- botanical name: Mentha spicata ‘Spearmint’
- perennial zones 4-9
- height 12-18″
- spacing 12-24″ apart
- full sun tolerant, partial shade
- dry-moist, average soil
- flower color white/pink/lavender
- uses in garden: great in containers, drought tolerant, fragrant
- use in sauces, jellies, teas, Tabbouleh
- attracts bees and butterflies
- deer, insect, and mouse resistant
*Please note: We accept plant orders at any time of the year and if you prefer to place an order outside our regular shipping months of April-May, ordering is still easy. “Why we only ship in April and May”
Due to the nature of shipping live plants, when you place an order, we will simply hold your order and ship it at the proper time for your zone, when weather permits in April 2013. Seed packets are shipped year round through USPS.
For more information see our “Ordering and Shipping Policy.”
Spearmint is best known for its association with Wrigley’s, or other breath-freshening agents. It is less powerful than Peppermint, yet equally scintillating. Many people prefer its sweeter aroma and lighter leaves. In earlier eras, mint leaves were chewed not only to freshen the breath but also to clean and whiten the teeth. Spearmint is especially good in sauces, jellies, and teas. This is a good mint to use in the Middle-Eastern cracked-wheat salad Tabbouleh. Find great mint recipes here!
Mint has been known since antiquity. A Greek myth tells of a nymph, Minthe, who was transformed into a plant by Persephone, a goddess. Persephone was jealous of the girl because of the affection she’d received from Hades, Persephone’s husband, god of the underworld. When Hades found that Minthe had been turned to a plant, he imparted a sweet smell to her that would rise and give pleasure to any who walked upon her leaves.
Mints attract a number of good pollinators to the garden. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are attracted to the mint when it flowers. Mints have a tendency to be quite invasive; so many people plant their mints in pots or containers. However, if you want to keep mint in your garden, try planting your seedlings in bottomless number ten cans, or surround them with a barrier that is at least ten inches deep – laundry baskets work well for this. Just be sure to drill plenty of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. If you have a damp spot in your garden area, consider planting mint as a groundcover as it likes a moist soil.
Having a hard time deciding which variety is right for you? View a summary of all the varieties together.
Spearmint seeds are also available. Purchase them here.
Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost in loose growing medium. Cover seeds with soil 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch vermiculite. Keep moist. Seed will germinate in 10-14 days. Transplant 12-24 inches apart in a sunny location.
Root division from an existing plant stock, suckers, or cuttings is another recommended method of propogation. Cuttings will root easily in a moist potting medium, or even in water. If you are dividing an existing plant it is best done in the fall.
Mint is best when used fresh. Dried mint, when stored in airtight containers, will retain its flavor and scent. To harvest, gather bunches and hang on drying racks or spread on screens until completely dry.