Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

Pennyroyal flowers are lilac

La pennyroyal mint It is a beautiful low-rise plant that can be grown without problems in a pot throughout its life, or in small gardens. Its flowers, gathered in inflorescences, are of a very striking color. And if we add to that that its leaves give off a very pleasant aroma, we will already have a perfect option that will help us to brighten our day 😉.

However, sometimes their care is not always clear, especially when we do not have much experience in plant maintenance. If that is your case, let us help you get your horse healthy.

Origin and characteristics

Pennyroyal mint has very decorative flowers

Our protagonist is a perennial and creeping herbaceous plant whose scientific name is Mentha pulegium, although it is popularly known as pennyroyal or spearmint. It is native to the Mediterranean account. Reaches a height of between 15 and 60 centimeters. The stem is straight, reddish in color, rectangular in shape and covered with fluff. The leaves are 1-2cm long, petiolate, lanceolate or linear, with the entire margin or notched.

The flowers are grouped in whorls (a set of flowers that are placed on the same axis and in the same plane) in a spherical shape with a diameter of 1-2cm. They are pink in color and 4-6mm long, and sprout in spring and summer (from May to September in the northern hemisphere).

What are their cares?

Pennyroyal is a very pretty plant

The care we recommend to provide are the following:

Location

  • Outdoor: Place your pennyroyal specimen in semi-shade or in full sun.
  • Interior- You can be in a room where a lot of natural light enters and is away from drafts.

Earth

  • the garden: it is indifferent as long as it has good drainage.
  • Flower pot: no need to get too complicated. With universal cultivation substrate it will be able to grow well.

Irrigation

The frequency of watering will vary depending on the weather and location. But in principle you have to water it every 3-4 times a week in summer and a little less the rest of the year. In the case that it is in the ground, the waterings can be spaced a little from the second year.

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From early spring to late summer must be paid with ecological fertilizers once a month, or if applicable, following the instructions specified on the package.

Multiplication

Pennyroyal flowers are pink

It multiplies by seeds or cuttings in spring. Let's see how to proceed:

Seeds

The step by step to follow is as follows:

  1. First you have to fill a 10,5cm diameter pot with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, it is watered consciously.
  3. A maximum of 3 seeds are then placed and covered with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Finally, it is watered again with a sprayer, and the pot is placed outside, in semi-shade.

This way they will germinate in 2-3 weeks.

Cuttings

Pennyroyal mint it can be multiplied very easily if we take a stem of about 10cm and we cut it with scissors previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol. Then we impregnate the base with homemade rooting agents and we plant it in a pot with vermiculite that we will have moistened with water.

For a better chance of success, we cover the pot with plastic that has a few small holes. Thus, after a short time -3 or 4 weeks- it will emit its own roots and we can separate it from the mother plant.

Pruning

It is advisable to prune it at the end of winter so that it does not grow ungainly. To do this, you have to trim the stems that have grown excessively, and also those that are dry, sick or weak.

Rusticity

Withstands cold and frost up to -7ºC. In the case of living in a colder area, it should be protected indoors or in a greenhouse.

What uses does it have?

View of pennyroyal mint plant

Ornamental

It is a very decorative plant, which it can be had both in pots and planters as well as in gardens of all kinds, be they small or large. In addition, if it is well cared for and pruned, it will stay healthy and therefore will flourish year after year.

Medicinal

Pennyroyal leaves contain pulegone, menthol, isomenthone and other substances that could be very interesting to us. And it is that there are many properties and benefits that it has:

  • Regulate menstruation
  • It is expectorant and antitussive
  • Relaxing
  • Antiseptic
  • Vermifuge
  • Stomach tonic
  • Helps heal scars

How is it taken? Well, very easy: making an infusion with them 🙂. We take about 4 or 5, we put them to boil in a saucepan and we drink the liquid after straining it.

Contraindications

We should not take it under any circumstances if we suffer from liver diseases or if we suspect that we may have any, since pulegone has a hepatotoxic effect, that is, it causes damage to said organ.

The pennyroyal plant can exceed 50cm in height

And with this we finish the pennyroyal special. What did you think of this plant? Do you have or have you had any in your house or garden? If you have not had them yet, we hope that everything you have read has been useful 🙂.


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3 comments, leave yours

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  1.   Mario said

    I fall in love with gardening

  2.   Gloria said

    Good information! My pennyroyal plant was spreading too much and I didn't know if I should prune it.
    I drink it with mate (I'm from Argentina).
    Thank you very much!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Thanks to you 🙂