Spearmint has been reported as invasive in many locations, especially in California and Tennessee, but also in many areas in the Northeast and West.Mints can also be controlled by planting them in spaces with impermeable boundaries, such as walls or boards sunk up to 6 inches into the ground. .

10 Reasons to Grow Mint (Without Fear)

You’ll learn the benefits of each plant and how to maximize their herbal power in your kitchen!Even though mint is a highly beneficial plant, due to its spreading nature, many of us opt to just go without it all together.The truth of the matter is that mint is a plant, and while it can and will most definitely spread, it takes some time for this to happen.I would steer clear of planting mint in or anywhere near your regular garden beds, as it will eventually try to take over.It’s a great plant for a rocky herb garden, a neglected corner of your yard, or a high traffic area.Mint will spread from its underground roots, and can cover great distances and go under obstacles to get to where it wants to go, so keep that in mind when planting.Other hardy perennial herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme can usually tolerate the aggressive nature of mint, especially if they are already established.Or cut large bundles of mint and hang to dry for use in the winter months.If there is a shady area of your yard that you have trouble growing things in, try planting mint.Do it as a science experiment with your kids, or root a bunch of cuttings, pot them up, and give away to friends.Let your mint go to flower and it will attract bees, beneficial wasps, hoverflies (aphid eaters), and tachinid flies (parasitic on nasty bugs).The smell of the mint plant will also repel houseflies, cabbage moths, ants, aphids, squash bugs, fleas, mosquitoes, and even mice.It keeps bugs, flies, and parasites at bay, as well as being an antioxidant and digestive aid for your flock.Be sure to plant lots of mint (as well as other herbs) in and around the coop and run for chickens to nibble on daily.While cats and dogs probably shouldn’t eat a whole lot of mint in one sitting, a little bit is great for them.It is a natural flea repellent, and I often see Cosmo the kitty rubbing up against the mint plant.Cut it from the garden with abandon to make all kinds of delicious mint recipes.Peppermint is especially great for headaches, and the essential oil can be rubbed on the temples for relief.It can be helpful for seasonal allergies, and can also be added to body care products like salves and lip balms, soaps, shampoo bars, and lotions. .

9 Essential Oils for Hair Growth & Health: What to Use & How to Use

While essential oils are most famous for their aromatic capabilities, they also contain strong chemical properties that can be beneficial for health.Knowing that lavender oil has properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress, researchers on one animal study found that this oil was able to generate faster hair growth in mice.Peppermint oil can cause a cold, tingling feeling when it increases circulation to the area it’s applied to.According to one study , rosemary oil performed as well as minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect.It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can treat different conditions that may contribute to dandruff or hair loss.Included in a mixture with lavender and rosemary, cedarwood extract was also found to reduce hair loss in those with alopecia areata.Dandruff can be a common ailment, and having a healthy, flake-free scalp is an important part of hair health.Mix a few drops into your shampoo or conditioner daily, and make sure it’s massaged into your scalp.Put only 2 small drops in 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp.Tea tree oil has powerful cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.Tea tree oils come in many concentrations, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions.A 2013 study even found that a mixture containing tea tree oil and minoxidil was more effective than just the minoxidil alone in improving hair growth, though more studies are needed on using tea tree oil only.You can mix 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into your shampoo or conditioner and use it daily.Or, you can mix 3 drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it out.While those with oily hair and skin would want to skip this one, ylang-ylang oil is ideal for those with dry scalps, as it can stimulate sebum production. .

How to Grow Mint Indoors: 3 Growing Methods for Year-round

Mint (Mentha species) is a perennial that produces new foliage all year long if the stems are not killed by frost, making it one of the easiest herbs to grow inside.Unlike many other herbs, mint is very easy to grow indoors, as long as you give the plant enough light and consistent moisture (more on both of these in a later section).I love mint’s crinkly green leaves and how the stems of some varieties tumble down over the sides of the pot.We grow them for their flavors, and what could be better than snipping your own fresh, homegrown mint leaves to make a cup of hot tea on a cold day?Since mint is constantly making new stems and leaves, you’ll always have a few sprigs ready for harvest.Whenever I need a little pick-me-up on a dreary day, I simply pinch off a leaf, rub it between my thumb and index finger, and inhale.Aside from the occasional fungus gnat, I’ve never had any houseplant pests attack my mint plants.For me, the easiest route is to purchase a starter plant at my favorite local nursery.However, if it’s autumn or winter and you’re just learning how to grow mint indoors, you might find your local nursery out of stock.If this is the case for you, consider starting a new mint houseplant from a root division or a stem cutting.Mint grows fast, so even if you start with a tiny division, before you know it, the plant will fill your pot.To maximize the growth of your indoor mint plant, you’ll need to provide it with a few things.If you don’t have a sunny, north-facing window that receives sun through the better part of the day, consider purchasing a small grow light to install over your mint plant.If you don’t have a sunny, north-facing window that receives sun through the better part of the day, consider purchasing a small grow light to install over your mint plant.Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch and the pot is light.Unlike other houseplants, indoor mint will still be actively growing through the winter months, so feeding it is a good idea.Regular “haircuts” are necessary to keep your mint plant bushy and to encourage new growth.Use a pair of herb scissors or needle-nose pruners to trim the stems back on a regular basis, ideally once every few weeks.However, keeping a few water-rooted stems in a jar above the sink means you’ll be able to make the occasional harvest.They will quickly develop roots and can be grown in the water-filled jar for a few weeks or months, depending on the growing conditions.In fact, mint is a great crop to grow using a commercially made or a DIY hydroponic system.The lack of soil definitely translates to less mess, but hydroponic systems are more expensive than soil-based growing.To harvest your indoor mint plants, remove individual leaves as needed, or clip off entire stems for drying or fresh use.Don’t be afraid to cut the plant back substantially a few times a year. .

How to Grow and Care for Mint

wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Summer Hardiness Zones 3–11, USA (depends on species) Native Area North America, Africa, Australia Toxicity Toxic to animals.Mint fares best in a damp, moist area with well-draining soil, but also in a spot that's in either full sun or part shade.Your primary maintenance task with mint might be to trim back your plant to prevent its runners from spreading to unwanted places.Mint plants prefer part shade, though they will grow in full sun if you water them frequently.Mint also can survive in fairly shady conditions, though it might be leggy and not produce as many or as flavorful of leaves.Maintaining lightly moist but not soggy soil is the ideal environment for mint.If you notice the foliage of your mint wilting, that's typically a sign the plant needs more moisture.Temperature tolerance depends on the species you are growing, but in general, mint plants are widely adaptable.Spearmint (Mentha spicata) handles the heat well and can grow in USDA hardiness zone 11.If you are growing your mint indoors, increase humidity by misting the plant between waterings or set the container on a water-filled tray of pebbles.Mentha x. piperita: Peppermint features a sweet, minty flavor and grows in USDA zones 3 to 11.Mentha × piperita f. citrata 'Chocolate': Chocolate mint, a first cousin of peppermint and has leaves with a minty-chocolate flavor and aroma.Mentha spicata: Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.You can start harvesting mint leaves once the plant has multiple stems that are six to eight inches long.Mature mint can be harvested in summer and fall before the shoots die back.Be mindful about where you place the container because long stems touching surrounding soil might take root.Place a double layer of landscaping cloth inside the pot over the drainage holes to prevent the roots from sneaking out of the container and into the surrounding soil.To relieve yourself of major pruning maintenance, grow your mint in a confined location, such as in a pot or between paved areas.Propagation is best done in the late spring to early summer when the plant is actively growing and before it has bloomed.Use sterilized scissors or pruning shears to cut a healthy piece of stem four to six inches long.You’ll know roots have formed when you can gently tug on the stem and feel resistance.It's important to note that some mint varieties are hybrids and will not grow true to seed.Once your container of mint becomes root-bound and you see roots popping up above the soil, it's often simplest to take a cutting and start a new plant rather than repotting.However, stressed plants can be bothered by common garden pests, including whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.Mint plants can sometimes contract rust, which appears as small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. .

How to Grow and Care for Peppermint Plants

), or the idea of peppermint tea sends you running to the kettle, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t grow this marvelous herb at home.Peppermint has a pungent, peppery bite with a cool aftertaste that sets it apart from other types of mint.Peppermint is a natural mint hybrid that grows wild throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.The name comes from the Latin word Mintha, the Greek name of a nymph who was transformed into a mint plant (it’s a whole story) and piper, meaning pepper.The “pepper” part of its name is particularly apt since it has a spicy, pungent flavor derived from a unique combination of menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate, as well as limonene and other terpenoids.Like most mint varieties, the history of peppermint is a little unclear because it can be found growing wild in many parts of the world.In his book “The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More than 130 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies,” available on Amazon, journalist Michael Castleman notes that both peppermint and spearmint were considered to be the same plant until 1696, when English botanist John Ray differentiated the two plants.For centuries, peppermint has been distilled to extract its essential oil for use in flavorings and herbal remedies.The earliest record of its medicinal use comes from the ancient Egyptian text Ebers Papyrus.Today, extracts are used to aid digestion and ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and when applied to the skin they may help alleviate headaches, itching, and sore muscles.Peppermint was first cultivated commercially in the US in the 19th century, after English settlers brought stolons with them to Massachusetts in 1812.Early mint farmers were forced to gradually move across the country until the only commercial growing land that wasn’t infected with the fungus was largely in the west.Peppermint is a an important commercial crop in the US, and is primarily grown in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Indiana.About 90 percent of the peppermint grown in the US is in the Pacific Northwest, which has the kind of climate it loves: moist, with cool nights and warm days, and more than 14 hours of sunlight during the summer months.Any seeds claiming to be peppermint will likely be a type of spearmint that may turn out to have an unpleasant flavor and scent.Peppermint is so vigorous that some commercial growers plow up their plants in the fall to chop up the roots and stolons and spread them around.Rooting stem cuttings is the preferred propagation method for commercial growers because it’s reliable and easy.Take a four to six-inch cutting from the top of a healthy stem and remove the leaves from the lower half.Dip the cut end into a food-safe powdered rooting hormone, and then place the stem in a glass of water.Find a bright, airy location, out of direct sunlight, and change the water every two to three days.Harden them off over the course of a week or so by placing the pot outside in the sun for a few hours and then bring it back indoors.Peppermint reproduces vegetatively by sending out runners, aka stolons, in the summer after flowering.To identify a stolon, look for what appears to be an above-ground root or horizontal stem extending from the parent plant.You can always take a larger division – as long as you leave about six inches of root behind, your plant will come back quickly.Peppermint is an incredibly adaptable plant, but ideally it prefers a cool, moist climate with well-draining, loose, organically-rich soil.Variegated cultivars require protection from the heat of the midday sun, or the white and cream areas of the foliage can become scorched.That said, the oil concentration is stronger if you let the soil dry out a little between waterings as harvest time nears.If you live in a hot or dry area, add a layer of organic mulch like grass clippings, straw, or leaves.Be aware that the soil in containers tends to dry out much more quickly than it does in the garden – so be vigilant with your watering schedule.Peppermint can also grow indoors in containers with one caveat: it will rapidly outgrow small pots.A half-gallon container is the minimum size I’d recommend for one plant, and even then, it will become rootbound pretty rapidly, depending on the growing conditions.If it does become rootbound, you can either divide it, put it out in the garden and start with a new plant, or transplant it into a larger container.Keep plants in check through pruning and dividing Cultivars to Select As mentioned, peppermint will not grow from seed.It has a slightly fruity taste, which makes it ideal for use in drinks and cocktails, or as a garnish on summer salads.‘Variegata’ You can manage this by either planting it in a spot that gets afternoon shade, or growing it in a container so you can move it out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.The problem is, it’s even more susceptible to disease and has a slower growth habit than M. x piperita var.One of the things I love about mint besides its flavor and scent is that it’s less bothered by pests and disease than some other plants.You can identify a looper because of the way it arches the middle of the body as it moves, so its back and front legs meet.The bioinsecticides Bacillus thuringiensis and spinosad are effective controls if you have a large problem on your hands.It can vary in appearance, with coloring that ranges from pale green to black, and it may have yellow lines along its body.They start to appear in late June or early July, nibbling on the leaves of your mint plants.Mint cutworms are the largest of the bunch, measuring one to two inches long, with yellow, tan, or green bodies and black spots.Spotted cutworms are about an inch long and are dark brown or black, with triangular markings on their backs.They do the same damage as armyworms, nibbling on leaves, but they don’t tend to cut plants off at the base like some other types of cutworms.Flea beetles are common garden pests that chew holes through plant leaves.The mint flea beetle (Longitarsus waterhousei) loves plants in the Mentha genus.The larvae feed on the roots and tunnel into the rhizomes, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt.The two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a tiny arachnid that is usually found on the underside of plant leaves.Then, if you spot them on your plants, blast them with a strong spray of water from the hose to knock them loose.As a side note, I will say that in my two decades of growing mint, peppermint and its cultivars tend to have problems with rust and powdery mildew more often than spearmint, so be diligent about prevention.If the disease continues to spread, pull your peppermint plants and don’t grow anything in the Mentha genus in that area for at least five years.This disease causes round, powdery lesions on foliage that can look a bit like your plant has been dusted in flour.This helps to control its spread and gives you a last-minute batch of tasty herbs for the coming winter.If you plan to use your leaves within the week, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.You can also lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet and bake them on the lowest setting of your oven until they’re crisp.I lay the stems out on a screen for a few days in a dry, protected area with good air circulation.Drying the leaves mellows out the menthol flavor a bit, so you lose some of that pungent, peppery bite.I can’t even imagine the winter holidays at my house without peppermint bark and ice cream.Add a handful of fresh or dried leaves to a teapot and allow to steep for a few minutes for a refreshing hot drink.


The best essential oils for hair growth: Do they work?

While more research is needed, some evidence does exist to suggest that essential oils can help hair to grow healthier and stronger.One study found that bergamot essential oil helps facilitate wound healing and reduce inflammation.The researchers also found that peppermint essential oil increased scalp thickness and the number of hair follicles.They also suggested that peppermint oil may help to promote a more rapid growth stage for hair in the body. .

How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants

With its sweet fragrance, sparkling flavor, and pretty flowers, mint makes a delightful addition to any garden.And its renowned taste and aroma are found in a myriad of products around the home from air fresheners to mouthwash.Bees and other pollinators flock to the enchanting spires and tufts of flowers that bloom in pastel shades of blue, mauve, pink, or white.This lush, rewarding herb can be successfully cultivated in containers and garden beds to stop it spreading – and you’ll love the fresh-flavored results!The genus contains approximately 20 species and numerous natural hybrids that occur in the overlap areas of different growing ranges.In their natural environment, plants thrive along marsh edges, in meadows, along stream banks, and woodland fringes – growing 12 to 36 inches tall at maturity.Most species are native to temperate regions of Africa, Asia, or Europe, with a few indigenous to Australia (M. australis), and North America (M. arvensis and M. canadensis).The presence of pungent essential oils gives Mentha its attractive fragrance that fills the surrounding area with a sweet perfume.Plants are easily identified by their bright scent and refreshing taste, and by the square stems typical of Lamiaceae family members.Blooms appear from mid to late summer, and are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.Fast growing, plants send out runners (stolons) above and below ground to quickly establish large, lush colonies.According to an article by Monica H.

Carlsen et al, published in the BMC Nutrition Journal, Mentha has a very high antioxidant capacity, and has long been recognized for its aromatic, medicinal, and therapeutic properties.The Roman historian Pliny the Elder reported many uses including scenting bathwater and perfumes as well as flavoring beverages, sauces, and wine.For centuries, all plant parts – flowers, leaves, roots, and stems – have been used in folk medicine to treat a number of health issues, including gastrointestinal distress and respiratory illnesses.Although mint grows wild in North America, root stock was introduced by English settlers, and by the 1790s crops for distillation of the essential oil were commercially grown in Massachusetts.Today, Mentha is an important commercial crop in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho with the oils used primarily to flavor candy, chewing gum, cough drops, mouthwash, and toothpaste.And, being an avid cross breeder, seeds produce variable results – often with different taste and appearance than that of the parent plants.Commercial growers propagate vegetatively, and root division or stem cuttings give the best results for home gardeners.Fill small 2- to 4-inch pots or trays with a soil mix of 1/3 well aged compost, 1/3 vermiculite or peat moss, and 1/3 landscape sand.Place stems in a small glass of water, and set in a light, airy windowsill until healthy roots have formed.Ensure pots have plenty of material covering the drainage holes such as coconut coir, pebbles, or broken pottery to prevent the roots from sitting in water.Consider burying some metal flashing or landscape edging 8 inches deep around the plant to prevent it from taking over.Mentha plants tolerate a light frost, but the top growth will eventually die back in winter.In autumn, cut back stems to the ground and cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch if your winters are harsh.It is known to repel ants, cockroaches, deer, mice, spiders, and squirrels which makes it a useful companion plant for other crops.Grow mint in containers of rich, well-draining soil amended with 1/3 organic matter such as aged compost.Ensure pots have plenty of drainage material – such as broken pottery, gravel, or pebbles – at the bottom and keep soil moist but not wet.Mint rust is another fungus that causes small brown, orange, or yellow pustules on undersides of leaves.Powdery mildew is another fungus that can also show up in moist, damp conditions, coating leaves and stems in a fuzzy dusting that weakens and damages plants.Thin plants if needed to improve air circulation and don’t water until the top 1-inch of soil is dry.How and When to Harvest The quality of the volatile oils that give mint its characteristic flavor is best during the long days of summer when plants receive 14 hours of daylight or more.When leaves are dry and crumbly, in 1 to 2 weeks, strip them from the stem and store in airtight containers in a cool, dark cupboard.After the leaves are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place in airtight containers in the freezer where they will last up to 3 months.Fresh mint makes a lovely complement to fish, lamb, and poultry and can spruce up lightly steamed veggies like baby carrots, peas, and new potatoes.Allow a few pots to bloom and place throughout the garden – they’ll repel unfriendly pests and attract beneficial insects. .

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