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Roseamore
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Mint update and questions

Hi Everyone,

Two weeks ago I got a mint that was in poor condition (I sought identification for on this forum). Since then I transplanted it, watered it, and mulched it; see attached pictures for the transformation.

Almost all of the original purple tinged leaves have dried up and fallen off the plant. The remaining/new leaves are totally green and bigger than the original ones. Is this a normal part of mint growth?

In addition, the stems are thickening (as expected) but are still very flexible and wiry. Will the stems thicken so that the plant grows upright? Or is this type of mint supposed to be low growing?

I look forwards to your responses.

Roseamore
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Mint after.jpg
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valley
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Re: Mint update and questions

Can't see it very clearly, but it does look like Chocolate Mint.

Richard

imafan26
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Re: Mint update and questions

If it is chocolate mint you will be able to smell it when it is brushed or crushed. Chocolate and peppermint look very close. They both have purple stems and dark leaves.

All mints spread more laterally than vertically. If they are in the sun or in very bright light they don't get very tall. If they are in a lot of shade, they will grow taller.

All mints should be kept in pots, they are very invasive. Once the pot looks full, check the roots, if roots are winding around the pot, the mint needs to be divided. I get a bread knife and cut the mint into chunks like a pie and replant each chunk. If you wait too long, the mint will choke itself as the roots circle the pot.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Roseamore
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Re: Mint update and questions

Thank Imafan26,

Your response was very helpful.

I've never actually seen a mint growing; this one is the first I've seen in "real life." People here do not typically grow mints; they tend to grow lemon grass, aloe, a few may thyme and sweet marjoram (the first oregano and basil plants I saw were the ones I grew - before this I was only familiar with dried oregano and basil).

I'm pretty sure that the mint shown is not chocolate mint; it is some type of peppermint. I've asked the questions I did because I am not familiar with the forms peppermint takes as it grows and what the "end product" is supposed to be.

My plants get intense sunlight for about 4 hours each day. And even though they are not in direct sunlight for the rest of the time they get light for at least 12 hours each day; year-round we get between 11.5 and 12.5 hours of sunlight each day. This would help explain why the plant is not getting tall.

I was able to get some spearmint go grow from a package I purchased at the supermarket (never saw it being sold there until about a month ago). It is easy to tell what spearmint is supposed to look like from the pictures on line; it's not so easy with peppermint.

Thanks again :)

Have a great day.

Roseamore
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imafan26
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Re: Mint update and questions

As far as I know there is only one peppermint. Peppermint and spearmint both taste like toothpaste to me. Chocolate mint and peppermint look a lot alike. They have purple stems and darker leaves. I tell them apart by taste and smell.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Roseamore
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Re: Mint update and questions

Hi Imafan26,

I tasted and smelt it and there is no hit of chocolate so I believe that it is peppermint. I don't mind because I really like the taste of peppermint.

I was trying to find somewhere where my mother could get some chocolate mint seeds when she travels to the US later this year. I would definitely like to try growing some chocolate mint as well.

Regards.

Roseamore
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valley
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Re: Mint update and questions

spearmint is allowed to go anywhere it wishes in our garden.

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Roseamore
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Re: Mint update and questions

With all the warnings I've seen on-line I am have not brave enough to plant the spearmint directly into the ground.

Although I must admit that I have been tempted to try to replace a pest plant which we have been trying to get rid of for the last ten years. It grows on soil and other plants; we pull it off and pull it up but it keeps returning.

I was thinking that if we could pull up the pest and seed the area with several spearmint plants the mint may be able to over take the pest. The problem is that the area is shaded and I'm not sure if mint will grow well there. Also, once the mint takes, where will it go from there? I don't want the next person who lives here to spend years trying to get rid of mint....

That is my "dilemma"

Roseamore
Last edited by Roseamore on Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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applestar
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Re: Mint update and questions

My peppermint grows upright. I cut a whole bunch of them today (along with many other flowers and leaves) to give my neighbor's sister who was making floral arrangements for their outdoor party in burgundy theme.

I have my mints in the ground despite the usual warnings. I would prefer weedy mint over useless weeds. I mow them and rip them out without care when they grow beyond their boundary. I crush them as mosquito bite remedy, stomp on them as strewing herbs on the patio, and wilt them for mulch, and only keep the best looking ones for culinary use. When they bloom, the bees, wasps, beneficial nectaring insects, butterflies and hummingbirds all go gaga over them.

They don't mind shade but will get elongated, faded stem color, and are more prone to fungal issues and bare/yellowed and browned lower leaves.
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Roseamore
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Re: Mint update and questions

When I have enough plants (right now I only have 5 small spearmints which I've grown from supermarket cuttings) I think that I will try out competing the pest.

You're right, I would rather have mint everywhere if it replaces the pest (I really hate the pest).

Roseamore
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

valley
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Re: Mint update and questions

We cook with spearmint. Can't have to much.

Susan W
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Re: Mint update and questions

There are variations in the peppermints. Some grow sprawly, some more upright. I have both!

Last year had 2 large 16" pots of peppermints, growing for the market. They got the cooties, not sure if one or multiple issues. One pot OK, let it winter and this spring looks OK. Other got chucked, in a baggy to the landfill. This spring got more starts. One Bonnie brand from the box store, great smell, but even after 2 months still grows sprawly. Other more upright from a different supplier. For my needs have to go with the upright to have stems to bundle and put bunches in water.
As for light, were getting increasing shade until I worked on major cleaning this week. Now at least half day sun.
Have fun!
Susan

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Roseamore
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Re: Mint update and questions

I like the look of the sprawling peppermint; looks nice spilling over the side of the pot. However, I find it hard to prune this type of mint; I prefer the upright peppermint in terms of picking leaves for use.

By the way, my (sprawling) peppermint is sending out runners! My first runners :) From what I've read that means that the plant is well established and doing well.

I also got some "upright" pieces of peppermint from a package of mint I purchased from the supermarket. I've got 4 pieces in the window right now; hoping to put them in some pots early next week.

I really have to temper my desire to grow mints; they require more space than I was bargaining for. I planted some spearmint cuttings in 6 inch pots about 5 weeks ago and already their roots are coming out through the holes in the bottom of the pots! After some reading I realized that I should have planted them in pots that are at least 12 inches.

Just got to love mints.

Have a good evening everyone.

Roseamore
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

jbockenfeld
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Re: Mint update and questions

Where is the best place to aquireint seeds? I'm also curious as to what the deal is with the different types like orange and chocolate. I don't see many seeds for them and I see some aren't periannuals.



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