Peppermint is one of the best known and most used aromatic plants in gardens and homes around the world. The keys to its success are how easy it is to grow, its pleasant aroma and green color and, of course, its great use as a condiment, both fresh and dry, in a large number of dishes and recipes: from the famous mojitos to all kinds. of stews.
The spearmint plant is one of many different types of mints out there, all with different aromas and flavors, that should be kept separate from each other. If you want to learn how and where to plant peppermint, as well as what is the maintenance of the peppermint plant, join us in this article. In the following lines, you will find a practical guide on how to care for a peppermint easily.
It is commonly called peppermint, spearmint, sandalwood or mint, depending on the region in which we are, although its scientific name is Mentha spicata . It is a herbaceous that has its origin in southeastern Europe and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is a small plant, although highly adaptable and very invasive, so it is not difficult to make it thrive. In fact, the plant usually measures 30 to 90 centimeters , so it can also be grown in pots.
Peppermint has traditionally been used as a medicinal plant for its numerous properties, as well as culinary, and it has even been planted on the margins of orchards and gardens to keep some pests away.
Both planted in soil peppermint like peppermint pot tolerate a wide range of locations and exposure to the sun. It is a plant that can grow in the shade, although its ideal and most optimal location is in a semi-shade point, that is, in a widely lit environment but where the sun does not touch it directly. So, if you ask yourself: is peppermint from sun or shade? , the most exact answer is neither one nor the other, but it should be in semi-shadow.
To protect peppermint outdoors , therefore, it should be kept covered from direct sun, especially in warmer areas and at the worst times, that is, at noon.
Substrate for the peppermint plant
The substrate for peppermint is not too demanding, although it is very important that it offers the best possible drainage and that it is light.
The contribution of organic matter will depend on whether you grow your peppermint in a purely ornamental way or if you intend to use it as a condiment. In the first case, the soil does not need to be very rich in organic matter, while in the second, it is convenient to use soil or substrate highly enriched with compost or worm humus.
Watering the peppermint
Watering is one of the most important cares for peppermint . This plant requires a substrate that always maintains a certain level of humidity if we want it to develop properly. However, taking this into account, it is difficult to establish in a general way how much to water the peppermint , since it depends a lot on the soil or substrate itself and the local climate.
To be sure when to water it, stick a pencil or small stick in the ground next to the plant. If it comes out clean, with the very little substrate or soil attached, it means that it is very dry and the plant needs to be watered again. Obviously, when it comes to caring for peppermint indoors, it is essential that the pot has drainage holes so that water from frequent waterings does not accumulate and rot the roots.
When can peppermint be cut?
To consume peppermint always tender buds are used, as long as the plant grows it stems lignify, becoming woody. Therefore, to keep the plant suitable for consumption, it is necessary to cut and transplant the peppermint each season. Its stems and shoots can be cut throughout the year as the plant grows and we need them, in addition to pruning whenever it requests it, either due to disease or growth.
In addition, reproducing it by cutting is very simple, being necessary simply to cut a bud in good condition and put its lower part in water until it shows roots. At that time, we can plant the peppermint cuttings in soil or substrate. The ideal is to carry out this operation in early summer.
What to do to revive a peppermint plant
If your spearmint plant has been overly weakened and appears to be dry, you can try to restore it with a salvage pruning. Prune off any visibly dry or damaged stems , leaving any spots where you can see the plant sprouting new shoots. Place it in an area protected from direct sun and water it daily if it is winter or twice a day in summer, always without flooding.
Insisting on these peppermint care to recover it, its new shoots will grow and you will be able to recover it every day a little more from there, until you have a plant in good condition and suitable for consumption.
How to use the peppermint that you plant at home
If you want to create a mint plant culture at home just for its leaves and its aroma is phenomenal, and its fragrance will make you not need another type of air freshener at home. However, you can also use this wonderful plant for other types of purposes, here are some tips for using peppermint :
- To improve digestion: Peppermint is great for indigestion and bloating. It has the ability to expel gas from the stomach by relaxing the muscles involved.
- Improves Colds and Flu: Peppermint is an excellent natural decongestant and expectorant. One of the active ingredients in the herb is menthol, which will make the mucus pass better and will also reduce coughing. As if that were not enough, it is also a natural pain reliever for a sore throat.
Like everything, this type of herb should be used in a moderate way, because although it is good for your health, everything in excess is harmful and so is peppermint. For example, the use of this herb should be avoided in infants or very young children. In addition, it can have side effects and interactions with other medications or supplements, so if you have any questions, go to your doctor.