Mint - Basil Mint
Mint - Basil Mint
- In stock, ready to ship
- 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 Basil 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 X Piperita Citrata
Basil Mint is a hardy perennial growing to 45-60 cm in height. It has an upright growth habit, with an undefined width up to 1 meter, due to the spreading nature of this plant. The narrow, toothed leaves are bright green with a red tinge and extend from the red toned stems. It has pale purple flowers over summer.
The scent is quite unique, a sweet and spicy mint fragrance somewhat reminiscent of aromas associated with Italian cooking. In keeping with this Italian link, the Basil Mint may also be called ‘Bastardo’. Basil Mint has the botanical name Mentha X piperita f. citrata ‘Basil’ and is one of several varieties including Chocolate Mint to come from this parent hybrid.
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.
Basil Mint is easy to grow, very disease resistant and heavy yielding, so it should do well in most regions. It is a viable choice for people who find Basil hard to grow. It prefers part shade to full sun, most soils and has moderate water requirements. As the plant ages the stems may become woody. These may be removed with pruning, encouraging new growth. This is a very strong growing variety of mint, so container growing is recommended to reduce the opportunity for it to spread too far.
Basil Mint has a variety of uses, raw in salads or cooked in many dishes. However, it does very well when combined with tomato dishes and pasta. Since the flavour is not strong, the leaves should be added at the end of the cooking period.
Medicinal uses for Basil Mint are similar to other mints, but this is not the primary reason for growing many of the alternative culinary mints. It may be used to make a tea that will help as a digestive aid, used as a treatment for headaches and fevers, throat gargles and as an insect repellent. Like other mints Basil Mint will have antiseptic properties.
Rubbing Basil Mint on the skin may provide a useful insect repellent. It may also be a good companion plant for vegetables due to its insect repelling nature.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.