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Doublemint ‘Madalene Hill’

December 8, 2016 Back to Picks >

Mints are known throughout the world and so widely esteemed that new varieties hybridize, take root, and begin growing wild all over the planet. They are broadly divided into two groups — spearmints and peppermints. Mentha x gracilis, sometimes called Red-Stemmed Apple Mint or Doublemint ‘Madalene Hill’, is a rare variety — the only one that contains both oils. It is a most handsome plant with its reddish stems and smooth green leaves.

Like most herbs, mints do best in a loose, well-drained soil. They grow best and develop superior flavor in full sun in our region, although they will tolerate high shade. When confronted with the occasional difficulty in growing mint, I recommend a large pot, the best quality potting soil, a sunny location, frequent pruning and use, very little fertilizer, and a shift to a shady spot during the hottest weeks of the summer. After summer’s decline, cut mint back, fertilize, water well, and move back into the sun for the fall. It will revive and reward you with nice fresh growth.

Remember that mint can take over your garden if planted in the ground — so put it into a container that it cannot escape from, or in a plot of the garden where nothing else is slated to be planted.