Arbor Gate's Picks of the Month
Thai Mint (Mentha arvensis)
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.