Peppermint – Profile Of The Popular Seasoning Plant

Peppermint has played an important role as a seasoning herb, tea and medicinal plant since its discovery in England in the 17th century. The herb is easy to grow in the garden and on the balcony and is therefore cultivated worldwide.

Pfefferminze Steckbrief

Botanical data

  • Latin name: Mentha x piperita
  • Varieties: up to 14 varieties and numerous sub-varieties
  • Plant family: Labiates
  • Genus: Mint (Mentha)
  • Origin: England as a chance cross
  • Height: up to 90 centimeters high in the open field
  • Leaves: elongated, slightly serrated edge
  • Leaf color: mostly green, but also almost white or very dark
  • Stems: smooth, little hairy
  • Flower: small white-red flowers in spike form
  • Aroma: very aromatic, fresh fragrance
  • Flowering time: June to August
  • Plant parts used: Leaves
  • Age: perennial up to five years and longer
  • Winter hardiness: tolerates temperatures to minus 20 degrees
  • Distribution: almost worldwide
  • Interesting facts about cultivation in the garden and pot
  • Peppermint is quite hardy and can be grown outdoors as well as in a pot on a balcony or terrace.

The plant requires a nutritious, well-drained soil. It prefers a semi-shaded location. Direct sunlight affects the aroma.

When choosing a location, be aware that peppermint does not get along with itself or chamomile. Distance should also be maintained from other labiates. It is advisable to change the location after three years at the latest in order to limit the spread of diseases.

Harvesting peppermint
Peppermint can be harvested at any time. The best time to harvest is just before flowering, as the essential oil content is particularly high then. If peppermint is to be preserved, this harvest time is preferable.

Even after flowering, the leaves can be safely consumed or made into tea. They contain no toxins, but taste a bit more tart than before flowering.

Propagating peppermint
Peppermint is usually propagated by runners and cuttings. Root division is also possible. It is quite difficult to propagate by sowing, as the germination capacity of the seeds is not very high.

Tips & Tricks
The healing properties of peppermint still play a major role today. Thus, the plant was named “medicinal plant of the year” in 2004.

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