United States Edition

Spearmint     

Mentha spicata

Spearmint is a plant which belongs to the Mentha genus. The origin of this plant's scientific name epithet (spicata) means 'bearing spikes'.

Spearmint is used most commonly in the kitchen for mint juleps, sauces, jellies and teas. Spikes of lilac-pink flowers bloom in summer. Attractive in borders and containers. Popular with bees. Very invasive. Take this last part seriously, It will take over your garden if you let it.1

Like most mints these are easily propagated from cuttings, in many climates they can easily take root while sitting in plain water.
The plant has square shaped stems and soft oval leaves with a slightly indented edge placed in pairs at a prominent node on the stem.
The flowers small and grouped close to the stem at the leaf nodes

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Pale lavender and   White. When mature, blooms are roughly 0.2 cm (that's 0.08 inches in imperial) in diameter.Leaves appear approximately as a   Kelly green and   Dark spring green colour. Spearmint is a flowering edible herb / flower perennial, it will last at least up to several years in its native climate. Spearmint normally grows with a forb habit to a mature height of 45.0 cm (that's 1.46 feet imperial). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer. Try planting Spearmint if you'd like to attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Kentucky Colonel, Mentha Julep, Common, Garden and Mint The Best are some of the most popular varieties of Spearmint for home gardeners to grow.

Spearmint is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Spearmint have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Spearmint

  • Partial Sun

    +
  • Medium

Although hardy, it survives as an underground root system in winter, so leaves must be preserved to have supplies in winter.
Keep cutting plant down to encourage fresh young shoots

Enjoys a partial sun position in your garden and remember to water moderately. Zone 4 to 11 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ensure your soil has a ph of between 6.5 and 7.0 as Spearmint is a weakly acidic soil - neutral soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Spearmint is thought of as hardy, so Spearmint will tend to go dormant or grow slowly over the winter months.

Growing Spearmint from seed

Sowing from seed is possible, but whenever a cutting can be used, use it.1
Place the seed on the surface of the compost and do not cover, cover with a plastic bag and keep reasonably warm at between 20 and 25C until germination which can take up to 21 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination, grow on at cooler temperatures.

Look to ensure a distance 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - bury at a depth of at least 0.23 inches (0.6 cm) deep. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 20°C / 68°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Spearmint

When seedlings are large enough to handle pot up individually into 7cm pots and grow on in cooler conditions. Plant out after frost has passed. It would be wise to restrict the growth by planting in a pot, as the roots spread, invade and regenerate from the smallest section of stem or root

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Spearmint is a hardy plant.

Harvesting Spearmint

Good for mint sauce, chopped and added to wine vinegar and a tiny amount of sugar. For a change, mix chopped leaves with lemon juice and a drop of honey.

Chop an add to new potatoes or fresh peas. This mint is used for mint tea.
Use fresh young leaves, to encourage these trim the plant periodically

Companion plants for Spearmint

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Spearmint so consider planting:

  • Spearmint Beetroot

  • Spearmint loves Tomato

    Improves the health and taste of tomatoes.

  • Spearmint loves Cabbage

    Improves the health of cabbage plants and helps deter cabbage moths.

  • Spearmint Broccoli

  • Spearmint Brussels sprout

  • Spearmint Cauliflower

  • Spearmint loves Pea

    Improves the taste of peas.

Repellent plants for Spearmint

These plants will not grow well with Spearmint so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Spearmint problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Spearmint plants:

Spearmint Folklore & Trivia

Used to help digestion.1 Check with your doctor or lactation consultant before using large amounts if breastfeeding.

Other names for Spearmint

Mint

Mentha viridis

Misspellings: Spear-mint, Mint, Mint, Common Mint, Garden Mint, Normal Mint

Latest Spearmint Reviews

  • 06 May 2013

    Ladystar Ladystar's Spearmint was Reviewed day 11

    Just letting yall know who may not, Spearmint takes a good amount of time to sprout if growing from seeds. I suggest growing 1/4 inch down. I think thats why mine took so long to grow. It was the last of my original seeds to sprout, but they are here now.

    2 stars

  • 26 Apr 2013
    Reviewed

    JGarfield JGarfield's Herb: Spearmint 'Kentucky Colonel' was Reviewed day 5

    Nothing like pinching a couple leaves off for the morning tea… Gotta love fresh Spearmint!!

    5 stars

  • 23 Dec 2011

    naturedance naturedance's Herb - Spearmint was Reviewed day 251

    Love spearmint… and in a container so it doesn’t take over everywhere. :-)

    4 stars

  • 02 Nov 2011

    El_Bano El_Bano's Kentucky Colonel Mint was Reviewed day 193

    Spreads quickly, although that doesn’t mean large leaves. Will grow in a container next time. Made a good mint julip and reduced the fishiness in fish based soups.

    4 stars

See all Spearmint reviews and experiences »

Spearmint care instructions

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