Mint - Ginger Mint
Mint - Ginger Mint
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- Inventory on the way
Usually available: All year
Life cycle: Perennial
Height: 45 - 60cm
Position: Sun / part shade
Soil preference: Moist / well drained
This is how we pack and send your Herb Plants to all states except TAS & WA
You will receive
- 1 Ginger Mint Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions
All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers
Botanical Name: Mentha spicata species
Ginger Mint is a perennial reaching 60 cm with a 40cm width. The growth habit is erect and the serrated leaves are held in opposite pairs on reddish toned stems. The leaves are heart shaped to elliptical, 2-4 cm in size and some varieties can be flecked with yellow/gold variegations. It has lavender blooms in late summer, held on long slender stalks. However, the blooms are positioned along the stem rather than at the end of the stalk, like other mints. The aroma is similar to spearmint with undertones of ginger.
This hybrid variety, Mentha x gracilis, is a cross between Corn Mint - Mentha arvensis and Spearmint - Mentha spicata and is not known in the wild. The genus name Mentha is from the Greek ‘mintha’ for mint. Some common names for Ginger Mint include Redmint, Slender Mint, Red Stemmed Mint, Austrian Mint and Scotchmint. The scientific synonym Mentha sativa gentilis may also be used in some reference material. Ginger Mint is a variable hybrid because each of the parent species is known for their own diversity, with each crossing presenting with slight differences. Yours may not fit the exact description given by another gardener.
Although a hybrid, the plant spreads very well and has not suffered from the lack of ability to spread by pollination. It is an old form, present in at least three hybrid varieties in Finland, when it was split between Russia and Sweden in1743. After that period it was observed that one version of Ginger Mint remained on the Russian side, whereas another spread through Sweden simply by a creeping root system.
Ginger Mint is a true ‘double mint’ because it has both carvone and menthol as active constituents in the essential oil it produces.
There are many Mint varieties known to herb gardeners and lovers of good cuisine, all varying slightly in flavour, aroma and appearance. They are categorized in the genus ‘Mentha’, which has up to 18 species, within the Lamiaceae family of plants. The Lamiaceae family is known as the mint family. However, the largest group of plants in the mint family is actually the delightful Salvias with their brilliantly coloured blooms. Many other commonly known herbs are also found in this family, including basil, sage, thyme and even lavender. One characteristic of this plant family is that they all yield essential oils, giving each plant its unique characteristics and even potential for medicinal use. Even the Scutellaria genus, with the unusually named Baikal Skullcap is found within this family.
The mints consist of mostly spreading and low growing perennial plants. The height range is from 10 cm to 1 meter, so not all are at ground level. Mint plants send out runners, or stolons, to help them spread by developing roots and shoots at the nodes. This allows plants to cover up to 1 meter in stem growth, in good conditions. They are all fast growing plants and due to the spreading nature, one plant is often sufficient for most gardeners. Some mints can be invasive and it is recommended that containers or in ground barriers be used. Mints can suffer from some pests like snails and aphids and may be affected by mint rust. Rust Free Mint may also be a useful addition to the garden in addition to the many other varieties.
Most mint plants have square stems, with leaves held in opposite pairs. They are often downy with a serrated margin, with a variable leaf shape and colours ranging from green to purple. The flowers are usually white to purple and present in false whorls or verticillaster or false whorl. The corolla is usually two lipped and has 4 lobes, with the upper lobe usually the largest.
Mint plants come from across the globe and will grow in most climates, including a wide range of regions across Australia. Some are annual varieties, but in cool climate zones perennial mints may best be treated as annuals and replaced each year. Generally they have high water requirements and prefer rich soils. Mint is grown commercially in Tasmania due to the ideal conditions of long summer days in high altitudes, where temperatures average 25C during the day to 15C at night. Ideal conditions usually require full sun, but part shade may be necessary as temperatures increase in warm summer regions.
Most mints have a history of traditional medicinal or herbal use for fevers, headaches and minor ailments. These plants are often used as a digestive aid in the form or herbal tea. The essential oil is also antiseptic and may be toxic in very high doses. They should be avoided by pregnant women and must not be given, or placed next to the face of babies and young children, due to the potential for breathing difficulties associated with menthol.
Mint hybridizes very easily, so there are many varieties available to suit any garden. In fact, if you have mixed plants some may hybridize in your own garden. The most popular choices are Spearmint, Peppermint and Applemint. However, many varieties in our collection, such as Ginger Mint, Eau de Cologne, Chocolate Mint and many others are also becoming well known.
Ginger Mint is harder to grow than most other mints, partly due to its lower tolerance for cold weather. If conditions are too cold and/or too damp and wet then it may not survive winter and need replacement. However, it is said to cope well with a mild level of frost, so some experimentation may be required. Ideally, this variety requires full sun in a warm position, with well drained soil. Part shade could be considered in a warm, summer climate, as long as it was accompanied by a warmer winter season. Most soil types, including clay soil, are acceptable as long as they remain moist, but not water logged. Ginger Mint (Mentha x gracilis) is a sterile hybrid plant and not known in the wild, so propagation should be via division at any time of the year. Container growing is suitable for this ornamental mint, which will also help to halt the spread of roots.
Like most mint plants, Ginger Mint has some traditional health benefits. The most common use is as an antiseptic, an antispasmodic and a digestive aid. A tea made from the leaves is also used as a treatment for fever, headaches, and mild digestive ailments. Although leaves may be harvested at any time of year, the essential oil content is strongest just before flowering. The essential oil is toxic in large doses and should not be used by pregnant women.
Ginger Mint works well raw or with cooked foods, tomatoes, melons and fruit salad. Naturally any mint will work well as a garnish, in this case adding a spearmint flavour with mild ginger. Ginger Mint is also a nice addition to lemonade and hot chocolate. It may also be used to make a tea, which can be useful as a digestive aid. Mint leaves can be harvested, dried and stored, or kept fresh for a few days in a small plastic bag. Alternatively they may be placed in ice block trays and frozen for later use. Young shoots should be harvested in spring.
Like other mints, the essential oils are used in flavouring foods. Ginger Mint is used as spearmint flavouring, especially in some types of chewing gum. It was also used as a strewing herb in the past, to keep rats and mice out of homes.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.