Aromatic plants

Peppermint care

Peppermint is a very easy to grow aromatic plant that hardly needs maintenance; so much so that it is perfect for those people who do not have much experience in the care of plants, and even as gifts, since it is also used to season many dishes or to make herbal teas.

Let us know how it is and what care to give it.


Peppermint is a herbaceous plant that grows to a height of 30cm. It has light green leaves, whose aroma is very characteristic. If you have a small garden it is important that you know that its roots are invasive, to the point that new shoots can emerge 30-40cm away from the “mother plant”.

It is also characterized by its fresh and intense aroma and its scientific name Mentha spicata, is related to the shape of its leaf. Peppermint is derived from the hybridization of two kinds of mint: white and black. The flowers are borne in the highest part of the spikes, they are provided with 5 petals, with 3 mm long roses.

Peppermint is a very grateful aromatic plant that will look splendid with minimal care.

But, what is the care of peppermint?

If you are going to grow it at home, the location is key for it to grow and stay healthy. This plant needs a lot of sun, so you should place it in a sunny or semi-shady place in the garden or in a space provided with natural light if it will be inside the house.

If it is outside the house, you must take care of it from excessive cold or from not receiving enough natural lighting, since these two elements truncate the development of the plant and can even kill it. We must also pay attention in those places with a lot of solar intensity, where it is advisable to put them in semi-shade to prevent the stems and leaves from burning.

This perennial plant is capable of adapting to various climates, however the ideal temperatures for its optimal development range between 15º and 30º C. This makes it little tolerant to low temperatures, which is why if in the area where you grow it It is very cold, you have to protect it from low temperatures, so that it does not get damaged or die.

Composting in the spring is recommended. Preferably with an organic fertilizer, to add it to the substrate of the plant, so the shoots will be healthy and you will avoid the appearance of pests.

It is advisable to have it in a pot, where it will be much more controlled. Now, if you want to have it in the ground, I recommend that before planting it, put an anti-rhizome mesh so that, in this way, its roots cannot spread.

If we talk about watering, it will have to be regular, since if it is in a pot during the summer we will water 2-3 times a week, and the rest of the year between one and two times every seven days; On the other hand, if we have it in the ground, it will be enough with two irrigations per week during the first year, and one from the second.

Another point that we cannot forget is that of pruning. It is pruned after flowering so that the peppermint stays short and well cared for. To do this, with the help of scissors we will lower its height to half.

For the rest, it will not give you any problem, since it resists drought quite well. However, to have a healthy plant, full of leaves, it must be located in a place where it is exposed to the sun and planted in a substrate composed of black peat mixed with 10-20% perlite or any other porous material. This will prevent the land from being flooded, which could harm it.

How much do you have to water the peppermint?

It needs abundant watering, it is necessary that you are always attentive to the humidity level of the substrate and that when watering you do not generate waterlogging because you harm the plant: the roots rot and the plant drowns to death.

In summer, watering in small quantities and daily is recommended, so that the substrate remains moist to the touch. It is important that the soil in the pot or garden is loose and provides good drainage.

When can peppermint be cut?

As it is a perennial plant, it can be cut at any time of the year. Its leaves can be used for different applications: cooking, medicine, drinks, etc. The trimmed stems and leaves can be used fresh as well as dried.

With regard to pruning in which the parts that are already dry or dead are removed, this should be applied after each flowering that occurs each year.

It is also recommended to prune when necessary when the plant is sick, to remove the parts that are badly damaged and that the whole of the peppermint is not affected.

How to grow peppermint?

The effective way to make the plant grow and make it look very leafy is to prune it after it blooms, the way to do it is by cutting the stems and leaving them flush with 5 to 10 cm according to the size of the plant, this helps to that the stems for next spring have grown a lot and they will sprout abundant leaves, which will make the peppermint look more dense and beautiful.

Pests and diseases that can affect the good grass

White fly

These are located on the back side of the peppermint leaf, it is present in spring and summer and usually attacks in greenhouses. These extract the sap of the plant, produce molasses, generate mechanical damage, etc.


Image – Flickr/ Huerta Agroecológica Comunitaria «Cantarranas»

At aphids love to attack young shoots and larvae generate significant damage to making galleries in leaves, adults feed on the sap from the leaves, buds and also cocoons. They also produce a sticky substance called honeydew that attracts ants.

When they appear, it is preferable to remove the most affected shoots and apply soapy water over the aphids.

Rust (fungi)

These are favored when the environment is of mild temperatures and the humidity is high, so after intense periods of rain, rust can appear on the underside of the leaf, where you will see small orange bumps with yellow spots on the upper side..

Caring for potted good grass

This is a very grateful plant that can very well be grown in a pot. This can be both clay and plastic. It is said that in the pot, the plant lasts much longer and is easier to protect from wind and frost, in addition to that it can hold better to the ground.

To grow it in a pot, you need:

  • Universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
  • Apply irrigation at least 3 times a week in summer, the rest of the year only twice.
  • Fertilize only if you wish, with compost of organic origin that is slowly released once into the substrate.
  • Prune it after it blooms or when you need to remove bad stems and leaves.
  • In spring you can multiply the plant by means of rooted cuttings.

Peppermint care in winter

It is very cold tolerant so if you have it planted in the garden, in winter season you should protect it because otherwise it can deteriorate a lot and it can even die. If you have it in a pot it is easier to protect them from the intense cold, while the winter passes.

The lowest temperature level that is considered acceptable for the plant is 15º C, below this it will already be affected and at temperatures below -5º it dies. The best way to take care of your plant from bugs such as caterpillars, aphids, whiteflies, etc., is by taking preventive care.

Continuous checks of the condition of the leaves and stems of peppermint, paying special attention to the back of the leaves is a good way to detect in time, if any pests have settled on it.

In the event that it is infected with aphids, start by pruning the shoots that have been very affected, spray the leaves with soap water, apply an infusion of garlic and onion and you can even bring a couple of ladybugs, since they are enemies of aphids and help you eradicate them.

If the outbreak is whitefly, you can place chromatic traps, use infusions of garlic or wormwood to apply in the affected areas and also other methods that are recommended in the specialized store.

Peppermint is a very grateful aromatic plant that will look splendid with minimal care.

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