Peppermint: Mentha x piperita Hardy Perennial. (3xGarden Ready Plants Supplied)
Peppermint is a beautiful, tasty herb with a myriad of uses and is a hybrid of watermint crossed with spearmint. It is a hearty Mint which grows easily in almost every country of the world with striking dark foliage which looks stunning when planted in patio pots and herb pots. It is used for flavouring foods and sweets, and of all the mints contains the most menthol, which is renowned for its calming properites with specific regard to digestion. We ran out of this mint last year and are determined to keep up with demand this year.
There are over one thousand varities of mint, but only about a dozen or so are worth growing in your garden, patio or window boxes. They are ideal for the beginner gardener or a fantastic way to introduce children to growing and gardening. Very easy to grow and making themselves at home in both full shade (even on a North facing wall) or full sun with very little maintenance required. If they have any problem at all it is that they grow too well! The solution for this is always to plant all varieties of mints in a pot if planting in the garden, or better still an old bucket, to restrict the mint plants growth. It does not like the soil to be too dry, so if planted in a container this has double-duty as it restricts the roots and at the same time retains moisture which all mint plants love. Mints love to be mulched, so get the kids involved and surround your mints with garden compost, bark, woodchip, cocoa shells or grass clippings (thick layers are inadvisable). Your herb garden can also look stunning if you choose to use an inorganic mulch such as slate, gravel or pebbles. By mulching your mints they will be very happy indeed as the roots will have a moist compost to thrive in. Twice a year feed with bonemeal and your mints will reward you every year with even more gorgeous fresh scented leaves than you could imagine! When you harvest your fresh mint, simply snip the top leaves first because this will encourage the plant to shoot from the base and this will also help to keep your Peppermints looking their best. Remove older woody stems to allow newer and younger shoots to fill in and at the end of the growing season cut your Peppermints back to gound level. By cutting back the plants at the end of the growing season the roots of your Peppermint plant will hug the soil all winter and re-shoot and reward you year after year. All the plants in the Mentha family are best used fresh but they can be dried or frozen for use in winter. Peppermint is extremely hardy and can be harvested as soon as new shoots appear in the spring! This is the best time to harvest your mint as the young new growth is the most fragrant and flavoursome. If you are choosing to harvest to dry simply hang small bunches upside down in a dry, dark, warm area or alternatively dry on paper. Once you have done this you can then store your mint leaves in an air-tight container to keep them at their very best. This amazing mint is a great substitute for coffee or caffeinated teas in the morning. A mug of Peppermint tea can provide relief for headaches if taken at the onset, and inhaling the vapour will help too. The menthol essence of this Peppermint tea can also help clear your sinuses during the cold and flu season. Remember, however, Peppermint mint tea is best used as a morning drink as it is a stimulant, so don't drink it at bedtime! Remember when you gather your mint leaves always try to do this on a dry day, after the morning dew has disappeared, and before the hot sun has taken any oil from the leaves - this should be easy enough with our UK weather!
position: full sun or full shade, and will even thrive with a North facing aspect. Perfect for growing in patio containers, window boxes or in garden borders
scent: menthal fragrance
height & spread: approximately, 50cms
culinary: used teas for its digestive, antiseptic and slightly anesthetic qualities. Can be dried and used to make pot-pourri or air freshners
Unique uses: helpful for sinusitus, morning sickness and helps to lift emotions and moods. It contains essential oils which contain menthol
wildlife: red stems with pinky-lilac flowers attractive to ladybirds, butterflies and bees
3 x Peppermint Plants growing in 7cm pots. Hardy perennial plants sent with pots to protect the root system.
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