Peppermint Plants Benefits

Many gardners know that peppermint plants, Mentha piperita, repels a multitude of insect pests, aphids, cabbage looper, Colorado potato beetle, cucumber beetle, flea beetle, Japanese beetle and squash bugs.

Peppermint Leaves

Beekeepers use peppermint plant on the edge of the gardens to attract bees with its intense aroma. Peppermint is one of the strongest-smelling plants you can grow in your garden. Bees have exceptional smell receptors – they are thought to be 50x more sensitive than the average dog! The honeybee, in particular, has evolved to use its incredible sense of smell to find the best sources of nectar and pollen in any garden.

We know biting a peppermint leaf gives a pungent, peppery bite with a cool aftertaste that sets it apart from other types of mint. This is the flavor we find in candies, teas and deserts.

The name Peppermint comes from the Latin word Mintha, a Greek name for a nymph who was transformed into a mint plant and piper, meaning pepper. The pepper part of the name is interesting as it has a spicy, pungent flavor from a combination of menthol, menthone, methyl acetate and limonene and other terpenoids.

In the herbal world, peppermint is warming, drying, and a relaxant. It is characterized as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, and a stimulating diaphoretic. Steep peppermint leaves in hot water to produce an aromatic and tasty tea to relax the body.

Pepperment Flower
Pepperment Flower

Peppermint plants are very easy to grow and can be propagated from stem cuttings. Peppermint reproduces vegetatively by sending out runners, or stolons, in the summer after flowering. Just break off a stem and place in a small glass of water for a few days until roots to appear. Then relocate the cuttings in fertile soil or in a favorite herbal container.

Peppermint plants are also easy to divide. This is a great herbal plant to multiply in small containers and sell to gardeners for some extra cash flow. Think: Farmers Market or Plant Sales.

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If you feel inspired to try growing Peppermint plants, give me a call and I’ll get you started. It’s easy and fun!

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