A versatile herb that can be grown by beginners and experienced gardeners alike, peppermint is an easy-to-care-for plant that has many uses traditionally. We give you a brief overview about the plant, and tell you how you can care for it.
A whiff of minty fragrance while walking in your garden on a cool evening can truly refresh your senses. If you are looking forward to such an experience, then you may want to grow the herb peppermint in your garden.
Not only will it give your house that lingering fragrance, but it will also be a great addition to the food that you make. This plant is so easy to care for that amateurs and experts alike can plant these in their garden.
However, you need to have some basic information about them, the most important one being, that these herbs are aggressive growers and should, therefore, be cultivated in the container gardening style.
The plant is a hybrid mint and is a mix between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and watermint (Mentha aquatica). A perennial plant with rhizomes, it grows to about 12 to 35 inches in height and has smooth stems.
The leaves are the distinguishing features of the plant. They are about 1.5 to 3.7 inches in length and are dark green in color with red veins. The flowers are purple in color and blossom in mid to late summer.
It is easy to grow these plants. You need to plant them in a rich, moist soil. The soil should be able to retain moisture. Do not grow the plant in an area with other plants. They tend to take over other plants.
You need to plant them in an isolated corner or in a container.
You need to plant each individual plant about 2 feet apart. As these plants are very tall, they need constant pruning. Propagation can be carried out using stem cuttings. They can be cultivated using rhizomes. This is known as vegetative reproduction. You need to water the plant till the soil is moist.
Do not soak the plant in water as it will cause it to wither and die. Plant the peppermint in an area that is shaded. Mulching will protect the plants in cold winters and keep the soil moist. During the growing season, you can cut the peppermint sprigs as and when needed. You can add about 1 inch of compost to the soil around the plant.
There are many cultivars that are used for gardening purposes. These include:
Caring for the plant is rather easy, but if you become a bit careless, it may lead to infestation and as a result of that, diseases. Some of the diseases that may affect the herb include the following.
Mint rust is a fungal disease that causes brown, orange, or black spots on the back of the leaves. You need to prune away all the affected parts and destroy them. You can even spray a sulfur fungicide to get rid of the infection.
This is another fungal infection that causes powdery dust on the leaves of the plant. This fungal infection can be gray, black, or white in color. This infection can be treated by spraying sulfur fungicide and placing the plant under bright sunlight.
This is a very serious fungal infection which affects the roots, the stems, and leaves of the plant. It causes the stems and leaves to die. This is an incurable infection and you need to get rid of the entire infected plant as well as the soil surrounding it.
A little bit of care will ensure that the peppermint plant in your garden flourishes.