Seed Swaps


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 typically mature to a diameter of 0.2 cm (0.08 inches imperial) and produce a menthol fragrance, whilst displaying in these approximate colours:   Pale lavender and   Lavender pink and   Medium purple. The mature flowers are of a single hose-in-hose form. Leaves appear approximately as a   Kelly green and   Dark spring green

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 and harvest throughout the year.

Try planting Spearmint if you'd like to attract butterflies and bees to your garden.

Kentucky Colonel, Mentha Julep, Garden, Common and Mint Julep 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
Cut down in the late summer for a fresh flush of leaves before winter.
If pot grown, mint will need watering well and fertilising in the growing season. Top up the compost as the season progresses

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 is loamy, potting mix and clay and 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.

See our list of companion Plants for Spearmint to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

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
Alternatively plant up in a large flower pot and keep on solid ground to prevent the roots escaping. It will need more care in a pot.

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

Seed Saving Spearmint

It is easier to start from cuttings than from seed

How long does Spearmint take to grow?

These estimates for how long Spearmint takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Spearmint to germinate?
11 days

Average 11 days | Min 3 days | Max 25 days (40)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Spearmint?
+ 22 days

Average 22 days | Min 14 days | Max 62 days (2)

Days to Maturity How long until Spearmint is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 64 days

Average 64 days | Min 7 days | Max 818 days (28)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Spearmint?
= 97 days

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, Hortel√£

Mentha viridis

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

Latest Spearmint Reviews

  • 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

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

    5 stars

    JGarfield about growing Herb: Spearmint 'Kentucky Colonel'
  • Love spearmint… and in a container so it doesn’t take over everywhere. :-)

    4 stars

    naturedance about growing Herb - Spearmint

See all Spearmint reviews and experiences »


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