Almost everyone has heard of peppermint. That’s the flavoring they use in toothpaste and chewing gum, isn’t it? Yes, it is, but a peppermint planting in your home garden can offer you so much more. Learning how to grow peppermint is easy, but before we get into growing peppermint, let’s learn a little bit about the plant itself. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) was first cultivated in 1750 near London, England as an experimental hybrid between watermint and spearmint. That you can now find naturally growing peppermint almost anywhere in the world is a testament not only to its adaptability, but as an indication of its medicinal qualities. Once our forefathers, or more likely foremothers, learned how to use the peppermint plant, they took it everywhere they moved or visited where some, no doubt, was left behind with new friends.
Many herbs are easy to grow, and this is definitely true for peppermint. Square stems tend to run rampantly over — and under — soil. In small garden spaces, it’s best to tuck peppermint into a pot to curtail its wandering ways. Peppermint thrives alongside water gardens or in damp spots in the yard, but will also survive in drier soil. Lushest growth occurs in moist soil in partial shade. Crush fresh leaves into water for a refreshing beverage, or add to iced tea. You can also dry leaves for flavoring dishes or beverages and making desserts like meringues, cookies, or cakes. Pick leaves frequently. Plants open lavender blooms in late summer. Tolerates light frost.
Type Perennial in zones 3 to 11
Planting time After last frost in spring or in fall (up to 2 to 3 weeks before first frost in cold zones)
Features Green leaves with strong menthol flavor
Light Full sun to part shade
Soil Fertile, moist
Spacing 18 to 24 inches
Plant size mature 12 to 36 inches tall
Garden use Herb gardens, beside water gardens, in low, wet spots, or in containers
Culinary use Use leaves fresh, dried, or frozen in water
we ship starter plants grown in 4 inch pots and shipped with roots and soil wrapped for safety