All types of mint (including sweet mint, spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint) are fast-growing, spreading plants, so you must give them a place to spread without getting in the way, or plant them in a pot. Mint sends out runners that spread above and just below the ground, quickly forming large, lush green patches. In the right place it makes a pretty seasonal ground cover. You can also contain mint in tight places such as between pavers of a walkway where your feet will brush against the leaves to release its fragrance.
ONLY AVAILABLE as Local Pickup or Local Delivery in Northern and Central New Jersey, Metro New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Southern Orange Counties.
Bonnie Plants Sweet Mint is easy to grow with extra large leaves for chopping into sauces and drinks. You’ll love the rich spearmint flavor with lamb to yogurt sauce.
This plant can go a little crazy, though, so be careful or it can spread farther than you might like. For this reason many people grow it in a pot. The long stems can even be trained on a little wire trellis, especially in spots where a a bit of shade causes it to stretch. Keep pinched to encourage tender new leaves.
Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
- Type Perennial in zones 5 to 11
- Planting time Spring
- Features Aromatic leaves
- Light Full sun to partial shade
- Soil Moist
- Spacing 24 inches
- Plant size 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
- Garden use Herb garden, containers
- Culinary use Teas and other beverages, salads, garnish, jelly, desserts
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade. Protect plants from hot afternoon sun in southerly zones.
Planting: Space 18 to 24 inches apart.
Soil requirements: Nutrient-rich, moist soil is ideal, although mint grows in nearly any type of soil. Amend soil with organic matter, such as compost.
Water requirements: Mint thrives in moist to slightly soggy soil. Consider planting mint near downspouts or in low, damp spots in your yard.
Frost-fighting plan: Mint is perennial in zones 3 to 11. Plants tolerate light frosts, but eventually die back to the ground in all but the warmest zones. If you need plants to survive a light frost, cover them with a frost blanket. Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts.
Common issues: Mint can quickly overrun a planting bed, spreading by above- and underground stems. Keep it in check by planting in containers or beds bordered by sidewalk or driveway, or by planting in partially submerged pots in planting beds. Leaf flavor turns bitter when flower buds appear. Mint is generally pest-free.
Harvesting: Pick mint leaves at any point in the growing season. For strongest flavor, harvest leaves at midday when essential oil concentrations are strongest. Gather individual leaves or clip leafy stems. Plants branch freely from just below where you snip stems, so place cuts to prune and shape plants.
Storage: Store mint stems at room temperature in a water-filled jar; use within a week for freshest flavor. Stems root easily in water. For longer storage, dry or freeze leaves.
Quick Guide to Growing Mint
- Plant mint in spring after the last frost. This fast-growing herb can grow just about anywhere and makes an excellent addition to indoor and outdoor gardens.
- Space mint plants 18 to 24 inches apart. It’s best to grow them in pots to keep them from taking over your garden (even if you’re planting in the ground).
- Give your garden a great foundation by improving native soil with several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter. For container growing, consider a premium bagged potting mix.
- Keep soil consistently moist and water when the top inch becomes dry.
- Promote excellent leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food.
- Once established, harvest mint leaves regularly by pinching off the stems.
How to Use and Store Mint
Fresh mint leaves are a nice complement to lamb, fish, poultry, and vegetables such as peas, new potatoes, and carrots. Mint also blends well with green or fruit salads and beverages such as punch, lemonade, and tea. Two very well-known drinks, mint julep and Cuban mojito, both depend on spearmint for their cool zest. Freeze mint in cubes for iced tea. You can also preserve it in vinegar or dry it for potpourri or sachets.