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Mint is familiar to everyone as a fragrant medicinal plant. In the Mediterranean, it is a very common spice.
- Mint - plant description
- How to grow mint at home
- How to grow mint at home, on a windowsill, from seeds
- How to grow mint from a twig by grafting
- Basic rules of care
- Healing properties
Mint - plant description
As the legend says, mint got this name from the goddess Minta, she was in love with the god of the underworld. Upon learning of this, his wife Aida turned her rival into a spice with a surprisingly bright aroma.
The Mediterranean countries and Central Asia are considered the birthplace of mint. But today the plant can be found on all continents. The plant is so strong that it can even get along with weeds.
One of the most common is peppermint, which is a perennial plant with a horizontally growing rhizome. The roots themselves are fibrous, thin. The straight stem can be up to a meter high, inside it is empty, the shape is tetrahedral. Usually the stem is slightly pubescent by the villi pressed against it, densely covered with leaves.
The leaves are oblong, ovoid, sharp-serrate edges, are short-petiolate.
The flowers are located at the ends of the branches, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, the sizes are small, the color is lilac. They can be either pistillate or bisexual. Flowering lasts from June to September.
As a result of pollination, a fruit is formed, consisting of four nuts, it is called schizocarp.
Let's remember the most common varieties of mint.
This variety was bred by crossing different species: wild, water, spikelet. It is not surprising that it is called - English mint, since it comes from England.
It grows up to one meter in height, not demanding in place and care, it is an excellent honey plant.
Mint has medicinal properties, it is used to make menthol. And also menthol oil is prepared from it, added to food as a spice. She also found application in traditional medicine.
In Tibet, she is treated for symptoms of tuberculosis, ailments of the digestive system, namely:
- liver disease
- various bowel problems
Those looking to lose weight should consider using this mint variety. There will be a good result. During aromatherapy, appetite is naturally reduced, and therefore the amount of calories the body receives is reduced.
Many people know her as melissa. It is an excellent melliferous plant, resistant to severe frosts, but under the influence of winds in the winter it can freeze out, therefore it is better to organize a reliable shelter for the bushes for the winter.
The spice is incubated in the form of seedlings. It is more appreciated for its extraordinary taste, similar to a citrus fruit with the coolness of mint. The herb is prone to fungal diseases, i.e. during the growing process, it will be necessary to monitor the condition of the plant and, in the event of alarming symptoms, to treat it with special antifungal agents.
It is very effective against insects as it contains pulegon and limonene, which have strong ethereal aromas. Very similar to thyme, short in stature, creeping on the ground. Due to its properties, it is suitable for growing on the balcony. Prefers warmth, sun.
It is called in another way - German. Most often it is used as a talisman, as an element of a ceremony to protect the home and comfort in it.
It has a pungent aroma, reaching a height of thirty to one hundred centimeters. It has small leaves, and the flowers emit a persistent aroma.
How to grow mint at home
You can grow mint in the garden, but if you want, you can keep it in the house as a houseplant. Let's find out the basic rules for planting and caring for this unpretentious plant.
It is advisable to plant mint in containers with a wide base; you can use shallow containers. A ceramic pot is perfect for this, but if you don't have one, you can use a plastic one.
It is important to remember that mint roots are prone to active growth, because if the pot is too small, then the plant simply will not grow.
Depending on the goals and plans of the gardener, the spice can be planted both in boxes and in small pots. The boxes are especially convenient for installation on the balcony; flowerpots will be more convenient for the room.
Mint is very prolific, from one square meter, you can collect up to two hundred grams of dried raw materials.
Soil and top dressing
The plant loves sour soil mixtures. Therefore, it is good to add a little peat to the soil.
If there is a goal to plant mint in a garden plot or in the country, then you need to choose a place with fertile, oily soil.
Such a soil will be most suitable for the development and active growth of the plant.
Before planting mint, it is advisable to treat the soil with a solution of potassium permanganate, for preventive purposes. When planting a plant, watering is carried out with clean, settled water.
After the appearance of several new leaves, the bush can be fertilized; a solution of wood ash can serve as an ideal fertilization option.
How to grow mint at home on a windowsill from seeds
There are two methods for growing mint: by seed or by cuttings. In all flower shops or kiosks, you can buy different varieties of mint seeds. Of course, the seeds can be harvested on their own, but in this case there is no guarantee that the plants will be of the desired variety; during the process of pollination, some characteristics of the plant may change.
The sowing process is very simple, soil is poured into the container, we mentioned above about the features of its composition, holes are made in it, about 0.5 cm deep, seeds are sparsely laid out.
The earth is slightly moistened and covered with a piece of glass. Seedling can be expected in two to three weeks. The glass is removed, the sprouts are watered as the soil dries in the container.
As the seedlings grow, they can be planted in separate containers or planted in open ground. The right time for planting mint is spring or late August.
How to grow mint from a twig by grafting
Twigs with at least two leaf rosettes can be used as planting material. Of course, for grafting, you will need to choose branches that are absolutely healthy, without any signs of disease.
The cuttings should be placed in a glass of water, the water will need to be added periodically.
Roots can be expected to appear in about a week. In a couple of days they will become strong and grow up, i.e. will be ready to disembark.
A layer of drainage material will need to be laid in the pot; mint will not tolerate excess moisture. Further, fertile land is filled up.
Saplings with roots go 2-4 cm deep into the ground. To create ideal conditions for developing plants, it is advisable to install a pot on the eastern windows. It is undesirable for bright sunlight to hit the leaves in the daytime.
Small plants need systematic watering, the soil should not be allowed to dry out.
If you have mature mint bushes, you can use the separation of horse cuttings. On the separated part of the plant, there must be a renewal bud, the optimal number of leaves on it is more than 5.
With such types of reproduction of mint, it is possible to obtain plants that fully retain the properties of the species and variety.
Basic rules of care
Although the plant can be classified as unpretentious, it is still recommended to adhere to the following rules to get a full-fledged and well-groomed bush:
- the earthen coma in the slide must not be allowed to dry
- in summer, watering should be done more often, in winter, when the plant is in relative rest, watering is done less often
- mint growing in containers on the balcony will need to be fertilized about once a month; in winter, feeding is done once every two to three months
- in heated rooms with dry air, the plant will require periodic spraying from a spray bottle
- the place intended for the installation of the mint pots should be protected from drafts
- the optimal temperature for growing mint at home is + 16-20 C in winter, up to +25 C in summer
- high-quality lighting will be required, but it should not be allowed to hit the direct rays of the sun, a lack of light will lead to a strong stretching of the branches
- in summer, you can shade the plant a little, this will prevent the possibility of burns on the leaves
A few more helpful reminders:
- you will not need to change the soil for mint grown indoors or in the country every year, i.e. you can transplant the plant once every three to four years
- weeding and loosening the soil under the bushes should be carried out systematically
- not enough light will reduce the amount of essential oils accumulating in the leaves
Mint is used for cooking and medicinal purposes. The essential oil contains menthol, which gives it a special flavor and aroma.
Menthol is included in the treatment of:
- varicose veins
The spice contains other very useful substances, for example, flavonoids, tannins.
Mint infusion is taken to normalize menstruation, relieve pain and strengthen women's health with menopause.
There is a wide range of applications in cosmetics and perfumery. It can be found in toothpaste, chewing gum, and mouthwash. Peppermint oil perfectly cares for problem skin, as well as for oily hair.
Read more about growing mint at home - in the video: