Peppermint Growing Guide
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Peppermint Growing Guide

What is Peppermint?

You may not have heard of some of our herbs before, but you’ve probably heard of peppermint. It’s the most used flavoring from the mint family and is everywhere during the Christmas season. Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. Peppermint (Mentha piperata) has been referred to a “blast of green energy”, and was the Medicinal Plant of the Year 2004 in Germany. Peppermint has many medicinal properties including being a digestive aid and an antispasmodic. Also, peppermint is common in toothpastes, mouthwashes, etc, as it removes foul mouth taste, and the herb relieves headaches, bee stings, and toothaches.

How to Start Growing Peppermint

Peppermint reaches maturity at about 90 days. While partial sun is sufficient for peppermint, planting it in full sun will increase the potency of its oils and medicinal qualities. While peppermint can be grown in-ground, it is recommended to grow peppermint in containers if spreading is a concern. If using containers, peppermint needs containers large enough to handle the plant’s extensive root system, at least 2 gallon, but 5 gallon should be plenty. Also, if doing containers, you will need to be more vigilant with watering because containers can cause plants to dry out faster.

Did You Know?

According to Greek mythology, mint originates from the story of Minthe, the mistress of Hades. When Persephone, his wife, found out about their relationship, she turned Minthe into a mint plant so she would be stepped on and crushed. To keep others from trampling her, Hades gave her mint’s trademark aroma.

Our Favorite Peppermint to Grow

Peppermint Plant Spacing

In-Ground Planting

Row Spacing - 18 to 24 inches

Plant Spacing - 24 inches

Planting Depth - 1/4 inch

Peppermint Soil, Irrigation, & Fertilizer

Soil Requirements to Grow Peppermint

  • Moist & well-draining soil
  • pH between 6.0 and 7.0
  • Rich in organic materials
  • Good quality compost added to the soil

Peppermint Irrigation Requirements

Peppermint plants need at least 1 inch of water per week. Using drip irrigation is always recommended to be sure that your plants are getting moisture directly to their root system. If you’re using conventional overhead watering techniques, try and use something like the Dramm Watering Can and water and fertilize at the base of the plant to keep moisture off the leaves.

Raised Bed Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.0 – 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or 1/4 cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

1/4 cup of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

In-Ground Fertilizer Schedule

Several Weeks Before Planting

Test your soil at your local extension office.

At Time of Planting

After adjusting soil pH to 6.0 – 7.0, mix 1 1/2 cups per 10 ft. of row or 1/4 cup per plant of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer with your soil.

2 Weeks After Planting

1 cup Hoss Micro-Boost Micronutrient Supplement with 5 gallons of water. Each plant gets 1 quart of the solution next to the plant stem. Repeat every 4 weeks.

4 Weeks After Planting and Every 4 Weeks

1/4 cup of Hoss Complete Organic Fertilizer per plant evenly spread around plant.

Peppermint Pest & Disease Protection

Insects

Organic Controls

Horticulture Oil
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Thrips

Bug Buster-O
Aphids, Flea Beetles, Whiteflies, Moths, Armyworms

Monterey BT
Caterpillars, Cabbage Loppers

Take Down Garden Spray
Aphids, Flea Beetle, Whiteflies, Moths

Diatomaceous Earth
Cutworms, Ants, Slugs

Sluggo Plus
Slugs

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Common Diseases

Organic Controls

Complete Disease Control
Gray Mold, Leaf Spots, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew

Treat as needed using label instructions.

Harvesting, Preserving, and Storing Peppermint

When & How To Harvest Peppermint

The ideal time to harvest is just as the flowers are starting to bloom. The essential oils that give the herb its flavor are at their highest concentration in the morning, so peppermint should also be harvested early in the day for the strongest flavor. To harvest, either cut stems down to about an inch above the soil, or snip off a few inches from the top. The stems will grow back and you’ll have more to harvest during the remainder of the growing season. But they may not reach this perfect peak of flavor again until the following year.

Storing & Keeping Peppermint

Store the dried leaves in an airtight container. Or, store fresh-cut herbs in a water-filled glass, with a produce bag wrapped around the top and tied in place. You can also store freshly harvested mint in the refrigerator. Wrap mint sprigs in a damp paper towel and place them in an unsealed plastic bag or tin foil wrap in the fridge. When stored properly, your mint should last anywhere from three to fourteen days. Peppermint leaves dry well. You can bundle them up and hang them in a cool, dry, protected space for several weeks. You can also lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet and bake them on the lowest setting of your oven until they’re crisp.

Peep at Our Peppermint!

Peppermint Growing Tips & Tricks

Versatile in the Kitchen

Peppermint adds a wonderfully powerful flavor to your dishes. You can steep the leaves in hot water for a few minutes to make a soothing mint tea. Freeze mint leaves along with cranberries or raspberries and water in ice cube trays for festive, tasty ice cubes. Peppermint also makes a lovely addition to holiday desserts and beverages.

Be Aware of Self-Spreading

Peppermint can sprout entirely new plants from their own root systems. They can also grow very easily from stem cuttings. This is why it is recommended to grow in containers or pots, and to prune and/or harvest mint often to prevent peppermint from spreading past the garden.

Watch the Water

Mint requires ample moisture, but will not survive if it is too wet. If your plants are underwatered, the leaves will begin to wilt. If your plants are overwatered, they will begin to turn yellow. Water in the morning to give the soil a chance to dry a bit by evening which helps mitigate the risk of fungus and mildew, and water only if the top inch of soil starts to dry out. 

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