Water Mint

A wild species of mint.
Common name : Water Mint
Scientific name : Mentha aquatica
Family : Lamiaceae
Category : Wild plants
Type of plant : Perennial
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Mentha aquatica - water mint - is a wild species native to much of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and has introduced to North and South America, Australia, usually found near rivers or wet meadows : if it grows in the water itself, it rises above the surface of the water. It hybridises with Mentha spicata -spearmint - to produce Mentha × piperita -peppermint - or with Mentha suaveolens - apple mint - to produce Mentha × suavis.

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Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_3
Frost-resistance High
Zone USDA 5b
Height 20 - 75
pH 7

Identify my water mint

Mints are a genus (Mentha) of herbaceous perennial plants in the Lamiaceae family, in the Nepetoideae subfamily, which includes a number of species in which many are cultivated like herbs, spices, ornamental, and medicinal plants. It's easy to recognize them: rub a leaf to release its smell. When in doubt, look for opposing leaves and very pronounced veins.

Sow my water mint

Seeding mint is very easy. In open soil, sow as soon as May, in any ordinary soil, by spreading the seeds regularly. Inside, sow in a box, in a suitable potting soil. Cover the seeds very slightly, and tamp well. Keep the soil slightly moist until germination.

Dibble my water mint

If you have sown in a box, you can transplant your mint as soon as it has some true leaves, when strong frosts are no longer a threat. Gently separate the plants, and plant them every 5 cm at their final location. Mint likes to grow in semi shade: the full sun slows its growth, and will force you to unnecessarily water more! It supports frost and will easily grow back to the same location year after year. In open soil, a cool soil moderatly rich will do, in full sun or semi shade. The soil must be well drained to avoid stagnant water: in pots the ideal is a substrate made of potting soil, with an addition of 10% sand, but mint is not very difficult! Indoors, behind a window, or on a balcony, in a pot or in a planter: if you want to keep it in a pot, replant it immediately after the purchase in a larger pot - a simple terracotta pot will do the trick !

Plant my water mint

Mints thrive in light soil with good drainage. Most species will tolerate some shade, and the variegated types may require some protection from direct sun. Direct sunlight may slow its growth, and growing it in full sun will require more watering.

Pinch my water mint

A few weeks after planting, pinch the young shoots in order to encourage new offshoots: sever the end of the stem between your thumb and index finger. Like so, lateral stems will grow. You can repeat the operation several times at the tip of each stem.

Water my water mint

The mint rather prefers dry soils: water mainly just before planting, during very hot periods, and of course if you are cultivating the mint in a pot. Pro tip: never water during direct sunlight: this can burn the foliage, and this wastes water. Water in the evening, but not too late.

Mulch my water mint

You can mulch between the plants one to two weeks after planting with the aid of a mulch which holds in moisture. This will limit evaporation from the soil, and thus the need to water and to weed.

Reap my water mint

You can pick the mint leaves all throughout spring and summer according to your needs. Preferably choose the biggest leaves by cutting the entire stem to encourage new shoots to sprout. It's better to pick in the morning before the sun comes to spoil the aromatic quality of the leaves. Also take the time to remove all the buds whose growth is tiring out your mint to the detriment of the leaves!

Propagate my water mint

Dividing the plant is normally undertaken in spring or in autumn. Start by digging up the plant with its roots, separate the plants gently, and transplant each section in a mix of garden soil and garden soil, potentially adding a little bit of compost. Water generously for two to three weeks.

Cut down my water mint

After the winter, there's usually not much left of your mint than a few woody stems! You can cut them down - it's the from the roots that the young shoots will start again!

Repot my water mint

Repot every year potted plants by adding a little compost: the mint doesn't ask for much, but growing it in a pot will eventually make it a bit pale, and repotting it will rejuvenate it.

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