Cultivated since at least the first century CE, spearmint is a plant that grows wild in Europe and Asia, from France to Southern China. Due to its spreading habit, spearmint has naturalized in parts of South and North America, as well as in Africa. Mentha spicata, also known as garden mint and common mint, is a perennial herb that needs minimal care in the garden.
Spearmint is a vigorous-growing plant that spreads by its roots. In fact, it is so tough it can take over gardens, so they are usually planted in pots to keep them contained. Spearmint is an herbaceous plant, meaning it has no woody stem above ground. The plants usually grow between one and three feet tall and produce a multitude of bright green leaves 5-10 cm long by 1-3cm large.
Hardy to zone 4 in Canada, spearmint will flower from July to September and bear many small white to purple flowers. The scent of mint carried by a breeze is one of the pleasures of gardening. Spearmint is truly a must-have in perennial gardens. The leaves can be used fresh to flavour food or garnish cocktails, or dried to make a soothing cup of tea.
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Days to Maturity: 90
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Planting Depth: 2-3 mm
- Plant Spacing: 45-60 cm
- Growth Habit: 30-60 cm tall
Mint is an aggressive grower with a powerful menthol fragrance. It makes a wonderful cup of herbal tea and will add refreshing color and flavour to cold summer drinks and salads.
Mint seeds should be started indoors 4 weeks before the last frost date, or you can sow seeds outside in mid spring. Cover seeds very lightly with soil and water well. Transplant seedlings outdoors a couple weeks after the last spring frost. Space plants a good 60 cm apart, as they will grow quickly and soon fill in the open space.
Mint can be planted into the garden inside bottomless pots to prevent the roots from running rampant through other areas of the garden. Mint does grow well with many vegetables if it is confined to its own space. Its strong fragrance will deter pests and the flowers will draw in an abundance of beneficial pollinators.
Mint thrives in moist conditions, but if soil is kept on the dryer side, it won’t spread so vigorously. Mint should be well pruned to keep it in check. Cut back woody stems to promote lush, new growth.
Harvest leaves as needed throughout the year. Cutting the entire plant back to 6 cm above the ground halfway through the season will rejuvenate the plant and allow for a second harvest. To prepare for winter, cut the mint to the ground in the late fall and cover with mulch to insulate it from freezing temperatures.
- Spearmint was found in early versions of toothpaste dating back to the 1300s.
- During the American Revolution, spearmint was used as a cash crop in Connecticut. Mint tea was a popular drink, as it was not taxed.
- Ancient Egyptian medical text dating as early as 1550 BC includes mint.
- Spearmint seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!