Mentha spicata L.
Spearmint, Spear Mint
Mentha aquatica var. crispa, Mentha cordifolia, Mentha crispa, Mentha viridis
Color: Pink or white
Bloom Time: Summer
Mentha spicata is a perennial plant with hairless or hairy stems and leaves and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The stems are square-shaped. Leaves up to 3.5 inches (9 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide, and have serrated margins. The plant produces flowers in slender spikes. Each flower is pink or white, up to 3 mm long, and nearly equal in width.
How to Grow and Care
Mint is one of the few culinary herbs growing well in shady areas, although it can withstand 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 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 a chance. See more at How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants.
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