Mountain Mint

Mountain mint is an easy growing perennial that flowers from July to August. There are 11 species of mountain mint that are well adapted to South Carolina’s growing conditions. Most of these species occur naturally in the mountainous and Piedmont regions, but four species are indigenous to the coastal plains. Mountain mint is also a magnet for pollinating insects such as the wasp, skippers, bees, and moths.

Mountain mint have small white to lavender, tubular flowers that are held together by modified leaves called bracts. The bracts provide a visual aid to pollinating insects to help them discover the small, nectar-rich flower clusters.
Mountain mint grows well in sunny to partly sunny sites with well-drained soils. Although they are very drought tolerant plants once established, they grow best in soils that are somewhat moist. Mountain mints are spread by rhizomes to make colonies and can become invasive. By keeping the soil drier, the spread rate can be restricted. Plants grow 2-3 feet tall. Mountain mint has a highly aromatic foliage that contains pulegone, which has a minty but medicinal fragrance. This fragrant chemical is also present in pennyroyal and helps protect these mint plants from foliage feeders. The leaves can be used in cooking and making teas.
For more information on mountain mint, please visit the Home and Garden Information Center website at hgic.clemson.edu. Tune in on Tuesday nights to watch “Making it Grow” at 7pm on SCETV or mig.org. Email Outen at [email protected]
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