Flora Friday featuring Mint aka Mentha
This weeks featured herb of my balcony garden is mint. The herb is a fantastically aromatic option to have in the garden, that pairs well with fruit, desserts and drinks. It is also a very calming herb that has been used for thousands of years to help with indigestion or soothe an upset stomach. This resilient plant comes in many different species and hybrids and tolerates a wide range of conditions. It’s a fast growing plant, so you won’t need to plant too many to meet the needs of your household.
There are many different species and hybrids of mint, but the most common ones are:
- Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. The leaves are generally used peppermint tea and is used as flavouring.
- Native spearmint also used in flavouring food and herbal teas.
- Scotch spearmint a hybrid mint cultivated for essential oils and used to flavour chewing gum.
Some mint species are more invasive than others, but due to their speedy growth, it’s a good idea to separate this plant from others. Planting it in a separate pot on it’s own ensures that it won’t steal nutrients from neighbouring plants.
How to grow it
This resilient perennial can survive in a variety of conditions. Most will tolerate some shade, but ideally they thrive in full sun exposure. It grows the best in confined areas with moist, well-drained soil. From there, minimal care is needed other than keeping the soil evenly moist.
How to use it
I love using mint leaves in the summer by adding them to naturally flavoured fruit water. The fragrant herb adds another level of freshness that pairs wonderfully with cucumber and lemon.
I also love making mojitos with my fresh mint for a delicious summer cocktail.