Growing Fresh Mint Plant indoors in your AeroGarden is an excellent solution to having Mint at your fingertips when preparing your favourite foods in the kitchen. But when it comes to identifying Mint, it’s so noticeable due to its strong smell when you brush past the herb or touch the leaves.
Mint has been mentioned and used during Biblical times, and has many advantages in medicinal purposes, flavouring for food and taste and now found in personal and cleaning products.
Today there are many different types of mint plants all have different flavours and strength in taste. The benefits of this plant can be found in traditional medicine, cleaning products and cosmetics. However, many people have allergic reactions when the plant has touched the skin or consumed.
Mint is usually an outdoor plant, but it can be grown quite successfully indoors in an AeroGarden all year round.
AeroGarden Kits contain a small bottle of specially made nutrients. Once fully grown, Mint is ideal for your culinary meals. Also, be on the lookout for pest and diseases just because the plant has a strong mint smell, that does not prevent is from getting rust for being attacked by pests.
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How to identify Mint Plant
There are so many varieties of mint plants on the market today that it’s difficult to tell sometimes which plant is part of the mint family.
The best way to tell is to smell the leaves. The smell should be fresh, smell like Mint.
Characteristics of Mint Plant
- Grows to 2 feet tall or taller
- Leaves are opposite on the stem
- Leaves are finely toothed
- The margins in the leaf are smoother than spearmint leaves
- Leaves have short stems
- Flowers are purple, pink or white tubular shape in terminal spikes interrupted whorls
- Has a distinct smell of Mint
- Found growing in gardens, wild, in pots and AeroGardens
History of Mint Plant
Mentha found growing in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. But did you know there are references of Mint in the Bible?
- Mint, once used as tithes by Pharisees
- Mentioned in ancient mythology, Prosperpine, Pluto’s wife
- Used as a scent in Ancient Athens
- Introduced to England by the Romans
- Mentioned in 1440 as ‘myntys’ by John Gardiner, author and publisher of Feate of Gardening
- Mint, described in the 17th Century as having ‘smelle rejoyceth the heart of man.”
- The plant may have found its way through the Pilgrims to New England.
- Was used to lengthen the life of milk because during the early years there was no such thing as refrigeration
Traditional uses of Mint in Medicine
- Used in the 14th Century to whiten teeth
- Suitable for ‘ye stomack’ by Turner (1508-1568)
- Mint, used by Culpepper (1616-1654), physician-astrologer for healing many illnesses
- Used to treat hiccough, flatulence indigestion
Different kinds of mint plants
Water Mint (M. aquatica) found growing in ditches, round flower spikes and stalked hairy leaves.
The wild mint plant (M. arvensis), grows to 1m tall (about 3 feet)
Chocolate mint plant (Mentha x piperita “Chocolate”) leaves are dark-green, smells like a chocolate liqueur. Ideal as a ground cover due to its fast-growing shoots that spread very quickly in a garden. Can grow up to 2 feet tall. The shape of the leaves is long and lanced-shaped.
Lemon Mint Plant, is a variety of peppermint with a subtle hint of lemon
Licorice Mint Plant has a strong minty-anise smell, and the plant is smaller, leaves have a silver sheen underneath.
Rosemary Mint Plant Poliomintha A. Gray. Leaves often used to sweeten the flavour of other medicinal plants.
Lavender Mint (Mentha x Piperita `Lavender’), tall plant, large lilac flowers, attract butterflies and grows to a height of 3 feet. Ideal for growing from seed in your AeroGarden to make ready for your garden as an ornamental. The leaves are grey-green that are purple underneath. The smell of lavender. Ideal for potpourris.
Apple mint plants (Mentha suaveolens). Also known as “woolly mint” Soft leaves, rounded, fine soft hairs. Flowers are white or pale pink. Has a mild, sweet fruity taste that is ideal for mixing with fresh fruit.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata), fuzzy leaves, jiggered toothed edges, pungent smell of Mint when leaves are crushed, lilac flowers. Has a light sweet taste that is perfect for culinary recipes. Grow\s well in the warm climate
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), fuzzy leaves, jiggered toothed edges, pungent smell of Mint when leaves are crushed, lilac flowers; it has the taste of menthol, great for tea, water and other drinks.
Pineapple mint, pennyroyal, ginger mint, Horsemint, Catmint, Orange mint, Grapefruit Mint
Benefits of Mint Plant
Mint plant has many benefits in traditional medicine and cosmetics.
- Used by the ancient Greeks, who would rub Mint on their arms, as it was believed it made them stronger
- Used as a medicine to treat stomach upsets, breathing issues and chest pains
- Treat irritable bowel syndrome
- Used in cosmetics and perfumes
- Used in aromatherapy
- Help to alleviate nausea
- Insecticide can kill wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches around the home
- Room deodoriser
Allergic Reaction to Mint Plant
- Abdominal cramps,
- Numbing around the mouth
- Contact dermatitis
My Aero Gardening is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein, we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
Can I Grow Mint indoors in my AeroGarden?
Yes, you can grow Mint indoors, but if you intend to plant the herb outdoors, it’s best to plant them in a container as Mint can be invasive.
Mint can be grown from seed indoors and transplanted into a garden that has sun or partial sun. It does not like frost. Shade tolerant. Prune for more growth.
What Type of Nutrients does the mint plant need?
Fertiliser requirements need to be high in Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium to produce high yields for 4 to 5 years.
Nitrogen – rapid growth
Phosphorus for growth and development
Potassium – strength and protect the plant against rust and other diseases
Best to use liquid fertiliser in an AeroGarden that comes with your kit as it also includes the necessary Micronutrients that your plants need,
Uses for Mint Plants
- Mint Sauce
- Herbal teas
- Iced teas
- Fruit drinks
- Served with meat such as lamb
- Mint jelly
- oil of Mint
- industries use Mint for flavouring: toothpaste, mouthwashes, medicines, cleaning and much more
Common Pest and Diseases of Mint plant
- Mint Rust, Pustules on the leaves’ underside: small, dusty, orange, yellow or brown. New shoots: pale, distorted, leaf tissue dies, leaves can drop from the plant. Cause: Fungus. Can spread to other plants. To prevent spreading; heat roots in boiling water at 44 degrees Celcius (111-degree Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, cool using cool water and then replant.
- Aphids (Peach aphid), Myzus persicae, found underneath the leaves and stems of the plant. A heavy infestation of Aphids causes the leaves to turn yellow and become distorted. Aphids secrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew which encourages sooty mould to grow on the plants. Can be treated with Neem or Canola oil or spray with water under the leaves.
- Other pests include Cutworms (agrotis spp.) leave holes on the weeds, leafrollers, slugs, snails and loppers
Growing herbs such as Mint indoors is ideal for the plant not getting out of control as it does in the garden. You could experiment with different mint varieties using your AeroGarden.
If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.