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Mint


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The mint family offers a tremendous diversity of refreshing scents and tastes for cooking, in beverages, and in potpourris. However, as a garden plant, mint is invasive and will take over the entire bed, so consider confining your plants to containers.

About This Plant

Spearmint is used most commonly in the kitchen for mint juleps, sauces, jellies, teas, or to highlight flavors in a fruit salad. It’s very fragrant and grows 2 to 3 feet tall with pale violet blooms in mid- to late summer. Peppermint is another popular mint with a strong aroma; it grows to 3 feet tall with smooth leaves 1 to 3 inches long. Another dozen or so mint varieties, including some interesting fruit-scented types such as orange mint, are also available.

Site Selection

Choose a site in full sun to part shade and moist soil. Or, since plants can be invasive, grow your mint in containers filled with potting mix enriched with compost.

Planting Instructions

If you want an entire bed of mint, start with one or two purchased plants and set them about 2 feet apart in a sunny location. They’ll quickly fill in the open area between plants.

Care

Use a light mulch to retain moisture and keep leaves clean. Container-grown plants should be watered regularly to keep soil evenly moist. Other than that, mint needs little care.

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