Apple Mint: How To Plant And Use The Hardy Herb

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:40 pm

Apple mint is a mild mint variety that you can use in many drinks and dishes. Learn how to plant and care for apple mint yourself here.

Apple mint is a variety of mint that has a lovely minty scent and mild fruity taste. If you rub a leaf with your fingers, you can see for yourself. Compared to peppermint, apple mint has less menthol content, making it suitable for sensitive stomachs.

Apple Mint: How To Plant And Use The Hardy Herb

Apple mint has round, wrinkled leaves that stand out for their bright green color. At up to 80 centimeters, the plant grows quite tall. Flowering time is from July to September, the flowers are pale purple.

Growing mint in containers - spearmint/peppermint, apple and orange mint -  YouTube

Plant apple mint

  • Time: If you want to sow the apple mint directly, it is best to do so between the beginning of May or the end of June. The seeds must be very lightly pressed into the soil. Attention: Not many seeds are necessary! If you buy young plants, you can plant them after the last frost (keyword Ice Saints) between May and October.
  • Location: Avoid direct midday sun, so choose a semi-shady to sunny location. Apple mint can be grown freely in the garden or bed, or in a pot or tub on the balcony.
  • Soil: The soil should be humus and rich in nutrients. You can add nutrients through humus or compost. It should also be slightly moist. If you have a garden pond, the apple mint will do very well near it. You can make the soil more permeable by mixing in sand or gravel.
  • Root barrier: Apple mint reproduces well and readily. This happens through the root runs on the ground. Therefore, place the plants in a place where they can spread easily. Tip: If you want to contain the spread, you can already take measures when planting. Plant the apple mint together with a pot with drainage holes (for example, made of wood fibers) or together with another root barrier variant made of recycled plastic.
  • Spacing: When sowing directly, approximately 0.1 grams of seed per square meter is sufficient for the area to be covered by apple mint plants. It is best to plant young plants about 40 centimeters apart. That is about six plants per square meter. After planting, water the plants carefully.
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Proper care for apple mint

  • Watering: The soil should never dry out completely and should be slightly to moderately moist. Therefore, water the apple mint daily. On hot days, you should water in the morning and evening.
  • Fertilize: To help apple mint grow, you can mix organic fertilizer such as horn shavings or compost into the soil. More fertilizer is not necessary – too much can actually harm the plant.
  • Pruning: As described above, apple mint tends to sprawl. In addition to the root barrier option mentioned above, you can also contain the lush spread by cutting it back. Cut back the apple mint in spring (around February or March). You can also cut the plants close to the ground in the fall: This will give it new vigor after flowering.
  • Propagation: Its rampant nature makes propagating apple mint quite easy. You can dig up a cutting with a garden shovel, plant it elsewhere and water it properly. Alternatively, you can cut a cutting and plant it in growing medium. To do this, cut off a shoot at least ten inches long below a node and remove the lower leaves.
  • Winter: The apple mint is hardy. It can also be overwintered outside in a pot or tub. Additional protection is not absolutely necessary.
  • Diseases and pests: Although apple mint is quite hardy, it can still suffer diseases and be attacked by pests. A typical disease is mint rust, which is indicated by rusty red spots on the underside of the leaves and yellowish spots on the top of the leaves. If mint rust has attacked the plant, you should cut it off near the ground. You can easily collect the mint beetle (or mint bear) pest from the plant. Be on the lookout in the spring, as this may prevent a plague of larvae.
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Use Apple Mint In The Kitchen

Apple mint can be harvested before flowering in May and June and after flowering in autumn. The leaves contain particularly high amounts of essential oils and thus a correspondingly high mint aroma in June before flowering. To harvest, it is best to always cut off a stem instead of just tearing off leaves. This makes it easier for new shoots to grow. Apple mint can be eaten fresh, dried for storage or frozen – read more here:

In the kitchen you can use apple mint as you like:

  • in tea (very stomach-friendly and mild) or in iced tea: how many leaves you add to a cup of water is up to you. As a guideline, about two tablespoons of fresh leaves per cup is recommended. If you have dried leaves, you can use them together with other herbs for your own tea blend.
  • in salad: add fresh leaves whole or cut into thin strips.
  • in a smoothie: add leaves to the blender before chopping.
  • in desserts like semolina pudding: use the mint leaves for garnish or add them crushed to the mixture.

Author

  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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