Peppermint: Mentha x piperita
- A hardy perennial, used as a favourite for desserts, cocktails and herbal teas
- Easy to grow, ideal for containers especially to restrict its spread
- Sow all year round (indoors), Spring or Autumn (outdoors)
- Harvest: All year round
Peppermint, Mentha x piperita described in old encyclopaedia Britannica as having a 'powerful aromatic taste followed by a sensation of cold when air is drawn into the mouth.' The French still call Peppermint "Menthe Anglaise" and its origins are believed to be from England where it was probably created due to accidental hybridisation of watermint and spearmint.
First commercially cultivated in Mitcham, London in the 1750s, Peppermint has very fragrant dark green serrated leaves and produces little mauve flowers. It's strong flavour is great in puddings and tea infusions.
Sow: All year round indoors at temperature of 18-20°C, sow outdoors in Spring or Autumn. Sow directly onto moist organic soil; do not cover as it needs light to germinate. Germination can be slow and erratic but once taken it will invasively spread.
Grow: Peppermint thrive, in cool, moist spots in partial shade, though they will tolerate full sun. Make sure to water well during the peak of summer heat and cut back often to prevent flowering and encourage new growth. Pinching out young plants helps create a vigorous and bushy plant. Hardy herbaceous perennial that dies back in autumn and regrows in spring; mulching will help it through winter.
Harvest: All Year Round