Mentha aquatica L.
Mentha hirsuta, Mentha acuta, Mentha acutata
Color: Pinkish to lilac
Bloom Time: Summer
Mentha aquatica is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 35 inches (90 cm) tall. The stems are hairy to almost hairless and green or purple. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, with fibrous roots. The green, sometimes purplish leaves are opposite, ovate, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, toothed, and hairy to nearly hairless. Flowers are tiny, tubular, densely crowded, pinkish to lilac, and form a terminal hemispherical inflorescence. Flowering is from mid to late summer.
How to Grow and Care
Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grow 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 the 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 quickly root if given a chance. See more at How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants.
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