, and always separated from other herbaceous plants of similar size.
Pot or soil?
Spearmint is a small perennial herbaceous plant, characteristic for which it can be potted if you don't have a garden, or to enjoy its smell on the patio. This pot can be made of plastic or clay, but it is usually planted more in the latter since, why are we going to deny it, it is much more beautiful in them, right? 😉 In addition, they have the advantage that they last longer; and if you live in a windy area, you can hold it to the ground with less difficulty.
- Flower pot: fill with universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
- the garden: grows in almost all types of soils, including limestone, provided they have good drainage.
Being a plant native to the Mediterranean region, it is reasonably resistant to drought. But to get the specimen to have more leaves, It is advisable to water about three times a week in summer, and twice the rest of the year.
It is not necessary to pay, but if you wish, use a slow-release compost (worm castings, for example), especially if you are going to use its leaves for culinary purposes.
How to cut peppermint to keep it growing?
Here's a little secret to keep it more compact: after blooming prune almost flush, leaving about 5-10cm of stem (depending on the size of your peppermint). You'll see how a lot of leaves sprout the following spring.
If you don't want to prune as much, and / or if your plant is still very young, trim its stems a little, about 4-5 centimeters.
Use scissors previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or with a few drops of dish soap, because although it is very resistant to pests and diseases, you know what they say: prevention is better than cure 😉.
Peppermint multiplies easily by dividing the plant, or even by rooted cuttings, in spring. Roots easily, but if you want to help it a little you can put on the substrate homemade rooting agents and then water.
Resists cold and frost up to -5ºC.
What uses is it given?
Peppermint is used as an ornamental plant in pots and gardens, but it also has other uses:
The leaves are used as flavorings in soups, stews and stews. In North Africa, green tea is also prepared with them.
Medicinal properties of peppermint
It has carminative, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, stimulant and antispasmodic properties. You can consume leaves as an infusion, although candies, ice cream and gum are also made.
Where to buy?
You can buy it from here!.
What did you think of the peppermint? Do you have at home?