- botanical name: Mentha piperita ‘Chocolate’
- perennial zones 4-8
- height 18-24″
- spacing 18-24″ apart
- full sun tolerant, partial shade
- dry-average soil
- flower color lavender
- uses in garden: as a border, great in containers, cut foliage, fragrant, ground cover, mass plant
- use in sweets, desserts, teas
- attracts bees and butterflies
- deer and mouse resistant
Chocolate Mint is true to its name and makes a delicious and especially refreshing iced tea. Since it has just a hint of cocoa scent, it is especially well-suited to sweets. The leaves are darker and the plant is smaller than most mints, so it is a lovely addition to the garden. Try making a homemade mint ice cream with this, or putting a tiny amount in fruit salad. Of course Chocolate Mint is delicious in any chocolate dessert, such as chocolate mousse, or in hot chocolate. Find great mint recipes here!
Mints attract a number of good pollinators to the garden. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are attracted to the mint when it flowers. Great in combination pots with other herbs. Not as invasive as other mints, but cut back occasionally nonetheless.
Seeds don’t always produce the exact variety, so the recommended planting method is by root division from an existing plant stock, from cuttings, suckers, or stolons. 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 will thrive in a partly shaded area with plenty of moisture. To keep plants looking their best, cut plants back regularly by a third periodically to promote a fuller appearance. In the fall, you can cut the plants just above ground level. Be sure to mulch over the top if winters are harsh in your area. Mint is best when used fresh.
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