How to care for peppermint

Peppermint is a herbaceous plant

Image - Flickr / Allium Herbalist

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.

Origin and characteristics of peppermint

View of potted peppermint

Image - Wikimedia / Raffi Kojian

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:

Location

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.

Earth

  • 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.

Irrigation

Peppermint flower is grouped in an inflorescence

Image - Flickr / jacinta lluch valero

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.

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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 😉.

Multiplication

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.

Rusticity

Resists cold and frost up to -5ºC.

What uses is it given?

Peppermint leaves have several uses

Image - Wikimedia / Crista Castellanos

Peppermint is used as an ornamental plant in pots and gardens, but it also has other uses:

Culinary

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?


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  1.   monica de liendo said

    Your recommendation has served me, because I have a little plant at home and sometimes it has become a little wilted and I did not know how to take care of it

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      I'm glad it served you 🙂

  2.   Nancy torres said

    Hello, I have my mint planted in a small rectangular garden where I have peregil and coriander. Is that convenient? Or do I need to plant them in different pots? Thank you for your comments.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Nancy.
      No problem. You just have to prune the plants so that none of them run out of light.
      A greeting.

  3.   Ana said

    Hello I have a peppermint at home and I put it under a light swallow that I have but it is wilting, what can I do?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ana.
      How often do you water it? Peppermint is a plant that needs little water, especially if it is in a pot.
      Check the humidity of the soil before watering, for example inserting a thin wooden stick to the bottom (if it comes out practically clean, it will mean that the soil is dry and therefore can be watered).
      If you have a plate underneath, remove the excess water within ten minutes of watering.

      The frequency should be about 2 or 3 times a week in summer, and 1-2 / week the rest of the year.

      A greeting.

  4.   Elisa R. said

    I bought a little peppermint plant and watered it probably every 2 or 3 days, it's barely two weeks at home and it seems to be dying! Is there any way to save it? I had it inside the house and it was not sunny, so far I am reading it 🙁 THANK YOU!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Elisa.
      I recommend you take it outside, in a very bright place but protected from direct sun.
      If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, water it no more than twice a week. When spring arrives, increase the frequency only if the temperatures rise above 30ºC.
      A greeting.

  5.   Manuel Gomez said

    Thank you very much I really liked the information that has been given thanks for the contribution

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are glad you liked it, Manuel.

  6.   Bruno said

    Hello. I have a small peppermint plant at home, but it has grown little brown spots that seem to eat the leaves. Why is this happening? How can I cure it? Greetings.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Bruno.
      They might be aphids. In the link you have more information about them.
      A greeting.

  7.   My parrot said

    I have a pot with mint, there are days when it is radiant and I water it 3 times a week but I have noticed that when I take it out in the sun the leaves fall and it loses luminosity.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Milo.
      It is because she is not used to the sun, and it burns her. It is better to keep it in semi-shade and gradually accustom it to the sunlight.
      A greeting.

  8.   Dear said

    Hello

    something is not clear to me. Full sun? or bright without sun

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Carito.
      Wherever you want 🙂, but it has to be bright.
      A greeting.

  9.   Victor said

    Hello, sorry I have one that I recently bought but I see that the earth sometimes turns a strange color, the truth is that I could not explain why I am new to this.
    And excuse my ignorance, but I do not understand well. 🙁
    I don't know if you can help me.
    Please.
    I await your prompt reply.
    Greetings.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Victor.
      I don't think it's anything, but in case you can treat it with cinnamon which, apart from being non-toxic, will eliminate any fungus that it may have.
      Sprinkle it like salt over the surface of the earth and water.
      A greeting.

  10.   Eva said

    Hello, I have read that after flowering it is necessary to prune it so that more leaves come out. When is that moment? I did not know that the herb had a flower.
    Thank you very much

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Eva.
      You can prune it in spring and / or fall, depending on the growth it is having. Here You have more information.
      A greeting.

  11.   Monica said

    Good afternoon… I have a «tree of love» that lives only in the fifth, so it is difficult for me to take care of it from the ants… if I plant several little mint plants at the foot of my beloved tree, will I be able to save my tree from the ants ? Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Monica.
      Yes, but I highly recommend making natural lemon juice and spraying the trunk with it. It will be better.
      A greeting.

  12.   Karen García said

    Hello, I have a peppermint plant for 2 months.
    About a week ago I noticed that it has small white spots on the underside of the leaves and it also has tiny white flies… .. What can I do to remove them, I understand that both are pests…. The branches have hung ... .. I must prune it or I can put it that it is not toxic of course.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Karen.
      As peppermint is a rather small plant, you can clean the leaves with a brush moistened with pharmacy alcohol.
      For the whitefly I recommend you read this article.
      A greeting.

  13.   Lucy said

    Hello, I recently bought a plant of yerba buena. The first days I left her on the terrace where the sun was less direct. It has been receiving direct sun for two days, would it be practical to sow it on the ground or can I leave it on the plateau receiving direct sun?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Lucy.
      Yes, you can land it in spring.
      A greeting.

  14.   Jorge Canals Quintero said

    Hello I have a good herb but its leaves are all pecked and dried now it suddenly sprouts again this beautiful one and then it starts the leaves as if some bug eats them
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Jorge.
      I would recommend treating it with a broad spectrum insecticide, or if you could get it, earth from diatom or potassium soap to eliminate the bugs that may be causing such damage.
      Greetings.

  15.   Gilberto Garza Guerrero said

    very good advice I have it as for beef broths and it has a very good flavor and also for you I take it at night and I sleep very well

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Gilberto.
      Yes, it is a very useful plant 🙂
      A greeting.