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Thai Mint (Mentha arvensis)

July 14, 2017 Back to Picks >

This important seasoning of Thai cuisine is similar to the spearmint commonly used for mint sauce in England and in Thai food as a vegetable as well as a flavoring.

Like other locally familiar members of the mint family, Thai Mint is very easy to grow in our region. It requires good drainage but more moisture than the familiar drought-tolerant herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and lavender, and it needs a sunny location.

Container-growing is highly recommended for all the mints, as they are voracious consumers of the garden’s space and very difficult to control or eradicate if they get out of hand. A pot 12 inches or larger in its top diameter, at least, of virtually any material, is a good size for mint. Since it is such a fast grower, when its roots fill any container it can be root-pruned and re-planted in the same pot with refreshed well-draining soil.

Don’t be surprised if your mint begins to decline at the end of the summer growing season — just cut it back hard and give it a bit of fertilizer — it will become fairly dormant until the winter weather trails off into springtime warmth.