Mentha spicata – Spearmint

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Scientific Name

Mentha spicata L.

Common Names

Spearmint, Spear Mint

Synonyms 

Mentha aquatica var. crispa, Mentha cordifolia, Mentha crispa, Mentha viridis

Scientific Classification

Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Mentha

Flower

Color: Pink or white
Bloom Time: Summer

Description

Mentha spicata is a perennial plant, up to 40 inches (1 m) tall, with hairless to hairy stems and foliage, and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The stem is square-shaped. The leaves are up to 3.5 inches (9 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide, with a serrated margin. It produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower is pink or white, up to 3 mm long, and wide.

Mentha spicata - Spearmint

How to Grow and Care

Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered.

Cuttings of Mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted. However you can start new plants from seed. Sow outdoors in late spring or start seed indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.

Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.

To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow Mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container Mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants.

Origin

Native to Europe and southwest Asia.

Links

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