There are various kinds of mint family and one of them is spearmint. Growing spearmint in your garden is a great idea. As one of best herbs to grow, spearmint has many benefits such as culinary herbs usage, beautifying the garden space, and also the strong fragrance that could repel the mosquitoes.
This plant isn’t picky when it comes to the environment. You can choose the permanent location, whether it’s outdoor or indoor. It grows easily, yet quite invasive compared to other herbs. Here are the complete information about spearmint and the growing tips you need to know.
- 1 FAQs About Growing Spearmint
- 2 Growing Spearmint
- 3 Growing Tips for Spearmint
- 4 Companion Plant of Spearmint
- 5 Pests and Diseases
- 6 Harvest and Storage
FAQs About Growing Spearmint
1. Is spearmint a mint?
Spearmint is in mint family list. It has small green leaves, with strong scent and flavor. however, the growing tips are different with other mints. For the example, growing spearmint doesn’t need full-sun environment. The best option is in shady location. Spearmint is one of many low light herbs.
2. Does it have flowers?
Spearmint is a monoecious, so you’ll see it blooms around summer in June until October. The color is pink and lilac. Because of its beauty, spearmint can invite some pollinators.
3. Is it invasive?
Yes. If you don’t trim regularly, it’s uncontrollable. That’s why growing spearmint in a container is better than on the bed. It will be highly competitive with other plants when it comes to space. The stolons and rhizomes parts are highly vigorous.
1. Growing in pots
- If you consider to plant spearmint in pots, consider the size. The pot must have smaller diameter, about 30 cm. It eases you to move in everywhere, indoor or outdoor.
- Prepare the soil. Mix it first with compost or organic matter.
- Put the pot on a plate. So the soil inside won’t make your place dirty.
- You can start by growing spearmint seeds or stem-cutting.
- Place the pot near the warm but shady location.
- Pour some water if the soil has dried.
- learn how to growing herbs in pots.
2. Growing in containers
- Growing spearmint in containers is also a good option. You can use some unused kitchen items, but don’t choose That material can increase the heat.
- Make a hole at the bottom of containers.
- Put the mix-soil into the container at least two-thirds.
- Start to plant the cutting stem or sprout in it.
- Place the container in shady location. You can put indoor or outdoor.
3. Growing from seed
- Prepare the spearmint seed, mix-soil, and the container.
- Start the seeds indoor for 8 weeks before moving it to outdoor location.
- Put the mixed soil (containing compost) in the container.
- Poke the surface of the soil, then place the seeds with depth 0.5-1 cm.
- Since the seeds will germinate in warm and moist, cover the container with plastic bag to keep the moist.
- Growing spearmint from seed will end after two weeks. The seedlings have emerged. Start to plant them outdoors with indirect sun for two days.
4. Growing from cutting
- Having the spearmint plant from cutting is easy. It can be done if you have the plant and want to grow more plants. Starting with cutting the branch part.
- Trim off the leaves.
- After that, lay the branch on the ground. You may position the brand next to the parent plant or grow it in other containers. The depth is just about 2 cm.
- The root will develop in two weeks. Dig the hole and pull it carefully.
- Growing spearmint outdoors can be started, whether in bed or pots.
5. Growing in water
- You can grow the speramint in the water first, before planting it on bed. Take a look at the mature spearmint plant you have.
- Take the stem part and then remove all the leaves.
- Prepare a jar or glass containing the water about half of it. Put the stem in it.
- Growing spearmint in the water needs extra-care. The water must be replaced every two or three days to prevent the algae.
- The roots will form in two weeks. Let it in for other two weeks.
- After a month, you can move it to the soil.
- You can also plant other crops that grow in water.
Growing Tips for Spearmint
1. The light
Unlike growing peppermint which needs full sun, spearmint is likely growing better in partial shade like how to grow chamomile. So, position the plant under the tree or among other plants in the bed. If you grow them indoors, place them near the window but not more than 4 hours.
The best conditions for growing spearmint is in well-drained and moist soil. Use the loamy-sand, but you need to carefully paying attention to the mix as well. Before you’re planting it, make sure it has mixed with the best quality compost which is rich of organic matter.
Watering spearmint needs to be careful. The tips is don’t let the soil soaks in the water cause the plant will rot. Make sure that the soil surface is moist enough. Poke the surface every five days. If it’s dry, pour the water in considerable amount.
Even though spearmint can grow well without any additional nutrients, considering the fertilizer isn’t bad at all. Especially is the growing spearmint will be used for profit. The growth will be faster. Choose the organic fertilizer or water soluble. Give it once in two weeks.
5. Temperature and humidity
Spearmint grows well under the shade, but it doesn’t tolerate the cold either. If you live in subtropical country like Canada, consider growing spearmint for tea inside the house when the winter comes.
Companion Plant of Spearmint
Spearmint is similar to the mint family. It has a strong fragrance and it repels flies. Flies usually attack carrot plants, so it’s better to put spearmint next to this plant.
Growing spearmint next to oregano is also a great choice. Both of them have strong fragrance that could attract pollinators. So, if you want your garden to be filled with beautiful butterflies, mix spearmint with oregano.
When growing cabbage, the sharp scent is a big benefit to deter cabbage moth and some flea beetles that attack cabbage. They usually chew the leaves in a very short time. Spearmint has a role to drive them away because they dislike the scent.
Pests and Diseases
The cutworm usually attacks spearmint at night. it damages the leaves as well as the stem. To prevent this happen to your spearmint, poke the cutworm then do the hand-picking. Growing spearmint needs clean area in the soil, so make sure no debris and weeds on it.
Another pest that easily attacks spearmint is green peach aphid. They live under the leaves and damage the foliage part with their mouth. The result is leaves often left yellow and curly. You can control the aphids by blasting water or spreading the neem oil underside the leaves.
The common disease is mint rust. It’s caused by fungus and spreads quickly. If you’re growing spearmint commercially, it can be a great loss. The leaves will have pores and white bumps. You need water the plant in the morning and remove the infected ones.
Another problem is powdery mildew. It’s common to be found in a garden. though it doesn’t kill the whole plant, but the leaves and stem will be covered by mildew. You can manage it by spraying the water and milk into the spearmint plants in the morning.
Harvest and Storage
- Harvesting time depends on how you’ll take the advantage of it. If you use the leaves as the herbs in the cuisine, you can harvest any time. However, if the goal is the oil, you need to harvest in summer.
- Choose the morning day to do harvesting, after the dew has dried.
- Prepare your scissors or clippers and basket.
- Choose the fresh leaves and the stems. Using the clippers or scissors, cut them carefully then place it in the basket.
- Though growing spearmint in garden is easy, you might consider storing the left part if you can’t take them all in once. Choose the location, in a jar or in the freezer.
- When you place in a jar, dry the spearmint first by putting them in an oven. If it’s crisps already, put them in a jar and store in a cool place.
- If you choose the freezer, you can store them inside a sealed bag. Make sure it has cleaned, rinsed, and cut into sprigs.
Growing spearmint is easy and simple. This tasty leaves can be used on your dishes or as insect repellent. Try to grow them next to other plants to get more advantages for your lovely garden.