Mentha × piperita
Common Name: peppermint
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Herb, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Best grown in rich, moist soils in full sun to part shade. Adapts to a wide range of soils except dry ones. Large plantings may be sheared after bloom to remove flower spikes and stimulate new vegetative growth. Soil barriers may be used to restrain rhizomatous spread if plants are grown in borders or other areas where spread is unwanted.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Mentha × piperita is a rhizomatous, upright perennial which is most commonly grown as a culinary or medicinal herb and/or ground cover. It typically grows 1 to 2 ft. tall and wide but will spread further by rhizomes forming an attractive ground cover. Features rounded to lance-shaped toothed dark green leaves (1 to 2 in. long) and terminal spikes of small pink to lavender flowers in summer that rarely set seed. Peppermint may be used to flavor teas, as a garnish or in potpourris. It was originally treated as a species but is now known to be a cross between Mentha aquatica (watermint) and Mentha spicata (spearmint).

Genus name comes from Minthe or Menthe, a water nymph in Greek mythology, who was transformed by Persephone into a mint plant in revenge for Minthe's ongoing affair with Hades (husband of Persephone).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Can be an aggressive spreader.

Garden Uses

Herb gardens. Naturalize as a ground cover in moist informal areas such as pond/water garden margins or low open woodland areas.